Here’s What Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health

You probably don’t give much thought to your fingernails on a daily basis. In fact, the only time your fingernails come to mind is probably when you’re painting them, cutting them or when you break a nail – ouch! But believe or not, this commonly overlooked part of the body can tell you a thing or two about your health. Here’s how:
    1. Vertical ridges
      Vertical lines running up and down your nail can be a common sign of aging, so they usually aren’t cause for concern. However, in some cases, nail ridges may be due to nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin B12 and magnesium.
    2. Horizontal ridges
      Horizontal ridges may be due to trauma or a serious illness with a high fever, such as pneumonia. They could also be due to psoriasis, uncontrolled diabetes or a severe zinc deficiency.
    3. Yellow nails
      Yellow nails can be a sign of aging or due to continued use of acrylic nails or nail polish. Smoking can also stain nails. But if your nails are thick, crumbly and yellow, a fungal infection could be to blame.
    4. Dry, cracked and brittle nails
      Lifestyle factors can play a role in causing dry, cracked and brittle nails. Washing dishes, swimming, using nail polish remover frequently and being exposed to chemicals like cleaning products, can have a detrimental effect on your nail health.
    5. White spots
      Small, white spots may appear on your nails due to nail trauma. Less commonly, white spots that do not go away could be due to a fungal infection, but typically, white spots are not a cause for concern.
    6. Dark discolorations
      Black streaks or painful growths on your nail warrant an immediate trip to your physician, as they may be due to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
    7. White nails with a strip of pink
Known as Terry’s nails, white nails with a narrow strip of pink at the top could be a sign of liver disease, congestive heart failure, kidney failure or diabetes.
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