How often do you look at your fingernails? Every day? Whenever you paint them? Never? It's not like they're all that interesting, I'll give you that much.
But did you know that your fingernails can indicate a lot about your health, and you don't even realize it?
Take a look at your nails and see what they're trying to tell you. It's a good idea to try and note any changes that may happen over the course of time!
Ridged and Bumpy Nails
Usually, nails are pretty flat and smooth. But some people may notice that they develop ridges through their nail bed or even small bumps in random spots.
While it may seem odd, these ridges don't indicate anything too serious. More often than not, they're caused by inflammation in the area, medications you're taking, a fever, or even nail trauma. Nail trauma could be as simple as bumping your nail really hard on your desk.
There's really no way to fix this, nor is it a huge cause or concern. As your nails grow out, they'll return to normal. You can buff your nails if you need a quick fix, and you can also take a biotin supplement to help them grow faster.
Flat or concave nails is the result of a condition called koilonychias. It's caused by one of two things, both related to iron levels in your body. Hemochromatosis is when your body's iron metabolism is faulty and produces too much. Anemia, or an iron deficiency, is the other possible cause.
The nails will naturally grow out, but you'll want to talk to your doctor to find out the cause. If it is, in fact, an iron deficiency, they'll provide a treatment plan moving forward.
A black line under your nail can be an indication of an extremely serious issue. The abnormal pigmentation is a symptom of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
The indicator went viral on Facebook a few years ago after a nail technician suggested her client get it checked out. The client turned out to have aggressive melanoma that spread to her lymph nodes.
Since then, people have been sharing their experience with this symptom.
"I have recently had top half of my thumb amputated as a result of a black mark on my nail which turned out to be a malignant melanoma," one Facebook user wrote. "Please take this warning seriously as this form of cancer is very aggressive."
Split nails are extremely frustrating, and something I personally struggle with. Nails split when they get too dried out, which is common in people who paint their nails frequently. The use of nail polish remover and the chemically-laced polish can damage your nails over time.
Luckily, the solution is fairly easy. First, give your nails a break. Let them be bare for at least a week, hydrating and buffing them every day. If you really have to paint them, make sure you use a base coat to protect the nail. Biotin can also help strengthen your nails.
Clubbed nails can indicate serious issue, and it's recommended that you visit your doctor immediately. They can be a warning sign for:
- low oxygen levels
- kung disease
- inflammatory bowel disease
- cardiovascular disease
- liver disease
White spots on nails are totally healthy and normal. They can form when you hit your nail against something hair and will disappear on their own.
However, a sudden onset of all-white nails or white lines is something more serious that should be brought to a doctor's attention immediately. These can be a symptom of kidney disease, liver disease, or other infections.
Yellow nails can be unsightly, but the cause is generally from external factors. Smokers will most likely experience them as nicotine dyes fingernails yellow. Nail polish can also cause this discoloration if you don't use a base coat. Yellow nails can also be the result of a fungal infection or psoriasis.
If you're a smoker, you should stop. If you're an avid nail painter, then a base coat is recommended, along with giving your nails a break every once in a while. If you do think it's the result of a fungal infection, try an over-the-counter treatment.
In extremely rare cases, yellow nails can indicate thyroid disease, lung disease, or diabetes.
A green nail is surely the result of a bacterial infection. Dilute some white vinegar and soak the affected nail. You can also try a topical ointment. Make sure to monitor the infection closely, and if it doesn't clear up in a few days, see a medical professional.
If you notice your nails are starting to lose color and become very pale, you should go see your doctor immediately. This can be a serious indicator of illnesses such as:
- congestive heart failure
- liver disease
It sounds pretty obvious: chewed nails are a sign of someone who bites their nails, right? Well, yes. But there's more to it than that.
People who bite their nails often have misdiagnoses anxiety and use nail biting as a coping mechanism. Nail biting and picking have also been linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder. If you cannot stop picking or biting your nails, it's worth talking to your doctor about.