What does your nail say about your health?
The state and health of your nails say so much about your total body wellbeing.
Nail health is popularly used as an indicator for poor nutrition. Nail abnormalities in most cases are not serious and can be easily treated, in other few serious cases, medical attention may be required.
Healthy nails are smooth and have consistent color, anything else affecting the growth or appearance of the nails may be seen as an abnormality.
Nails disorders and what they represent;
- Weak nails
Weak nails break easily or bend before snapping. It could be as a result of over-exposure to moisture or chemicals like detergent, nail treatment, nail polish remover etc.
Give your nails the chance to recover by avoiding chemicals during this period. Weak nails are also linked to vitamin B deficiency. Taking iron supplements, calcium and B vitamins also can help your nails recover.
- Pale nails
Pale finger and toe nails are common among people aging. A survey carried out of patients over the age of 60 showed that almost 80 percent had developed pale and dull nails.
However, it could be a sign of a serious illness in some individuals. For example; Anemia, liver disease, congestive heart failure or malnutrition as mentioned earlier.
- Brittle (split nails)
Brittle nails are a commonly reported nail problem. It could be caused by trauma to the nails, drugs or nutrient deficiencies.
You are advised to see a dermatologist because your nail splitting may occur in different ways and have different meanings.
When nails begin to split horizontally, the condition is called Onychoschizia and when it occurs vertically in the direction the nail grows, it is called Onychorrhexis.
Prevention is actually the best way to avoid brittle nails because when they start splitting and cracking, it may be difficult to treat them. Incorporate vitamin supplements (especially biotin, amino acids and minerals like zinc) into your diet.
- White nails
There are a lot of reasons why a person’s nails may appear white but some specific details accompanying the white nails could mean there is a problem. For example; if the nails are white with dark rims, it could be a sign of liver problems such as hepatitis.
Another condition is Terry’s nails which is when there’s a pink band at the top of the nail bed. When the lunula which is the white half-moon area at the base of your nail is indistinguishable from the rest of the nail and could indicate the following illness
- Chronic kidney failure
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Congestive heart failure
Terry’s nails could also be part of the aging process in elderly people and all-white nails could also be a harmless genetic trait in some people.
- Yellow nails
Yellow nails commonly signify the presence of a fungal infection. Smokers who deal with tobacco are also likable to have yellow nails which can develop to psoriasis, thyroid problems or diabetes if treatment is avoided.
A rare case condition called “yellow nail syndrome (YNS) occurs in patients with lung disease and swelling of the extremities (lymphedema). Sometimes, this condition goes away on its own, other times Vitamin E supplements and other prescribed medications can help.
Ridges are horizontal or vertical waves that appear on your fingernails. They run from the tip of the fingernail to the cuticle. When not accompanied with symptoms, they are considered mild but most times, horizontal ridges also called Beau’s lines signifies a more serious condition.
Vertical ridges may indicate iron deficiency Anemia while horizontal ridges may indicate kidney disease. Consult a doctor to start treatment as soon as possible.
- White spots on the nails
Dispersed white spots in your nails could signify zinc deficiency. Fingernails are more prone to this condition than the toenails. This condition could also be caused by an injury, fungal infection or could also be an inherited trait.
Solution: Take zinc supplement to grow out the white nail and then clip it.
Keeping your nails healthy most times mean taking care of your entire self especially nutrition, because most of the problems associated with the nails result from malnutrition or nutrient deficiencies. When you are low on vitamins and minerals, they’ll be an indication on your nails.
Eating balanced diet or a variety of foods containing vitamins, minerals and all the nutrients your body and nails need is advised.
In the case of supplement, find easy to digest capsules as some tablets can be quite difficult to digest therefore preventing you from getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. Biotin and herb horse tail is recommended for your nail health.