Nails, the Mirror of Your Health

The average nail must be solid, smooth & transparent as nail exhibits various health issues. By knowing these signs you can be forewarned of impending problem.

Editorial Team
Skin CareWritten by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Mar 15, 2011
Nails, the Mirror of Your Health

Having well-manicured hands and nails always make you feel good and nice about yourself. A well-kept hand shows an individual’s attention to details and hygiene.

pretty girl looking at her nailsGenerally, the nails must be solid, even, smooth, polished and transparent, but nails are not only for the purpose of display as they serve as indicator for your inner health and wellness. If you notice any changes in the appearance of your nails then it may mean either that you should change your diet or that something is wrong with your health. Nails can exhibit various health concerns and by studying these signs, you can be forewarned of any impending medical problem. Doctors often examine nails during medical checkups as it can signify deficiencies. Any changes in the nail colour, shape or appearance can be a sign of an internal disease or condition.

  • Pale or white looking nails can be a sign of the ageing process, but if you are young it can mean anemia, liver or kidney ailments, heart diseases, diabetes or general malnutrition.
  • Yellow coloured nails happen mostly when there is a fungal infection, which can cause the nails to break eventually as it affects the nail bed. Liver ailments, diabetes, lymphatic disorders, thyroid problems even psoriasis in rare cases, can be the issue.
  • Blue colour in nails is a sign that the body lacks oxygen which can be due to respiratory problems and even heart ailments.
  • Nail beds which have a grayish color can be a sign of malnutrition, heart problems and even arthritis.
  • Completely white nails can be a symptom of liver of kidney disease, such as hepatitis or jaundice.
  • Pits like formation on the nails or a rippled appearance of nails can be a sign of psoriasis or arthritis.
  • Nails that are dry and crack easily can be a symptom for thyroid disorders or deficiency of vitamin C, folic acid and proteins.
  • Nails that break easily signal deficiency in iron or vitamin B or circulatory problems. Nails which peel easily can mean a deficiency of zinc.
  • Nails that have irregular grooves or dents along with thinning, is a symptom of lichen planus of the nails.
  • Nails which are concaved shaped can be sign of iron or B12 deficiency.
  • Bulging of the nail bed can mean oxygen deficiency, which can be due to some heart problems.
  • Nails that are thicker than normal nails can signify problems related to circulation.
  • Visible vertical lines on the nail plate can be a sign of arthritis.
  • Horizontal lines on the nail plate can signify extreme stress.
  • Appearance of dark lines underneath the nail plate can sometimes be a sign of skin cancer.
  • Biting your nails can be a sign of anxiety and treatment should be sought.

If you want to have healthy looking nails, you should include these food items in your diet:

  • cheese,
  • yogurt,
  • chicken,
  • green vegetables,
  • nuts,
  • fish and seafood.

You should also drink more green tea and water, though, you may have to wait for the results of this diet as the nail plate renews once in three months.

Read more articles on Hand Care.