You may not realize it, but your nails can tell you a lot about your overall health. Whether you’re a man or a woman, nail health can provide valuable clues about what might be going on inside your body. Here are 10 signs that your nails may be trying to tell you something about your health.
1. Yellow nails
If your nails are yellowing, you could have a fungal infection. This is a common condition that can be treated with antifungal medications. Yellow nails can sometimes also be a sign of a vitamin or mineral deficiency, psoriasis, thyroid condition, or even diabetes.
2. White or pale nails
If your nails are looking very pale or white, it could be a sign of anemia, liver disease, malnutrition, or even congestive heart failure. This should be taken seriously, and you should see a doctor for testing and treatment.
3. Blue nails
If your nail beds have a blue tint, it could be a sign of lung problems or heart disease. See your doctor if you notice this change in nail color that you can’t explain.
4. Pitted nails
Small pits or ripples in your nails can be an early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. Be sure to get these checked out by your doctor.
5. Dark nail lines
If you notice dark lines running through your nail beds, it could be a sign of a melanoma or other skin cancer. It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you notice this change in nail color.
6. Cracked or splitting nails
This can be a sign of vitamin deficiency or thyroid disease. Talk to your doctor about what supplements you may need to take and whether you should be evaluated for thyroid conditions.
7. Thickening nail beds
Thickening nails can be a sign of fungal infections, or it could just be a sign of aging. Your doctor will be able to help you determine the cause and give you the appropriate treatment.
Sometimes, the corner of a nail can dig into the surrounding soft tissue, causing swelling and irritation. Usually this is not a sign of any underlying health conditions, but it should be treated to prevent infection.
9. Red or puffy nail fold
This may indicate an infection or a connective tissue disorder such as lupus. If you notice this, speak with your doctor right away.
10. Changes to lunula
The lunula is the small, crescent-shaped area at the base of your nail. If you notice that it changes size, shape, or color, be sure to discuss this with your physician.
Keeping an eye on your nail health can help you identify potential issues before they become major concerns. If you notice any of the above nail health signs, contact your dermatologist for an evaluation and treatment plan.
To see one of our dermatologists for an evaluation, call Medovate Dermatology at 847.499.5500.