Understanding Your Health through Your Nails
While we can make our hands look pretty by filing and painting our nails, it is important to remember that we can also learn a lot about our health through them too. Any changes that have been noticed in your nails could be an indication that something is going on with your health that needs to be checked out. Nail health care is an important part of maintaining our overall health.
Many people’s nails get discolored from time to time, and it is generally not a problem, especially if nail polish is frequently applied. If nails should turn noticeably yellow however, it can be an indication of respiratory problems.
Yellow nails typically grow slower and are thicker than usual, with instances of the cuticle and sometimes the nail itself, becoming detached from the bed of the nail.
If you are concerned about your nails because of yellowness it is recommended that they be examined by a physician to determine if you have any underlying health issues that need to be addressed or treated.
Small depressions or indentations in nails is also described as having pitted nails, and while this can be caused through an injury, it can also be an indication of psoriasis, an auto-immune disease called alopecia areata, or chronic dermatitis. If you know that injury has not caused your nail pitting you should make an appointment to visit your physician.
Nails with Vertical Ridges
Vertical ridges in the nails are something that very often causes some concern. These ridges tend to run in straight lines from the tip of the nail down to the cuticle. Although they are not a symptom of a medical problem they do cause concern to some people because they can be a sign of aging due to them becoming more noticeably prominent the older we get.
Nails with Dark Bands
Terry’s nails – otherwise known as dark banded nails can be attributed to numerous conditions, the least serious of which is simply aging. The dark bands going over the nail tops can also be an indication that something much more serious is going on if they are apparent in a younger person. Dark bands can be a symptom of:
- Congestive heart failure
- Liver disease
Injuries can easily cause horizontal indentations, but if no injury has occurred it could be a symptom of illness or disease. Horizontal indentations can also be known as “Beau’s Lines”, and can be an indication of:
- High Fever
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Circulatory diseases or other peripheral artery disease
If you wear nail polish regularly, it is important to try to take a few days every couple of weeks to remove nail polish and let your nails return to their natural color. If you have any concerns about your own discolored nails or nail health, or the discolored nails of your child, seek medical advice as soon as possible.