One clear indicator of our overall health comes from the appearances of our nails. From their color and thickness, lumps and shapes, even just by observing their rate of growth, can signal red flags regarding possible illnesses or diseases.
- Yellow Nails may arise as you age, or if you wear nail polish too often. Having yellow nails can also mean respiratory problems (like chronic bronchitis) brought about by smoking, so be wary of the color of your nails!
- Brittle, dry and cracked nails are more of a lifestyle occurence, like if you are constantly in water or liquids with lots of chemicals. This can also arise from a fungal infection or thyroid diseases, as well as Vitamin A and B deficiencies.
- White spots on your nails, contrary to popular belief, are not due to Calcium deficiencies. These spots often appear after a traumatic experience, like getting your finger caught in a door or hitting it against something hard.
- Rippled, pitting nails may be a sign of Psoriasis. It could also be a leading symptom to Reiter’s Syndrome or Alopecia Areata (hair loss).
- Dark Discoloration is the most alarming nail appearance, and you should see a doctor immediately if this happens. This could mean Melanoma, a severe type of skin cancer.
The easiest way to keep your nails healthy and strong is to be healthy in general. Have a balanced diet with ample amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals to protect your nails and other parts of your body from fungi and other diseases. Seek out Biotin and vitamin B7 if you feel like your nails need an extra boost of strength. Also, avoid applying nail polish ever so often as to allow your nails to breathe, too. Try your best not to nibble on your nails when you are anxious or nervous, and regularly trim and clean them for better maintenance.