Check Your Nails For These 8 Signs of Health Issues

Lauren Freeman

Journalist

What do we do with our nails? Their are kind of useless in our daily lives, what with not being fearsome claws that we could use to defend ourselves. And even if they were, we don't really need to do that much defending on a day to day basis. The only thing left is using them as fashion accessories.

However, fashionable as we are, we should still take a look at our nails now and then to see if they show any indicators that are saying something about our health. Now, no home diagnosis is ever going to beat a real visit to a real doctor, but looking at your nails first might help you take the plunge and go get checked up. Here are 8 signs to look out for!

1

A hint of blue on the fingernails

The human body turns blue mostly due to lack of oxygen. So blue fingernails might indicate that or more insidious respiratory and heart problems. You might even have an emphysema, which is a long-term, progressive lung disease. Go get yourself checked out!

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2

White fingernails

White fingernails - chalky white, to be precise - might be a sign of kidney disease and/or liver issues. See your doctor, especially if you notice your skin or the whites of your eyes turning yellow.

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3

Nail ripples

This one is subtle and might be hard to notice. However, it can be a sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. The former is an immune-mediated disease, which means you should see a doctor soon.

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4

Yellowish nails

Yellowish nails are not unusual in smokers, as nicotine might stain their nails. However, in other people, it might be a sign of psoriasis, lung or thyroid diseases.

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5

Frequent nail biting

If you bite your nails often, it might not just be a habit. You might be doing it to relax yourself when you're nervous. In this case, techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy might help.

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6

Cracked nails

Cracked nails like in the picture are a sign of a fungal infection or a thyroid issue.

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7

Dark lines on the nails

The dark lines on your nails might come for trauma - or from melanoma, the worst of skin cancers.

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8

Puffiness around the nails

If you notice swollen area around the nail which is warm to touch, it might be anything from a small infection, to lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. See a doctor.

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