Find out what your nails say about your health. Some serious health problems might be lurking under your pedicure or manicure.

1. PITTING AND GROOVING

Pitting are the small cracks and depressions on your nail bed and are associated with psoriasis. Psoriasis is known to be an inflammatory disease that causes red and scaly patches all over the body.

People who have psoriasis develop clusters of cells along the nail bed. This can accumulate and interfere with the smooth and linear growth of a normal nail. As these cells are sloughed off, depressed or grooves areas are left on the surface on the nails.

A physical examination by a doctor can establish diagnosis and they can recommend oral, topical or injected medications and even therapy.

2. YELLOWING OR THICKENING

Nails that are thickened, yellow or whitish and splitting or crumbling are signs of a fungal infection. You can ask your doctor for medications or anti-fungal creams.

3. WHITE SPOTS

Have you noticed little white spots on your nails? These spots are called leukonychia, they are quite common and are caused mostly by trauma to your nails.

These spots usually grow and fade out after a few weeks. But if it doesn’t disappear over time, you should see your doctor.

4. WHITE LINES

Muehrcke’s lines are horizontal white lines that covers the entire nails and appear on more than one nail. These lines can be an indication of liver abnormalities, lack of nutrients or proteins and kidney disease.

These lines are caused by the disruption in blood supply to the nail bed because of any underlying disease.

5. BLUE NAILS

Blue nails is a sign that you’re not getting enough oxygen to your fingertips. The cause can be a a vascular problem called Raynaud’s Disease or a respiratory disease. Raynaud’s Disease is a rare disorder of the blood vessels.

Some people may just have a slower blood circulation, most especially when they are exposed to cold temperatures. But it is better to have a doctor check your oxygenation and blood levels if your nails are persistently blue.

6. BRITTLE NAILS

Brittle and dry nails are usually not signs of a serious health problem. This can be a sign that you’re nails are overexposed to strong chemicals or detergents.

7. DARK LINES

You should not ignore black or dark brown vertical lines on your nail bed. These can be a sign of melanoma that requires early detection and treatment.

8. CLUBBING

If you have this condition, your fingertips slowly get larger and the fingernails curve over them. This is linked to low blood oxygen from the heart or due to lung diseases like lung cancer, cystic fibrosis and emphysema.

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