What Fingernail Abnormalities Say About Your Health
You probably heard that your fingernails can tell you many facts about your overall health. The healthy nails should look smoothly and have continual coloring, but in time as you grow older your nails could develop vertical ridges, or be a bit more breakable. You shouldn’t worry about this because it is harmless. In case you have some spots occurred due to some injury, it should grow out with the nail and not cause any problems.
In case you notice some abnormalities on your nails, you should pay more attention. These spots, discoloration and nail separation could be a sign of viral warts, infections and some drugs, like chemotherapy.
In case your nails have a white color with darker rims, this can be a sign of liver issues, like hepatitis. The image below can show you that the fingers are yellowish which means that they are jaundiced which is another symptom of liver issue. These kind of nails can point to other dangerous ailments, like:
- Liver ailment
- Congestive heart failure
If you notice that small points have occurred on your nails and they don’t want to fall off when you scratch them, they may have been caused by some trauma-even something as simple as bashed finger or too aggressive cuticle trim. You just need to leave them to grow out with the nail, but in case they stay, you should visit your dermatologist, because it could be a sign of other health condition like leukonychia.
Also known as white nails or milk spots, and is often found on fingernails than on the toenails and often are located in the central area of the nail plate. Normally, the nail beds are pink, which is a sign that the blood circulation underneath the nails is good.
These white points are fully benign, although in some other situations it could be a sign of hidden ailment. Bacterial or fungal infection on the nails can lead to unusual side effect of systematic chemotherapy. This can appear in patient with arsenic poisoning, kidney collapse and respiratory problems. Exposure on excess cold could lead to expansion of leukonychia, but these spots will slowly fade away as time passes by.
Yellow Nails Syndrome
If you suffer from yellow nail syndrome, your nails will be thicker and their growth will be decelerated. This will lead to yellowish discoloration of the nails. One of the most usual reasons for yellow nails is a fungal infection. As the infection develops, the nail bed may withdraw and nails will become thicker, breakable, cuticle deficient and divide from the nail bad in some places.
Yellow nail syndrome can be a symptom of respiratory ailment, like chronic bronchitis. It can also be linked with swelling of the hands (lymphedema). Rarely, the yellow nails can point to more severe condition like thyroid ailment, lung ailment, diabetes or psoriasis.
Blue nails or medically known as cyanosis could be a symptom of many different disarrays so if you are facing this condition you should pay attention. The cold temperatures can temporarily decelerate the blood circulation through the skin which results with bluish coloring, and this should go away once you warm up. In Raynaud’s ailment the fingers and toes whiten, then become blue and eventually numb and achy when exposed to cold. The issue is over-sensitive of nerves regulating the blood flow through small arteries in the fingers, toes, nose and earlobes.
This coloration can be caused because of lack of hemoglobin, which transports the oxygen in red blood cells. Usually, the blood has bright red color because of the oxygen included, but once the oxygen levels are reduced, the blood receives blue-red color.
The chronic cyanosis could be a symptom of various lung and breathing problems such as asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary ailment, chronic bronchitis and other respiratory disarrays. It can be a symptom of many heart issues, an organism’s response to high altitudes or an overdose of particular drugs like narcotics, benzodiazepines and sedatives.
The green nails are caused by pseudomonal infection, which is caused by external factors. The people with weak immune system are very vulnerable from this kind of nail infection which cause the nails to have green color.
If you notice small holes or pits on your nails it could be a sign of psoriasis, which is manifested by scaly speckles through the skin. This could be linked with connective tissue disarrays, like Reiter’s syndrome and alopecia areata which is an autoimmune ailment that results with hair loss.
In case your nail’s surface is rippled you may suffer from psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. Discoloration of the nails is also usual thing because the skin under the nail can look reddish-brown.
Cracked or Split Nails
Dry, breakable nails that crack often are related with thyroid ailment. All of this combined with yellowish color can be related with fungal infection. Low amounts of vitamin C, folic acid and particular proteins in the diet can lead to nail splitting.
It can appear horizontal or vertical. Vertical nail ridges are sign of nutrition problems, lack of moisture or nutritional absorption problems. The horizontal ridges are connected with diabetes, liver ailments or other chronic ailments. Both types of ridges can be caused by some damage to the nails.
Dark Lines Beneath the Nail
The people with dark skin often have lines of the pigment melanin on their fingernails. Anyway, you should visit your doctor because it could be a sign of skin cancer known as subungual melanoma, which is considered as one of the most dangerous types of cancers. Normally, it impacts only one nail, making the lines to change in appearance and becoming wider or darker as time passes by. Sometimes the pigment impacts the surrounding skin.
Little Brown Streaks
These thin dark streaks under the fingernail could be caused by small bleeding vessels under the nails. They are also called “splinter hemorrhages,” and aren’t dangerous at all if they are caused by some injury. But, if several nails are impacted, it could be a sign that one of the heart’s valves is infected, known as “endocarditis”. Splinter haemorrhages can be related with few other ailments, like scieroderma, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
Nail Beading or Vertical Ridging
Nail beadings are related with endocrine conditions, such as mellitus, thyroid disarrays, diabetes, Addison’s disease, lack of vitamin B, stress and hormonal changes.
