What Your Fingernails Can Tell You About Your Health, According to Western Medicine

By Sunny Chao, Epoch Times
March 24, 2019 Updated: March 27, 2019

Observing fingernails has been used to diagnose diseases  since ancient times. The growth and the color of fingernails or fingernail beds can be a strong indicator of health and physiological imbalances. So, let’s take a look at a few fingernail symptoms and what they could mean for your health!

Most of us trim our nails regularly and take care of them to maintain hygiene standards. Some people are used to wearing nail polish, but did you know that your fingernails could disclose the secret of your health condition?

Illustration – Shutterstock | RossHelen

Under normal conditions, your nails appear to be pink in color. When you press your fingernail, the nail-bed becomes white. The pink color will come back within a second or two after the pressure is released. However, if your nails stay white, you might need to pay some more attention to your health. Other colors such as a bluish or yellow tinge may also indicate different physical conditions.

Take a look at your nails and check if they have the following conditions:

1. If your nails are dry, cracked, or split…

Illustration – Shutterstock | Andrii Yurkevych11

It’s only natural having dry skin under certain conditions and the same goes for dry nails. It can be the result of swimming, using nail polish and acetone too often, washing dishes, exposure to cleaning chemicals, staying in a dry environment, or even aging. If it’s a constant problem, it might be caused by some thyroid issue, according to Health.

2. If there are dark lines beneath your nails…

I had a walk-in nail client a couple weeks ago. She had been going to the "NAILS" type salons for years. She had a…

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It could be the result of injuries such as having your fingers jammed in a door or stubbed by a hard object. This can cause dark patches on your nails, as blood clots tend to appear under the skin. But if the dark lines running down the nail do not result from injury, it could be a symptom of melanoma, a malignant tumor related to skin cancer.

3. If your nails appear very white…

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You might feel fatigued easily because white nails indicate that you probably have some serious illness, such as iron-deficiency anemia, liver and heart problems, or nutrient deficiencies. If most of your nails appear white with darker rims, you might be suffering from liver diseases such as hepatitis or jaundice, according to WebMD.

4. If your nails look rippled or pitted…

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According to Mercola, it may imply that you probably have psoriasis at the early stage or suffer from inflammatory arthritis. The nails can also be discolored and the skin under the nail can look reddish-brown.

5. If your nails look yellow…

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It may mean that you have a fungal infection, according to WebMD. Pay attention to the nail bed—if it is retracted, it means that the infection may be more serious.

Your nails might also become dry, thickened, and start to crumble. Yellow nails can also be a result of smoking, says Women’s Health. In some rare cases, yellow nails can also be a hint of psoriasis, diabetes, severe thyroid disease, or lung disease.

6. If you have swollen nail folds…

Illustration – Shutterstock | Lucian Milasan

It indicates that the skin around your nails is swollen, known as “inflammation of the nail fold.” It may also be caused by infection, lupus, or connective tissue disorder, according to WebMD.

Take a good look at your nails today—it would be a good idea to consult a physician in case you feel you are at risk, especially if these indications are coupled with other symptoms!

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