You might not even think about your fingernails except to clip, file, paint or otherwise improve their appearance.
But, your fingernails do more than just make you look good, they also provide a window to your health.
In fact, small signs on your nails could be warning you of big health problems down the road.
Let’s take a look at the 10 things your fingernails could be trying to tell you about your health.
1 Bluish nails
Nails that have a blue tint are a sign of a lack of oxygen in your blood. This can be caused by problems in your heart and lungs and should immediately be checked by your doctor.
2 Brittle nails
Sometimes brittle nails are caused by nothing more than using chemical polish remover too often or even frequent dishwashing. But, they can also be a sign of hypothyroidism.
If you have brittle nails and are suffering from any of the symptoms of low thyroid, like fatigue, weight gain, memory loss, cold hands and feet or trouble sleeping ask your doctor to check your thyroid. And, since many thyroid conditions are missed by doctors who only check your TSH levels, be sure to request a full thyroid panel.
3 Pitted nails
Pits or dents in your nails can be a sign of psoriasis, an inflammatory arthritis. Other autoimmune disorders as well as connective tissue disorders could also be to blame so be sure to visit your doctor for testing.
4 Clubbed nails
Clubbed nails are nails that curve downward and are generally softer while the tips of your fingers widen or appear larger. This is a sign of a serious problem. It can indicate low oxygen in your blood, lung disease, liver disease, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease or even AIDS.
5 Yellow nails
Yellow nails can be caused by nail polishes or by smoking but, if they are both yellow and thickened, the most likely culprit is a fungal infection.
6 Nails with dark spots
If you have dark spots or lines within your nails, see your doctor immediately. These can be signs of melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of cancer.
7 Spoon nails
If your nails curve up, like the shape of a spoon, it’s usually a sign of iron deficiency or anemia. Other possibilities are liver or heart disease or hypothyroidism.
8 Terry’s nails are when your fingernails look mostly white with a narrow band of pink at the top. This can be due to aging but could also be a sign of liver disease, congestive heart failure, kidney failure or diabetes.
9 Red Nails
A deeper red versus a healthy pink for your nails can indicate heart problems. Also, if the redness is seen on the skin around the sides of your nails and cuticles, it can indicate an autoimmune disorder such as Lupus.
10 Pale nails
Very pale nails can indicate anemia, liver disease, congestive heart failure or malnutrition.
If you see any of these signs on your fingernails, get an appointment with your doctor to have it checked out further. The sooner you address a possible health concern, the more likely you are to be able to beat it and live a long, healthy active life.