Anyway, just like with saggy skin, these “wrinkles of the nails” are caused by aging. They expand from the nail bed to the tip and normally begin on one or two nails. In time, the ridges will occur on each nail. You can smooth them with gentle filling and buffing.
This condition runs in families and is often harmless. Anyway, if it develops unexpectedly, it could be a sign of hidden disease, and it occurs because of reduced oxygen levels in the blood, which results with different ailments like lung or heart disease.
When this condition occurs, the natural angle is gone and the nails are in the same line with the top of the fingers. Hamman-Rich syndrome known as cute interstitial pneumonitis, (a type of pneumonia) is manifested by lung inflammation. When the interstitial lung ailment develops it may lead digital clubbing and symptoms of heart failure. It is also related with inflammatory bowel ailment, cardiovascular ailment, liver ailment and AIDS.
It got its name from Dr. Richard Terry and it manifests with white nails with a characteristic “ground glass” look, with nolunula, or the white crescent-formed surface of the fingernail. When a person is affected by this condition its nails appear white with a narrow pink band at the tip. It looks like a brown arc at the ends of the nails.
This condition can be caused by aging. It can be a symptom of some dangerous hidden disease. It can occur due to a reduced vascularity and an increased connective tissue within the nail bed. It can be a sign of liver or kidney collapse, cirrhosis, diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, hyperthyroidism and malnutrition.
It is manifested with a presence of longitudinal striations or ridges on the nail surface and can be caused by aging, but can be also related with rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral vascular ailment, lichen planus and Darier ailment (broad white and red striations on the nail’s surface). A central vertical groove can occur because of myxoid cysts that grow near the nail fold, and they are related with osteoarthritis.
This nail condition can impact people who face with various disorders. Improper nutrition can leave impact on the overall health and the growth of the nails making them breakable. Trauma or some injury can also cause onychorrhexis. Iterated injuries of the nail can contribute to appearance of this condition. People who are in contact with water and soap for longer periods of time are also vulnerable from this condition. Also the girls who use too much nail polish remover and the people who are exposed on cold temperatures longer have increased risk from getting affected from this disease. Hypothyroidism is a glandular disorder which is caused from lack of thyroid hormone generation. Decreased thyroid production occurs because of hypoactive thyroid gland. In is one of the greatest reasons for onychorrhexis occurrence.
Bulimia is a disease that impacts young women who eat a lot while feeling depressed and guilty because they are unable to regulate their diet. Anorexia Nervosa is one more psychological ailment in which the person is obsessed with the body weight. Despite being emaciated, the person always thinks that she is fat.
The diagnosis onychorrhexis is not complicated because the ailment can be noticed by physical observation of the nails. The doctor could recommend blood tests and thyroid level analyzes if he thinks that there are any hidden ailments such as Hypothyroidism.
The treatment of onychorrhexis usually depends from the hidden disease. The treatment should be modified with the nature of the condition that caused the occurrence of onychorrhexis. When the disease that caused the condition is treated, the symptoms of onychorrhexis will be gone very soon. If you intend to treat this condition at home, you should use medications like creams. Crams or lotions made of natural vegetable oils will maintain the moisture on your hands and heal the condition. By applying the moisturizers on your hands often, will keep you safe from the reappearance of the symptoms.
Beau’s Lines are notches that appear across our nails, and can occur around the area under the cuticle, and this condition was firstly described back in 1846 by the French physician Joseph Honore Simon Beau. The lines are caused by ailments that impact our entire organism, like heart attack, liver ailment, improper nutrition, serious infections such as measles, scarlet fecer, pneumonia and metabolic disorders like uncontrolled diabetes.
Anyway, this condition can be caused from any ailment process or disease which is serious enough to limit the growth surface of the nail. Improper nutrition, zinc deficiency and chemotherapy medicines for treating cancer can lead to this condition. It can be also caused by trauma or injury. You can determine the timing of the condition by measuring the distance between the Beau’s lines and the nail bed.
Spoon Shaped Nails
Spoon nails (koilonychia) are soft and seem like scooped out. You can even hold a drop of water in them.
They could be a symptom of lack of iron, anemia or hemochromatosis which is a liver condition that causes improper absorption of iron from our diet. Spoon nails can also be linked with heart ailment and hypothyroidism.
When this condition occurs the nails are looser and can divide from the nail bed. The divided part of the nail becomes blear with white, yellow or green trace.
Detachment of the nails can occur due to injury or infection, but sometimes it can be caused by medicines or reaction to some product like nail hardener or adhesives. Thyroid ailment and psoriasis can be the reasons for nail detachment.
Paronychia is an inflammation that results with achy, red and swollen nail bed, or the skin and soft tissue that is located around the nail.
This condition can be acute and develop in several hours, or chronic which means that it can make problems for seven or more weeks. It is usually caused by irritation, infection or injury. It is also possible that there is a hidden skin condition like psoriasis, eczema or another medical condition like diabetes or AIDS. It appears three times more in women than in men.
Many people bite their nails and think that it is just an old and bad habit, but sometimes it is a symptom of continual nervousness that could use some treatment. This ‘habit’ has been related with obsessive-compulsive disorder, where it is the easiest way for relieving anxiety. Other contributors to this habit are loneliness and frustration. There are even some researches suggesting that the genes are to blame. Anyway, if you cannot get rid of this habit, you can ask your doctor for advice.
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