Your body is an incredible machine in the way it performs and when you pay close attention to the subtle changes that occur, can help you to identify whats going on in your body.
Awareness of SELF plays an important role in maintaining good health and not ignoring changes that occur in your body.
If you want an overview of your health, have a look at your fingernails and toenails as they can paint a picture of your overall health.
Most nail abnormalities are due to trauma or a fungal infection, however, sometimes they may indicate more severe systemic conditions.
Nail clubbing is a deformity of the finger or toenails associated with a number of diseases, mostly of the lungs and heart.
Clubbing can be harmless and run in families, however if they occur suddenly may be a sign of many medical conditions, including:
Fore more in-depth information on nail clubbing, read here.
Totally white nails present since birth may be an inherited condition with no affect to general health. If it occurs later in life, it may be a sign of several systemic diseases, including:
Nail pitting or small dents on the surface of your nails can be a sign of the following diseases:
Half and half nails (also known as “Lindsay’s nails”) show the top half of the nail white and the bottom half red, pink, or brown, with a sharp line of demarcation between the two halves.
It’s estimated up to 40% of people with kidney failure have “half-and-half” nails.
Yellow discolouration of the nails usually occurs as a result of a nail fungal infection or psoriasis of the nail.
If you see a dark stripe or line running down the nail, it is not something to ignore as it may sometimes be a form of skin cancer that affects the nail bed, called subungual melanoma.
Melanoma of the nail usually affects either a thumb nail or great toenail but any finger or toenail may be involved.
It’s important that your doctor or dermatologist checks it to rule out melanoma.
There is one exception if you are dark skinned and have dark stripes running down your nail. This is known as linear melononychia and is quite common in over 77% of the black population and is perfectly normal.
As a precaution or if you’re not sure, get it looked at by your doctor.
Grooves or deep lines that go across the nail horizontally are known as Beau’s Lines. They may look like indentations or ridges across the nail plate.
Nails that are brittle, split or peel into layers, affect as much as 20 percent of the population.
Blue nails can be a sign of various disorders and should be checked out and one that you should stay alert to. When oxygen levels are low, blood turns blue-red and can show signs of a blue nail.
Very cold temperatures can temporarily slow the flow of blood through the skin leading to the bluish colour, but this usually goes away when you warm up.
If your nails curve inward and gives an appearance of a spoon shaped nail, this is known as koilonychia. Sometime the curvature can be deep enough to hold a water droplet.
Splinter haemorrhages are tiny blood clots that tend to run vertically under the nails.
As mentioned before, your nails can paint a picture about your overall health.
Ignoring subtle changes that occur in your nails may prevent an early diagnosis of a systemic condition.
Seek medical attention from your doctor, dermatologist or podiatrist if you notice any abnormalities in your nails.
Have you suffered from any of the nail conditions mentioned in this post? We would love for you to share your story and your outcome.
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