Much like hair and skin, fingernails are also a window to our overall health. While they normally look pink at the nail bed and white at the point where they grow off of it, nails can quickly change shape and color. Such transformations are often a symptom of an underlying condition that should be addressed immediately.
Therefore, taking care of your fingernails and acknowledging their changes goes far beyond aesthetics. Some nail alterations should never be ignored, as they might indicate a serious condition that needs to be tackled immediately.
Here are the most common fingernails warning signs that you should be on the lookout for!
Yellow nails most frequently indicate a fungal infection. In rarer cases, however, they might be an early symptom of more severe conditions such as lung disease, diabetes or thyroid disease. Either way, yellow nails shouldn’t be ignored.
While they are often a result of severe physical trauma, ridged nails can also be linked to several severe illnesses. If you have ridged nails on multiple fingers, your body might be too preoccupied fighting off diseases to invest the necessary energy in maintaining healthy nails.
As MedicineNet explain, pitted nails are caused by faulty development of the nail plate layers and are common in people with psoriasis. According to researchers, up to 50% of them are affected by nail pitting.
Brittle or cracked nails often signify that the nails are too dry. Some studies have also reported that they might be linked to thyroid disease.
Besides a fungal infection, nail discoloration or the presence of a dark line may be the result of melanoma, a dangerous type of skin cancer.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association categorizes nail-biting as a prevalent symptom of OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Unlike the old myth claims, white spots on nails are not necessarily caused by mineral deficiency. In fact, they are most often caused by minor physical injuries of the matrix. Other causes may also include mineral deficiency, fungal infection, or allergic reaction.
Bluish nails should never be ignored. They usually signify that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen, possibly because of an underlying heart or lung condition.
Stay on the lookout for any nail changes and make sure to consult your doctor if alterations are severe or persistent.