Have you ever experienced or noticed certain cracked or yellowish or black line or white spots on your fingernails or that of anyone? Do you know such seemingly harmless fingernail symptoms can be a larger indication of your health issues? Yes, it is said that the condition of our fingernails can be the window to our overall health.
According to John Anthony, MD, a dermatologist at the Clevland Clinic in Ohio, and Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist and author of ‘Skin Rules’, there are certain fingernail symptoms that we should not ignore. In this post, we bring you a list of different fingernail symptoms that reveal about our health. In other words, some of the most common health warning signs that are revealed by our fingernails.
1. Cracked or brittle nails
According to Dr. Jailman, cracked or brittle nails can be a sign that the nail plate is extremely dry and that the condition has also been linked to thyroid disease. He said that hypothyroidism sometimes causes this side effect as well.
2. Yellowish nails
According to WebMD, yellow nails are one of the most common warning signs our fingernails can give. It is said that one of the most common causes of yellow nails is a fungal infection. But in rare cases, they also say that it can indicate a more serious condition such as diabetes, thyroid disease or lung disease. Dr. Anthony adds that yellow nails could also be a cause of smoking, which can stain the nails.
3. Bitten nails
According to Medical Daily, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifies nail-biting as one of the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. While this does not mean that everyone who bites his nails has this disorder, Dr. Jailman explains that when this habit becomes excessive, one should consult the doctor.
4. White Spots
It is said that some people have mistakenly concluded that white spots on nails mean calcium deficiency. But Dr. Anthony says that they are often a result of trauma such as hitting the finger against something.
5. Pitted nailsAlso SeeAccording to MedicineNet, nail pitting is caused by the defective development of the layers of the nail plate, and it is common for those suffering from psoriasis. It is said that nail pitting can affect up to 50 per cent of people who are suffering from this condition. Dr. Jailman suggests that if one is experiencing any pitting or dents in the nails, one should consult with the doctor.
6. Ridged nails
According to Dr. Anthony, the reason people will see horizontal ridges on their nails is that there could be direct trauma to the nail, or it could be a cause of a more serious illness. He said that the reason for this is because the body is focusing its energy on fighting the illness rather than the nails.
7. Discolored or dark lines beneath
According to Dr. Anthony, discoloration or a dark line on the nail can sometimes be caused by melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. He elaborates that melanoma that comes from the nail unit is extremely serious and it can also cause a black line or stripe on the nail. He said that if one notices this, one should contact the doctor immediately.
8. Bluish nails
WebMD explains that when your nails become bluish, it is a sign that the body may not be getting enough oxygen. Possible causes could be lung problems and heart problems. If you notice that this is happening on a continuous basis, you should consult your doctor.