4 Things Your Nails Can Say About Your Health
Your nails are a very good reflection of your health. Many things can occur in the nails that can signify systemic or skin problems.
Pay attention to anything on or around your fingernails or toenails that suddenly appears different. Anything that doesn’t look normal ought to be addressed. Your best course of action is to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Here are six conditions that can also cause symptoms in the nails. However, for a diagnosis, it’s important to see your doctor, who will take many factors into account besides nail symptoms.
Fingernails and toenails are closely related to hair. Just as your hair might fall out after an illness or a prolonged period of stress, your nails can also exhibit symptoms. Most frequently, stress will cause side-to-side lines to appear on your nails.
- Moles or melanoma
You should consult a dermatologist if the skin under the nail plate – the hard part of the nail, covering the fingertips – develops any brown coloring. These developments are always more of a concern if they affect a single finger instead of all. Brown lines that run into the cuticle could be a sign of melanoma. Ones that stop at or before the cuticle are likely caused by moles.
Small cysts that grow near or on the cuticles may arise with arthritis. These are benign and best addressed by a hand surgeon.
- Kidney disease
Several nail changes can indicate the presence of acute or chronic kidney disease.
Beau’s lines: These side-to-side lines can be a symptom of acute kidney disease.
Ridged nails: Also called koilonychia, rough nails with ridges can exist in the presence of kidney disease. These nails are also frequently spoon-shaped and concave, and they can point to iron-deficiency anemia.
White streaks/spots: Similar to psoriasis cases, distinct white streaks and spots on nails can point to chronic kidney disease.
Preventing underlying conditions that impact your nails isn’t always possible, but you can care for your nails by staying hydrated and eating a well-balanced diet. Be sure you’re consuming enough Vitamin B and zinc because those nutrients greatly strengthen your nails.
In many cases, changes to your nails can be normal and don’t point to any undiagnosed health changes. But, if you have a question, consulting your doctor is always best.