Your fingernails, it’s been said, may reveal a lot about your general health. Nails in good condition should be smooth and color-consistent, but as you age, you may notice that your nails acquire vertical ridges or become more fragile. This isn’t something to be concerned about. You should be able to grow out any areas on your nails caused by accident without any issues.
It’s important to pay attention to your nails if you see any unusual growths. It’s possible that these warts, infections, and medications like chemotherapy are to blame for the discoloration and nail separation you’re experiencing.
Liver problems, including Hepatitis, might be a symptom of white nails with darker rims. Another indication of a liver problem is the fingers’ yellowing, as seen in the picture to the right. These nails may be a sign of more serious conditions, such as:
- Inflammation of the cardiac muscle
- White Dots
- Liver Disease
And something as simple as a smashed finger or an over-aggressive cuticle trim may cause microscopic points to form on your nails, which may not come off when you scratch them. Your dermatologist should be seen if the white spots don’t go away as the nail grows out since this might indicate a more serious health problem like leukonychia (white spots).
Milk spots, also known as white nails, are more common on fingernails than toenails and are most often seen in the middle of the nail plate. Nail beds are often pink, which indicates that the blood flow beneath the nails is healthy.
These white spots are quite normal, but they might indicate something more serious. Bacterial or fungal nail infections may be an unexpected adverse effect of chemotherapy. Patients with arsenic poisoning, renal failure, or respiratory issues may exhibit this symptom. Excessive exposure to cold may cause leukonychia to expand, although these patches gradually fade over time.
The Yellow Nail Disease
Those who struggle with yellow nail syndrome have larger nails that grow slower than those who don’t have the condition. A yellowish staining of the nails will occur as a result. Fungal infections are a common cause of yellow nails. The nail bed might withdraw as the infection progresses, causing the nails to thicken, break easily, lose their cuticle, and even separate from the nail plate in certain areas.
Chronic bronchitis, for example, maybe the cause of yellow nail syndrome. Hand swelling may also be a symptom (lymphedema). Nails that are discolored, such as yellow nails, might indicate more serious health issues such as thyroid and heart problems and lung and diabetic problems.
Cyanosis, or blue nails, is a sign of a wide range of health issues, so if you’re experiencing this, you must pay attention. The skin can appear blue due to a lack of blood flow, but this should subside as the body warms up. When exposed to cold, the fingers and toes of people with Raynaud’s disease become white, blue, and finally numb and achy. There are nerves in the fingers, toes, noses, and earlobes that are too sensitive to changes in blood flow.
The shortage of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen within red blood cells, might generate this coloring. Normally, blood is bright red due to oxygen, but when oxygen levels drop, the blood becomes a darker shade of red.
Various lung and breathing disorders, such as emphysema, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory difficulties, may manifest as persistent cyanosis. An organism’s reaction to high altitudes, an overdose of certain medicines including opioids, benzodiazepine, and sedatives, or an abnormal heartbeat are all possible causes of palpitations.
Nails with a shade of green
When you have green nails, it’s because you have a pseudomonal infection; outside influences bring that on. Nail infections that turn the fingernails green are particularly dangerous for those with weakened immune systems.
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.