Tags: Cancer | Diabetes | Heart Disease | fingernails | health | discoloration | canncer

What Your Fingernails Reveal About Your Health

What Your Fingernails Reveal About Your Health
(Monika Podlaska/Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 07 January 2019 10:58 AM

A good manicure is not the only reason to pay attention to your fingernails. They can give you valuable information about the state of your health, providing clues that may indicate diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and more potentially serious conditions.

“The first thing your doctor assesses when you walk in the door is how you look physically — especially if he or she knows you well,” says Dr. Chauncey Crandall., “Altered appearance offers important clues to changes in health.”

For example, Crandall says that if your nail beds — the skin around and under your fingernails — turn bluish, this can be due to low oxygen in red blood cells, a condition called cyanosis.

“Chronic cyanosis can be a sign of many different things from lung and breathing problems as well as coronary artery disease,” says the author of "Dr. Crandall’s Heart Health Report."

Here are other symptoms to look out for:

  • Indentations. According to Medical Daily, dents or grooves that run horizontally across your nails may be Beau’s lines. This usually indicates some past trauma or injury but it could also indicate uncontrolled diabetes, zinc deficiency, and health conditions associated with a high fever. If the indentations are accompanied with discoloring or loosening of the nail, you may also have a common skin condition called psoriasis.
  • Dark lines. “Dark brown or black vertical lines on the nail bed should never be ignored,” Shilpi Agarwal, M.D. a Los Angeles-based physician tells Shape magazine. “These can be a hallmark sign of melanoma, which requires early detection and treatment.” He advises that you immediately see a dermatologist if your notice these lines.
  • Spoon nail. Concave nail growth, which gives the appearance of spoon-shaped nails, is referred to as koilonychia. This may indicate that you’re suffering from iron deficiency anemia. This symptom is usually accompanied by fatigue, pale colored skin and nails caused by the lack of hemoglobin in red blood cells.
  • Yellow discoloration. Yellow-colored nails are a common sign of aging but if the nails are also peeling and have an unpleasant odor, it can be a sign of fungal infection. There is medication to treat this, or you can soak the affected nail in a weak solution of bleach and water. Mix a tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water and soak twice daily. Taking simple steps to prevent fungal infection of the nails is important. Experts recommend rubbing your nails with tea tree oil regularly. Smoking and using acrylic nails can also cause discoloration.
  • Gnawed nails. While this is obviously a sigh of nail biting, if you find you are excessively chewing into the nails and surrounding skin, it may be a symptom of elevated anxiety. It’s also a habit associated with obsessive-compulsive disorders. “Sometimes psychiatric medicine is required to treat OCD-related nail-biting,” says Debra Jaliman, M.D., a NYC-based dermatologist. “A bitter-tasting compound that’s polished onto the nails can help, too.”

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A good manicure is not the only reason to pay attention to your fingernails. They can give you valuable information about the state of your health, providing clues that may indicate diabetes, cancer, heart disease and more potentially serious conditions.
fingernails, health, discoloration, canncer, diabetes, heart disease
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2019-58-07
Monday, 07 January 2019 10:58 AM
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