Health care professionals nowadays are into creating awareness on regular self-diagnosis. From breast cancer to a probable heart attack every disease gives out apparent symptoms and they want individuals to be able to pinpoint these symptoms to get appropriate treatment. Do you know that your fingernails can show signs of illness?  

What Are Fingernails?

Alpha-keratin, a chemical responsible to convert soft skin cells into hard plates forming hooves, horns, claws, or fingernails. Fingernails usually protect the soft tips of vertebrates and aid in self-defense. Though they don’t have any veins running through them, nails cannot be classified as bones due to the lack of certain properties. 

Can Nail Color Change?

Nails have blood and veins coursing below them adding a pinkish-red tint. Any change in your nail color denotes an underlying problem, for example:

  1. Yellow nails could mean you are suffering from low haemoglobin or jaundice.
  2. A bluish tint could hint at a low oxygen level.
  3. Pale or colorless nails denote amnesia or congestive heart failure. 
  4. Half pink and half white nails could possibly be due to kidney disease.
  5. White nails appear when you suffer from liver disease.
  6. A dark streak across your nail can be due to skin cancer.
  7. Greenish black nails are possibly a bacterial infection.
  8. Dusky red half-moon on nails forms when your body is suffering from lupus, heart disease,  alopecia areata, arthritis, dermatomyositis.
  9. Blue half-moons are a sign of poisoning.
  10. Discoloration can be caused due to consumption of toxic substances like drugs and alcohol.  

Other Nail Abnormalities

Apart from nail color, nail shape, size, and smoothness also denote changes in your health. Here a few common nail abnormalities and what they mean:

  1. Nail lifting may be due to fungal disease, injury, or an aggressive manicure.
  2. Dents appear on your nails due to psoriasis, alopecia areata, or atopic dermatitis.
  3. Beau lines or lines running across your nails denote a nail growth deficiency.
  4. Ram’s horn nails are usually a genetic problem or due to hardness.
  5. Nails dip in the center when you lack nutrition, have any digestive or stomach issues, or gluten sensitivity. 
  6. Brittle nails suggest a calcium or iron deficiency.
  7. White spots, brown lines, patches are often due to fungal infections.
  8. Cracked or split nails that are not due to injuries possibly mean a thyroid disease.

What Does Your Fingernail Indicate?

Aside from your fingernail coloration and appearance, the area surrounding your nails is also important.

  1. Redness and swelling around your nails point at infection.
  2. Clubbed fingers indicate an underlying heart, lung, liver, or stomach disease.
  3. Puffy folds may be due to lupus or connective tissue disorder.
  4. You may be constantly biting your nails due to anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or any other mental issue.
  5. Black skin around your nails is caused by washing your hands excessively or by exposure to extreme climates.
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Ashley completed her degree with nutrition as her major. She loves sharing her knowledge with others and playing with words. After struggling for almost a year to find a job that could make her feel lively, she ended up as a freelance writer. Ashley writes health-related blogs and articles. She makes sure that her works always stand unique and are useful for everyone. Ashley is also a YouTuber who shares health-related videos. She knows the value of the right information and how it can be beneficial to others. Therefore, her only motto is to provide accurate information. If Ashley sounds like that neighbor who you can ask for health tips, take a look at her works.