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WHAT DOES YOUR NAILS SAY ABOUT YOUR HEALTH?

“Take Control of Your Health Naturally”

Having strong healthy looking nails not only screams volumes about your manicure but it also says a lot about your health.  There are several things you should reexamine when it comes to your nails.

Dark stripes or a painful growth

If you have black discoloration on your nails (such as black streaks) or a painful growth on the nail, see your doctor immediately. Melanoma that comes from the nail unit is serious, and can sometimes cause black lines or stripes to appear on the nail.  If you see those changes happening on your nails, it’s important to see a doctor.  Although melanoma is generally less common in Hispanic, Asian and black populations, these patients may actually be more likely to see dark stripes when the disease is present.  With that being said making a trip to the doctor even more important.

Pitting

If your nails are covered with pits or dents, this could be a sign that you have psoriasis.  This is definitely something you should bring to your doctor’s attention.

“Spoon” nails

“Spoon” nails refer to a very thin nail which has become concave in shape. This is usually a sign of iron deficiency anemia.  It can be treated with iron supplements.  Extremely pale nails could also be a sign of iron deficiency anemia. 

Severely bitten nails

Nail-biting is a common habit, but if it’s excessive like constant biting or picking at the skin around the nails, it could be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Sometimes psychiatric medicine is required to treat OCD-related nail biting. A bitter-tasting compound that’s polished onto the nails can also be used to help.

Vertical ridges

This is usually a normal sign of aging. Just like wrinkles on your face, you also get lines on your nails as you age.

Horizontal ridges

This is typically the result of direct trauma to the nail or a more serious illness, in which case you’ll see it on more than one nail at a time.  When your body is working overtime to combat an illness, it saves its energy for the important stuff. Your body is literally using all of its energy for everything else besides making nails.

Another possible cause for those side-to-side ridges can also be caused by a drug reaction, such as chemotherapy.

Yellow nails

This can happen naturally with age. It can also be due to nail lacquers or acrylic nails. If you often wear acrylic nails or paint your nails and are having this problem, try taking a break from the salon and give nails a chance to recover. Another possible cause: smoking, which can stain nails and give them a yellowish hue.

Dry, cracked, or brittle nails

This issue is a common one, and there are a few possible causes. Soft, brittle nails can occur from dryness on the nail plate.  This could be from swimming, overuse of nail polish remover, frequent dishwashing without gloves, or just from living in a low-humidity environment. Other possible causes include chemicals such as cleaning products or aging. However, if brittle nails are an ongoing problem, speak to your doctor: sometimes hypothyroidism (a condition where the thyroid works too slowly) causes this side effect, too.

To soothe cracked nails, use a super-moisturizing lotion. Like your skin, nails are absorbent, and lotion can prevent them from drying out in the future.   Choose a product that contains hyaluronic acid, glycerin or organic Shea butter.   If that doesn’t help, you can also try taking biotin, an over-the-counter nutritional supplement that promotes healthy nail growth.

Clubbing

When the ends of your fingers swell and the nail becomes curved and rounded can sometimes be a sign of liver or kidney disease.  If you’re experiencing this, speak to your doctor.

White spots

Many people believe that white spots on nails indicate a calcium deficiency, but this isn’t typically the case.  Usually, those white spots are not very significant.  They’re often the result of minor trauma, such as if you hit your finger against something.

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2 Comments

  1. Melani Lukito

    Hi Angela. Sometime my nail color is pale so I guess that is the sign of anemia. So, do you think that we better not use nail coat as often as we can, don’t you? What do you think about that?

    • Angela

      Allowing your nails to air out can help with the nail color. If you are anemic you can supplement your diet with iron rich foods that should help with your nail color.

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Disclaimer:

Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your treating doctor. Call Mother Nature does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Call Mother Nature are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

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I am always discovering more natural ways to strive to be healthier and treat whatever ails you, or even help the environment.   As I do, I will update this website so please check us out periodically for new and exciting information.

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