Fingernail problems that must not be ignored

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 12, 2013
Quick Bites

  • Fingernails reveal a lot about the state of your health.
  • Dark nail tips may indicate liver diseases.
  • Spoon nails are a sign of iron deficiency.
  • People with psoriasis may have pitted nails.

Not many among us pay attention to our fingernails. Fingernails reveal a lot about the state of your health. Healthy nails are smooth, without ridges or grooves, of a uniform colour and without spots or discoloured areas. If you have a tiny yellowy tinge, a dark spot or a bumpy surface, it is not a good sign. However, everyday wear-and-tear and environment do play a role in appearance of nails.

You must have a basic understanding of fingernail warning signs, nail conditions should you take notice of. Below are some of the fingernail problems that shouldn’t be ignored.

Fingernail health

Terry's nails: The tip of nail(s) turns dark band. Attributed as a sign of aging, but is also indicative of underlying condition such as liver disease, congestive heart failure or diabetes.

Spoon nails: Also referred to as koilonychias, spoon nails is a condition of nails scooping out. It is usually a sign of iron deficiency (anaemia), liver condition known as hemochromatosis, heart disease and hypothyroidism.

Nail pitting: A small depressions in the nails is the characteristic of nail pitting. The condition is more common in people who have psoriasis. Among other medical conditions it is indicative of include connective tissue disorders such as Reiter's syndrome and alopecia areata.

Beau's lines: Indentations running across the nails is an attribute of beau’s lines. These become evident when the area under the cuticle is interrupted by injury or severe illness. Medical conditions associated with fingernail problem include diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, scarlet fever, measles, mumps and pneumonia.

Nail clubbing: The fingers tips enlarge and the nails curve around the fingertips. It is usually a result of low oxygen in the blood. You should not ignore the condition as it could be a sign of lung disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and AIDS.

Yellow nail syndrome: As the name suggests, yellowish discoloration of the nails is the characteristic of this condition. In the nail syndrome, nails thicken and new growth slows. It is associated with respiratory disease such as chronic bronchitis and swelling of the hands (lymphedema).

Nail separation:
Also known as onycholysis, nail separation is attributed to the fingernails becoming loose and separating from the nail bed. The detached nails are associated with injury, infection, reaction to a particular drug or consumer product, thyroid disease and psoriasis.

Fingernail care can keep away many nail conditions. So, keep fingernails in best condition you can. If fingernails don’t seem strong and healthy in appearance, don’t ignore but seek assistance.


Image Source: Getty

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