Bola really loved to get her nails done. She never missed her appointment with her nail technician. She believed her nails were a thing of beauty and she made sure they were colorful always. Bola began to notice that her natural nails were turning yellow; she discarded it and blamed it on nail polish. She believed that her nails will get back to normal soon. Bola’s nails didn’t get back to normal, they just stayed yellow. Unfortunately, Bola didn’t know her nails were telling her she had liver disease. Bola didn’t find out about her ailment until it was too late.
Quite a number of us believe that our nails are just an aesthetic feature on our bodies. We spend so much time trimming, filing, and painting our nails that we fail to notice any underlying message our nails are trying to tell us. The $768 million spent annually on nail polish (in the U.S. alone) attest to the way we all view our nails. Yet our nails are more than a platform for rainbows and designs. The shape, texture and color of our natural nails can give us a glimpse as to what is happening in our bodies. The truth is sometimes the signs are harmless, and other times it can be indicative of chronic diseases, including skin cancer.
One of my nails recently turned green, and it got me really worried. Fortunately for me, the color went back to normal two days later, but I still had doubts so, I went to see a dermatologist. She shared with me different health problems my nails may be trying to tell me. While nothing compares to a doctor’s diagnosis, being able to spot signs can help us to detect signals for underlying health problems. I’ll share with you the nails problems I learnt from Dr Stella and what they may actually mean for our health.
1. Yellow nails
This is mostly due to nail lacquers or acrylic nails. It can also happen naturally due to age. This could also be caused by smoking (which can stain nails and give them a yellowish hue), thyroid disease, diabetes, psoriasis, or respiratory disease (such as chronic bronchitis), fungal infections, a lung problem, or lymph-edema. If you wear nail polish and acrylic nails a lot, take time off of them and leave your nails to recover. If you do not notice any change, visit your doctor.
2. Dry cracked or brittle nails
This could most like be as a result of always putting your hand inside water. It can also be as a result of your nails being exposed to chemicals (such s cleaning products) or you use nail polish remover often. Health wise, it could be because of a fungal infection, thyroid disease or Vitamin A, B and C deficiency.
3. Indented/ curved nails
This occurs when the fingertips become enlarged and the nails curves downward. It could be a sign of low oxygen in your blood. It is also linked to lung disease, kidney disease heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and AIDS.
4. Spoon nails
The nails will be curved upwards in the instance and it will take a spoon-like appearance. This can be as a result of iron deficiency, excess iron consumption (hemochromatosis), heart disease or hypothyroidism.
5. Multiple pits and dents
If your nails have multiple pits and dents, this is most likely as a result of psoriasis. It can also be as a result of connective tissue disorders.
6. Horizontal ridges
This is also known as Beau lines. This can occur as a result of high fevers. It can also be due to psoriasis, uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory disease, or severe zinc deficiency.
7. Green nails
This may be due to bacterial infection associated with Pseudomonas, a specific type of common bacteria that produces the green pigment.
8. Dark Discoloration
Black streaks or painful growth may be due to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. You really need to visit your physician if you notice this.