12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health

Chela Mibei
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Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and behold the humble fingernail. This unassuming part of your body is like a crystal ball, ready to reveal secrets about your overall health. Who needs a pricey medical exam when a glance at your nails can provide a sneak peek at what’s going on under the hood?

Don’t believe us? Well, grab a magnifying glass and prepare to be amazed! Here are 12 astonishing things your nails can tell you about your health. After this, you’ll never look at your hands the same way again!

Pale or Whitish Nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
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If your nails look pale or whitish, don’t brush it off as a lack of sunlight. This could be a sign of anemia, a condition where the body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to take oxygen to its tissues. It can also be a symptom of malnutrition and liver disease. So, if your nails look abnormally pale, it’s best to get a check-up and ensure everything is A-OK.

Yellow Nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
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Don’t be fooled by the thought that yellow nails are caused by wearing too much nail polish. While this can contribute, yellow nails can also signify a fungal infection or psoriasis. Skin cells build up in this condition and form itchy, red patches. If you notice your nails yellowing, consult a doctor for the proper treatment.

Blueish or Purple Nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
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Blueish or purplish nails are not something you should ignore. This could indicate poor circulation in the fingers due to low oxygen in the blood. It can also be a sign of heart or lung disease, so it’s best to get it checked out by a medical professional.

Spoon-Shaped Nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
Photo credit: The Haiti Mission Foundation via Flickr

Is the shape of your nails concave, like a spoon? This could mean you have iron deficiency anemia caused by a lack of iron. It can also be a sign of Raynaud’s disease, which affects blood flow to the fingers and toes. If your nails are spoon-shaped, it’s best to consult a doctor and check your iron levels.

Pitting or Dents on Nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
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If you notice small pits or dents on your nails, it could be a sign of psoriasis, alopecia areata (a type of hair loss), or eczema. These conditions cause inflammation in the body, which can affect nail growth and lead to these abnormalities. If you see dents on your nails, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist for correct diagnosis and treatment.

Clubbed Nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
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Are your fingertips round and bulbous? This could indicate clubbed nails, a condition where the tips of the fingers enlarge and the nail curves downwards. Clubbed nails can indicate lung, heart, liver, or inflammatory bowel disease. If you notice this nail shape change, consult a doctor to diagnose any underlying health issues.

White Spots on Nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
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Contrary to popular belief, white spots on nails are not caused by calcium deficiency. They are a typical result of minor injuries to the nail bed or allergic reactions to certain products. However, if you see increased white spots, it could be a sign of a fungal infection or psoriasis.

Brittle or Peeling Nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
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It could indicate several things if your nails constantly break, split, or peel. It may be due to a lack of vitamins and minerals, thyroid disease, or psoriasis. It can also be caused by too much exposure to harsh chemicals or frequent wetting and drying of nails.

Longitudinal Ridges on Nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
Dimitrios Malamos via wikimedia commons

Longitudinal ridges, or vertical lines on nails, are usually a normal part of aging. However, if they appear in a young person’s nails or become more profound and prominent, it could indicate underlying health issues such as iron deficiency anemia, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis.

White or Yellow Streaks on Nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
Elipongo//wikimedia commons

For various reasons, white or yellow vertical lines, or Beau’s lines, can appear on nails. They may result from trauma to the nail bed, psoriasis, fungal infection, or malnutrition. If you notice these lines on your nails, you should consult your doctor for the correct diagnosis and treatment.

Dark spots on nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
Photo credit: Tejinder Singh via Flickr

If you see dark spots or streaks on your nails, it could be a sign of melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can also affect the nail bed. These dark spots may appear brown, black, or even blue and should not be ignored. If you notice any unusual changes in your nails, consult with a doctor for immediate evaluation.

Half-white, half-pink nails

12 Things Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
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Also known as Terry’s nails, this condition is characterized by a white nail bed with a narrow pink strip at the top. While it can be a usual part of aging, it can also be a sign of underlying health issues such as liver disease, kidney failure, or diabetes. So, you notice a dramatic change in your nail color. In that case, it’s best to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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Author

  • Chela Mibei

    Chela excels in crafting insightful pieces, drawing from her background in finance and commerce. Her passions for reading, travel, writing, and volunteering enrich her contributions.

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