Fingernails: A Window To Your Health

Photo-of-fingernails-indicate-health-LocateADocFingernails come in many shapes and sizes. For the most part, that is totally fine. Sometimes, however, how your nails look can indicate health and wellness issues elsewhere in the body. Here are some other visual clues that are worth checking out.

Ideally, you want your nails to be slightly pink beneath the surface, with a nice white edge. The nail itself should be smooth with a cuticle that lays flat against the nail.

Be on the lookout for very pale nails. If they do not have that pink coloration all the way through and are very chalky or clear, it may be a sign of illnesses such as anemia, liver disease, or congestive heart failure.

White nails are also something to worry about. If the outer rim is much darker than the interior of the nail, it can indicate hepatitis or other liver issues. If the nails have a jaundiced appearance, or yellowed skin around the nail, this may also signal liver problems.

Jaundiced skin around the nail is not to be confused with another health and wellness indicator - actual yellowed nails. Yellow nails are often a sign of a fungal infection, but in more severe cases can reveal thyroid disease, diabetes, or psoriasis.

Blue nails are also a warning sign, as they can be caused by a lack of oxygen. This may be indicative of a problem with the lungs, like emphysema. This is easy to remember, since we talk about turning blue when a person holds their breath.

In addition to colored nails, there are many other characteristics that could indicate a serious health and wellness issue. They include rippled or pitted nails, cracked and splitting nails, and dark lines under the nail.

Other symptoms usually accompany nail discoloration if there is something seriously wrong with you. If you are concerned and are experiencing any of these issues, see a dermatologist or find a doctor in your area.

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