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What Can Nails Tell About Your Health?
11 Feb. 2014

nailsIn ancient China the primary diagnostics was made according to the nails state. Today this method has become quite popular as it can be performed individually. You can diagnosticate yourself and your relatives on your own and find out the disorders in your body. The color and the structure of the nails can detect a number of diseases.

Take a good look at your nails. You can notice some changes in their color and structure – discoloration, some waviness or nail ridging. These deformities can signal about overall health problems.

Pale, discolored nails.
Too light or white nails are often related to ageing. However, they may also be indicative of such grave diseases as anemia, congestive cardiac failure, hepatic disorders, malnutrition or malabsorption.

White nails.
If nails are mainly white at the bottom with dark stripes, it can be characteristic of a hepatic disease, for example hepatitis. Moreover, one can often notice nails discolored to yellow; this is one more sign of liver disorders.

Yellow nails.
One of the most widespread reasons of nails yellowing is the fungal infection. As the infection progresses, the nail bed may flake off and nails may crumble. In very rare cases yellow nails may be indicative of more grave conditions, such as severe disease of the thyroid gland, diabetes, lung disease (for example emphysema) and psoriasis.

Bluish nails.
Bluish or violet color (the so-called cyanotic discoloration) may indicate that your body does not receive enough oxygen. It can be a sign of lung disease, for example, pneumonia. The nail blue stained at the bottom may signal of diabetes.

Rippled nails.
If the nail surface is crumpled or rippled it can be a precursory symptom of inflammatory arthritis or psoriasis. Nails discoloration, general uneasiness and reddish-brown color of the skin under the nails also indicate of arthritis. In 10% of cases, psoriasis (the inflammatory skin disease) begins with nail disorders.

Fragile, cracked, flaking nails.
Dry, fragile nails, often with deep, horizontal splits are related to the thyroid gland diseases. Flaking or nail necrosis together with yellowish tinge is more specific to fungal infection.

Edematic nail fold.
If the skin surrounding the nail is swollen and reddened it is defined as the inflammation of the nail. Swelling can be a result of systemic lupus erythematosus or some other connective tissue disease.
Dark stripes under the nails must be examined as far in advance as possible. Sometimes they may be associated with melanoma – the most malignant type of skin cancer.

Nail biting.
Nail biting can be nothing more than a bad habit. However, in some cases it is a sign of a long-running qualm requiring treatment. Nail biting can also be related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. If you cannot control yourself, you should consult a doctor.

In spite of the fact that nails changes accompany many malconditions, such changes seldom become primary or main manifestations. Besides, many nail deformities are completely not threatening. After all, not all people with pail nails are ill with hepatitis. If your nails appearance bothers you, consult a dermatologist.

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