Know your Nails
A healthy nail should generally be in pink colour. If not then their might be some imperfections which are usually ignored like: White spots Pale or white nails Yellow nails Half white, half pink nails
- White spots: This is usually caused by trauma to the nail, but could also be due to vitamin or mineral deficiency, especially iron and zinc.
- Pitting: These are small depressions in the nail plate and are associated with psoriasis and eczema.
- Brittle nails: Generally associated with iron deficiency and biotin deficiency but may be indicative of kidney disorder, thyroid or circulation problems. Also seen in Raynaud disease and gangrene.
- Ridges: Ridges can appear vertically or horizontally. Horizontal lines are called Beau lines usually caused by severe illness, stress or trauma. Vertical lines are indicative of psoriasis, skin infection and alopecia.
- Thick, distorted nails: Signify fungal infection.
- Excessively flexible nails: May signify deficiency of calcium and sometimes protein.
- Pale or white nails: Anaemia, and in severe cases of iron deficiency, lead to spoon-shaped nails.
- Terry’s (White) nails: Associated with liver disease, diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, and malnutrition.
- Bluish nails: Usually caused by lack of oxygen, indicate circulatory problems, heart and lung problems or blood toxicity.
- Yellow nails: Due to lymphatic obstruction, sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis, nephrotic syndrome, thyroiditis, tuberculosis, Raynaud’s disease, vitamin E deficiency, poor circulation, liver problems, respiratory problems, diabetes, fungal infection, or prolonged use of nail polish without a base coat.
- Red nail bed: Indicates heart disease
- Half white, half pink nails: May signal kidney disease.
So be it long or short, groomed or uncared for, nails do offer warning signs of malnutrition, infection and underlying disease. The next time you visit your doctor, ask him to take a look at your nails, because healthy nails reveal a healthy you.