Have you ever looked at your fingernails and noticed something strange? It’s totally normal to collect nicks and bumps on our nails throughout the course of our days. But there are some things that aren’t so normal… and could be a sign you should visit a doctor.
1. Discolored nails.
If your nails are changing color, it could be an important health indicator. Nails that have yellowed could be the result of simply wearing too much nail polish. But white nails could mean an iron deficiency, and blue tinted nails could indicate a lack of oxygen to the body.
2. Brittle nails.
This could be a fungal infection or a problem with your thyroid gland. Brittle nails can also be the result of prolonged exposure to certain chemicals.
3. Thickened Nails.
This can indicate several different ailments including psoriasis and eczema. It can also indicate diabetes, where compromised blood flow impacts the quality of nail growth. It is also an indicator of a potential lung diseases and reactive arthritis.
4. Spoon-shaped nails.
These can be a sign of hypochromic anemia, which leaves the red blood cells paler than normal. They can also be a symptom of hemachromatosis, a liver condition that is caused by a surplus of iron. They can also be a sign of heart disease or hypothyroidism. Definitely report this to your doctor.
5. Pitted nails.
This one is mostly genetic and doesn’t indicate a major health program. That said, if you have no family history, talk to your doctor, this could also be a sign of arthritis.
6. Grooved nails.
These grooves, known as “Beau’s lines” have many causes. They can be due to infections in the finger folds, nutritional deficiency, or prolonged exposure to extreme weather.
7. Clubbed nails.
Some people are simply born this way, others notice their fingernails begin to club over time due to IBS, lung, liver, or heart disease. The clubbing begins when oxygen supply is lowered.
8. White lines across nails.
Also known as “Muehrcke’s lines”, they indicate stress and malnutrition. They can also indicate low protein in the blood caused by liver disease.
9. Vertical stripes down the nail.
These lines can be harmless, and can be caused by an infection or a fungus. But if one appears go immediately to your doctor as they can also be a sign of melanoma.
10. Red marks under the nails.
These splinter-like marks beneath the nail-bed are harmless burst capillaries, usually caused by light labor.