Today in New Delhi, India
Jul 19, 2019-Friday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Your nails tell you how healthy you are. Here’s what you should watch out for

Discolouration of nails, a change in texture and striped nails can all indicate higher risk of several medical conditions.

fitness Updated: Oct 27, 2017 12:53 IST
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Nails,Nail care,Health
Your nails protect your fingers and toes and also reflect any health issues that you may be facing.(Shutterstock)

Nails are not just great for experimenting with, they also reflect your overall health. Your nails have a plate-like structure made up of cells and grows out of a groove in the skin’s dermis. Your nails protect your fingers and toes. And in case there is any health issue, they give you signs to alert you about it.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

* Check for discolouration of nail

Have you ever seen white or yellow spots on your nails? It can be a cause for concern. White nails may be caused by a condition known as Terry’s nails, which can be a sign of liver disease, kidney failure, or heart conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic. A few white spots are not a cause for alarm, though, and it can be caused by an injury to the nail bed. Yellow nails could be caused by fungal infection, thyroid disease or psoriasis, according to WebMD. Blue fingernails may reflect your body’s reaction to cold temperatures or be a result of red blood cells lacking oxygen. A green shade, known as green nail syndrome, can be common among people who have a loose nail bed or work in damp environments.

Nail polish could also cause discolouration. It contains formaldehyde, a preservative classified by The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a human carcinogen.

Application of nail polish too can lead to discolouration of nails. ( Shutterstock )

* Any unusual texture or shape could reflect a nutritional deficiency

The medical condition Onychogryphosis could lead to a thick, curling overgrowth of the nail. It could be the side effect of diseases such as psoriasis or hystrix, or it can reflect the lack of care to nails. Vertical nail ridges are normal and harmless, but horizontal ridges (known as Beau’s lines) can indicate injury to the nail, nutritional deficiency, infection or high fever. If your nails become rounded, it could indicate health issues such as lung cancer, intestinal disorders, or endocrine disease.

* Lines on your nails could indicate renal failure

White lines across the width of the nail bed (known as Muehrcke’s lines), are associated with renal failure and sickle cell anemia. White lines that grow out with the nail are known as Mees’ line and are associated with arsenic or thallium poisoning. Dark stripes running down the nail can indicate a form of skin cancer, according to NHS.

* Beware of split nails

Onycholysis or fingernails separating from the nail bed can lead to injury, infection, or drug reactions. Brittle nails can be caused by iron deficiency.

Follow @htlifeandstyle for more

First Published: Oct 27, 2017 12:51 IST