The Nail Tale: What Your Nails Are Trying To Tell You

The Nail Tale: What Your Nails Are Trying to Tell You

Kar Kei Wong by Kar Kei Wong on Mar 26, 2016
Why you should care

Your nails are trying to talk to you. Here’s the translation.

There’s more to your nails than you know. Beneath your posh polish and fancy bling, your nails might be trying to point out a possible health risk!

Don’t know how to read the signs? Well, that’s what we’re here for!

1 Yellow Nail Syndrome

yellow nails from smoking

Appearance: sour yellow colour

Symptoms: discolouration, thickened nails, and slow growth.

Possible health risks: respiratory diseases and swelling of hands.

Causes: smoking and excessive use of nail lacquers.

What to do: lay off the nail pampering for a little while! You should also check your nail and hand products to see if they have passed their expiry dates. If the problem does not go away after a week or two, it’s probably time to pay your doctor a visit. Also, lay off the cigarettes, those are not good for you, in any way.

2 Terry’s Nails

Appearance: whitish nails with narrow pink band before the nail edge.

Symptoms: thinning nails appear opaque, with wrinkles surrounding the nails.

Possible health risks: liver disease, congestive heart disease, and kidney failure.

Causes: aging, malnutrition; and liver, kidney, and heart problems

What to do: keeping your nails clean is the key! Use soap when washing your hands and be sure to pat your nails dry each time.

3 Cracked or Split Nails

shea butter and nuts

Appearance: opaque with a slightly white, yellow, or green tinge.

Symptoms: loose nail that feels like it can separate from the nail bed.

Possible health risks: injury or infection, thyroid disease.

Causes: swimming, overuse of nail polish remover, certain types of nail hardeners or /adhesives, low-humidity environment, and frequent dish-washing without gloves.

What to do: using a lotion that contains shea butter of hyaluronic acid, mild symptoms should disappear soon after proper care.

4 Spoon Nails

Soybeans and Chickpeas

Appearance: concave and looks scooped out.

Symptoms: a drop of water can settle on the surface, and nail feels soft.

Possible health risks: most likely iron deficiency anaemia or heart disease.

Causes: lack of iron in the diet.

What to do: introduce soybeans and chickpeas to your daily diet! They are excellent sources of iron and can go with a variety of dishes.

5 Nail Clubbing

Appearance: curved nails with a bluish tint and enlarged finger tips.

Symptoms: slight discomfort at finger tips.

Possible health risks: Low oxygen in the blood, emphysema, and cardiovascular or lung disease.

Causes: heart or lung problems.

What to do: seek professional help as this might be serious – the sooner, the better!

6 Dark Lines

Appearance: indentations across nails – obvious, dark coloured vertical or horizontal lines from one end of the nail to another.

Symptoms: while dark lines on nails are common among those with darker skin, watch out for dark lines that change in appearance.

Possible health risks: Melanoma (the most dangerous type of skin cancer), zinc deficiency, measles, mumps, or pneumonia.

Causes: scarlet fever, tumour, malnutrition.

What to do: Do not confuse ridges and lines! Ridges could just be a side effect of aging but when there are clearly defined lines across your nails (or if you’re unsure), see a doctor immediately!

7 Terribly Bitten

Biting Nails from Stress

Appearance: extremely short and uneven, and occasionally bleeding

Symptoms: constantly short nails

Possible health risks: obsessive-compulsive disorder

Causes: extreme stress and anxiety

What to do: talk to someone about your problems. Don’t keep all your feelings inside – they might eat you (and your nails) up.

Why you should care

Your nails are trying to talk to you. Here’s the translation.

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