Your nails say a lot about your health and well-being, but not everyone knows what they’re looking at. The next time you get a manicure or take some time to give yourself some self-care with that new nail polish you’ve been dying to try, look more closely at your nails, and you might be surprised at what they can tell you about your health—plus, they might just make you think twice about touching the nail tech with your bare hands! Here are eight surprising things your nails can say about your health, plus steps you can take to improve them.
1) Pale Nails can sometimes be a sign of Congestive heart failure
While this is not always the case, there may be a correlation between Pale nails and Congestive heart failure. This is because pale skin can indicate low levels of circulating blood volume, which can lead to congestive heart failure. Additionally, a decrease in melanin production due to lower levels of sunlight exposure or other factors could also contribute to pale nails.
Therefore, if you are experiencing shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling ankles or feet (especially at night), lowering your salt intake and increasing your water consumption may help reduce the risk of developing congestive heart failure.
2) Yellow nail is a fungal infection
It may be embarrassing, but yellow nails signify a fungal infection. If you notice your nails becoming white and yellow, you should visit your doctor for an examination. It is possible to catch a fungus from nail salons or touch contaminated surfaces, like bathrooms or pool water. Fungal infections are usually treated with antifungal medications like Lamisil (terbinafine).
You can also use natural products that help to eliminate fungi naturally, such as tea tree oil and vinegar, although these options may take longer to work. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible if you start experiencing symptoms of nail fungus.
3) Bluish Nails mean the body isn’t getting enough oxygen
There are a few reasons why nails might have a bluish tint, and one of them is lack of oxygen. When the body doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can turn blue-colored substances like hemoglobin into less pigmented forms. This results in anemia or reduced red blood cell count, which leads to nail discoloration. However, other factors can cause blue nails, including vein disease, liver diseases such as hepatitis C or cirrhosis, and cardiovascular problems like a heart attack or stroke. If you fall within these categories and notice that your nails have turned bluish-white or grayish-green over time, talk to your doctor about what you should do next.
4) Longer nail beds mean your body has enough protein
While there is some debate over whether longer nail beds mean that your body has enough protein, the consensus seems to be that this is true. Protein is key for maintaining healthy nails and skin, as it helps in collagen formation and repairs damage done to these tissues. Additionally, protein plays a role in keeping hair follicles functioning properly and aids in producing keratin, which forms the protective layer on our fingernails and skin.
So, while you might not have to worry about getting too much protein from traditional sources like meat or dairy products, taking advantage of bone broth or other high-protein foods can help meet your daily needs without extra fussing.
5) Rippled Nails are an early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis
If the nail surface is rippled or pitted, this may be an early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. Often these conditions are diagnosed much later when they have become more extensive and difficult to treat. For people with psoriasis, treatment usually includes tropical medicine and lifestyle changes such as avoiding excessive sunlight exposure and wearing sunscreen.
In cases of inflammatory arthritis, often traditional treatments include oral medications and/or corticosteroid injections into the joint. However, if left untreated, inflammation can damage surrounding tissues leading to even more serious complications.
6) Cracked or Split Nails linked to thyroid disease
There is some evidence to suggest that Cracked or Split Nails may be linked with thyroid disease. This is because when the nails are cracked or split, it allows water and bacteria access to the nail bed, leading to increased inflammation levels in the area. Additionally, this type of injury can also cause damage to the nail plate, which increases your chances of developing brittle nails and other typing problems associated with hypothyroidism.
If you’re concerned about your nail health and have signs or symptoms of hypothyroidism, it’s important to visit a doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor may recommend surgery if procedures such as antibiotics or corticosteroids do not resolve your condition.
7)Gnawed Nails are the sign of persistent anxiety
There might be some truth to this claim, as gnawed nails may be a sign of persistent anxiety. People with anxiety disorders tend to have poor eating habits and report difficulty chewing food properly. In addition, they often chew their nails excessively, leading to them losing significant amounts of protein and other nutrients. As a result, the nourishment that was once available from regular nail chewing has been lost.
Overall, if you notice yourself biting your nails or having trouble stopping the habit altogether, it might indicate an ongoing problem with anxiety.
8) Puffy Nail Fold sign of inflammation
A few different symptoms may indicate you have inflammation, one of which is the development of puffiness or folds in your nails. These folds can form from an accumulation of fluid inside the tissues beneath the nail plate and become particularly noticeable during periods of acute inflammation.
Other signs and symptoms associated with inflammation include redness, heat sensation, swelling, pain, tenderness, and difficulty moving your joints. If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention as they could point to something more serious like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. In most cases, however, simple treatment using over-the-counter medications will suffice.
It’s no secret that our nails can tell us a lot about our health. We discussed 8 surprising things your nails can say about your general well-being in this blog. From revealing your dietary habits to diagnosing certain health conditions, nails are essential for taking good care of yourself. So next time you go to the salon, don’t forget to ask your nails some questions!