Most of us want our nails to be looking in perfect shape, and often we look at our hands to check if they need to be trimmed or cleaned. Sometimes we notice some abnormality with the nails; may be in their appearance or the way they feel. Most of the times this is normal but sometimes…

What Nails can tell you about your health?

Fingernails can reveal a range of underlying health conditions. A glance at your fingernails can tell everything from poor diet and stress to severe kidney problems. In other words, nails can act as a mirror of your body condition or any disease symptoms that are developing in your body.

14 things a doctor can tell about your health based on your fingernails.

  1. People with lung problems frequently develop what’s known as “clubbed” nails.
  2. Liver and Kidney disorders can give rise to a condition known as half-and-half nails; in such a case one part of the fingernail is white, and the other part is of another color.
  3. Horizontal whiteish parallel lines running across fingernails are known as Muehrcke’s lines and can be a sign of liver disease or malnutrition or low levels of protein in the blood.
  4. Vertical lines that appear to be dark are common in the people with dark skin but can sometimes be an indicative and underlying sign of skin cancer.
  5. Deep lines or grooves that go from left to right across the nail are also associated with serious physical stress.
  6. Loose fingernails could sometimes indicate poor blood circulation and overactive thyroid or an allergy.
  7. Paronychia is when the nail fold, the tissue which supports the nail, becomes inflamed. It is often a result of body inflammation result or infection but can also be seen in those who are suffering from diabetes or HIV.
  8. Nail pitting or small depressions in the can be related to connective tissue disorders, such as Reiter’s syndrome, and alopecia areata — an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.
  9. Nail clubbing occurs when the tips nails curve around the fingertips, may be seen as a symptom of low oxygen in the blood including lung disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and AIDS.
  10. Spoon nails or scooped out nails are often signed of iron deficiency anemia or a liver condition known as hemochromatosis, heart disease, lupus or hypothyroidism.
  11. Indentations (Beau’s Lines) that run across the fingernails can be a sign of diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, arthritis, eczema as well as zinc deficiency.
  12. With a health condition known as onycholysis, the fingernails can separate from the nail bed. Most of the timed detached nails are associated with an injury or infection. But thyroid disease and psoriasis — a condition characterized by scaly patches on the skin — also can cause nail separation.
  13. If your fingernails are looking a little indistinct (blurry), you may be suffering from anemia or low red blood cell count.

The takeaway

To conclude, whenever you observe any unusual sign or symptom pertaining to your nails, do get a complete health checkup done to diagnose the underlying health problem and treat it accordingly.