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5 Things Your Nails Are Trying Tell You About Your Health

When it comes to our hands, there are basically two kinds of women: those who dedicate time and money to beautifully manicured, supple skinned digits and, those who don't.

No matter who you are, if your health is failing, it'll show in many ways as clues in your body. One true indication of failing health shows in our hands. Studies on surface colour, texture and structure determined that nails are often linked to nutrient deficiencies and illnesses. Here are five signs that your nails might be trying to tell you something.

Dry, cracked or brittle nails

If your nails get essive exposure to water, nail polish remover or harsh detergents, then their dryness is likely caused by lifestyle, rather than an internatl health issue.

But, if your nails are always thin, brittle and splitting, you might want to visit your doctor. According to Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Toronto, it could be an indicator of a low-functioning thyroid.

Ridges or bumps

It depends on the direction of the ridges that appear on your nails. Vertical ridging on the nails is a normal sign of aging. But, according to Dr. Kkotnicki, horizontal ridging could indicate a pause in nail growth.

These lines are called Beau's Lines and they appear as a sign of stress - usually if you've been really sick with a severe fever or illness, your nails will stop growing. Pitting or dotting in the nails can indicate psoriasis - a chronic inflammatory skin condition.

Dark lines

If dark patches or lines appear beneath your nail bed, book an appointment with your doctor. Assuming that you didn't slam your hand in the car door, or cause any known trauma to your fingers, these dark lines could be an indication of skin cancer.A sign of Acral Letiginous Melanoma can be indicated by black streaks under the nail, this kind of skin cancer is more common in older people and people of color.

Yellow nails

If you're a smoker, the yellowing of your nails is a common side-effect of nicotine. Same for those who frequently apply and remove nail polish.

But, if your nails are yellow and they are lifting off of the nail bed, you might have a fungal infection. Talk to your doctor about this and they should provide you with medication to kill the fungus. Although it is rare, yellow nails could indicate more serious conditions such as lymphedema lymphedema (the build-up of lymphatic fluid in tissues) or a respiratory disease.

White marks

Working with your hands often causes a few broken nails or banged-up nail beds that have white marks. These tiny white marks are nothing to be concerned about.

But, if half of your nail is white you might have a condition associated with liver disease and severe kidney disease known as Terry's Nails. Dr. Richard Terry was the first to not the abnormality in paitnets with cirrhosis. Their nails looked more like ground glass and the lunula (white crescent-shaped area at the base of the fingernail) was missing


Editor's note:

Please remember that none of these are sure-fire signs of disease or disorders. They are only possible indicators that your health might not be up to snuff. Always consult with your doctor if you notice any changes in your body beyond the normal.