Your fingernails and toenails reveal more about your health than you think.
Just like how your eyes are the window to your soul, your nails are the window to your health. Small bumps and discoloration are tell-tale signs of more serious health issues. Read on to find out what your unmanicured nails might reveal.
Weak and brittle nails are more susceptible to breakage, but if your nails are always cracking or splitting, it might be due to thyroid disease. Yellowish nails that are cracked are likely caused by a fungal infection.
Puffy nail folds
If the skin surrounding your nail looks red and puffy, it might be the result of lupus or other connective tissue disorders. This inflammation often causes redness too.
Dark lines on nails
Light vertical lines are caused by knocking into things or getting injured – contrary to popular belief that it is due to the lack of calcium, iron, or zinc. However, if the lines are dark, you should see a medical professional immediately. The lines can be caused by melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.
Bacteria and fungal infections can cause your nails to turn yellow. Not only does it look unsanitary, but the infection can also cause your nails to thicken and crumble. In serious cases, yellow nails can also be a sign of serious conditions like thyroid disease, lung disease, diabetes, or psoriasis.
(Also read: Psoriasis: Myths and Facts About the Condition)
If the skin beneath your nails is lighter than normal, it might be a sign of serious illnesses such as congestive heart failure, liver disease, anemia or malnutrition. The former two should be checked out by a doctor, while you can try to manage the latter two through your diet to see if it still persists.
(Also read: More Singaporeans Getting Fatty Liver Disease)
If you find weird lumps and bumps appearing on your nails, it could be a sign or early psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. When this happens, the skin under the nails can also discolour and turn reddish brown.
Nail biting is usually just a bad habit, but if you are an anxious nail-biter, you might benefit from some sort of treatment. Constant biting and picking might be linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder. If you have tried to stop but can’t, consider discussing it with your doctor.