Many people do not realize that their fingernails can actually tell them a lot about their health. A normal healthy nail should be smooth and have a consistent color. As you get older your nails may become more brittle or can develop vertical ridges. These are really nothing to worry about. However, there are some abnormalities that may warrant a closer look.
If your nails are mostly white, but have darker rims it could indicate that there is something wrong with your liver. Your nails may also appear yellow, which is a sign of jaundice. If your nails are very pale it could indicate that you have anemia, malnutrition, congestive heart failure, or another type of serious disease.
If your nails have white dots that appear on them this is often called milk spots. Typically these spots are benign, but in some cases it could indicate an underlying disease.
If your nails are yellow, thick, and grow slowly it is typically a sign that you have a fungal infection. When the infection gets worse the nail bed could retract and may detach from the bed in places. Yellow nails can also be a sign of a respiratory infection. In some cases yellow nails may indicate a condition that is more serious such as lung disease, diabetes, thyroid diseases or something else.
If your nails are blue it can be a sign of many disorders and you should definitely have it checked out.
Sometimes your nails will turn blue when you are cold, but should return to their normal color when your hands are warm. Another reason that your fingernails may turn blue is due to low hemoglobin levels.
Green nails are often the result of an infection caused by the environment. A person with a low immune system may be susceptible to this type of infection.
Small holes in your nails may be a sign of psoriasis, an autoimmune disease called alopecia areata, a connective tissue disorder, or something else.
Ridges may appear vertically or horizontally. Vertical ridges are often a sign of nutritional issues. Horizontal ridges are often associated with liver disease, diabetes, or other chronic illnesses. Damage to the nails can cause ridges as well. As mentioned, some ridges are simply a sign of aging and nothing to really worry about. However, if you are noticing other health issues you should see your doctor to determine what may be going on.
Overall your nails offer some great signs as to the health that you are in. If your nails are smooth and pinkish in color they are normal and showing no signs of undergoing illnesses. However, if your nails are rough, have pits, or are a different color than normal, it could be a sign of a serious illness and you should visit your doctor for some tests.
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