The last place we often look when it comes to our health is our nails. Nails not only serve as protection for your fingers and toes but can be a crystal ball to what’s going on in your body and if you need to take a trip to your doctor’s.
How do nails reveal details?
But just what should you be on the lookout for? Read on to find out 3 thinks what your nails are telling you.
1. If Your Nails Are Brittle-
If your nails are flimsy, and easily chip and peel, it could be a sign that you have brittle nails. If you do realize you have brittle nails, this isn’t causing alarm. Often times, brittle nails are a sign of aging; normally, older people have brittle nails.
Other Reasons Why Your Nails are Brittle
In any case, there are other reasons behind why your nails are weak and chipping. Brittle nails could be an indicator of hypothyroidism, which is an endocrine disorder where your thyroid isn’t as active as it should be. It could also be a sign that you are malnourished, in which case eat those vitamins along with a well-balanced diet.
The Downside of Nail Soaks
Or, brittle nails could be a result of soaking your nails too long in water, in which case skip out on that or alter give your nails enough time to dry before putting them under water.
You could switch up chores; for instance, break up the amount of time you spend washing the dishes so your nails can breathe.
Even better, why not wear dish gloves so you prevent your hands from getting soaked (and your manicure from chipping!).
2. If Your Nails Are Yellowing-
Like brittle nails, yellowing could be a sign of a behavior habit than a health concern. For some using a certain nail polish may be what’s causing your nails to yellow (slightly)
Why Can Nail Polish Cause Your Nails to Yellow?
Oftentimes, the chemical responsible for the yellow color is formaldehyde, which can also contribute to brittle nails as well. In which case, the (slight) yellowing (and brittleness) should disappear after discontinuing using that polish. You can also use a clear base coat to prevent yellowing in the future.
Other Reasons Why Your Nails Are Yellow
However, it also could be a fungal infection. According to Webmd, if the infection gets worse, your nails beds, unfortunately, could retract. Webmd goes on to state that in such rare cases yellowing nails could be a sign of a health condition such as lung disease, psoriasis, diabetes, or thyroid disease.
3. If Your Nails Are Pale-
On the other end of the spectrum, your nails could have a ghostly appearance. This could be a sign that you are anemic (in other words, your blood count is low) or your iron levels are on the low end.
In which case, you’ll want to eat more iron-rich foods like red meat, leafy greens, and beans to boost those iron levels up and get those nails back to looking healthy.
Other Reasons Why Your Nails Are Pale
Your nails could be pale because of an unnoticed health condition like early onset diabetes or liver disease, which could affect blood flow.
Bonus: If Your Nails Are Blue…
Yes, nails can (and do) turn blue. If you’re staring at your nails and notice a bluish tinge to them, here’s why that may be. Blue is normally a sign that your body isn’t getting the oxygen that it needs.
So, your blue nails (as much as your face) is a sign that for some reason your body has a lack of oxygen. As Webmd states, there could be several health reasons why the blue color: emphysema been associated with blue nails, not to mention certain heart problems.
What You Want Your Nails to Look Like?
Overall, you want your nails to not be too thick but not too thin. Your nails should be strong and healthy, not falling prey to peeling or chipping.
Color-wise, your nails need to be relatively clear looking (but not ghostly). Any other abnormal coloring could be a sign of an environment or health problem. In some cases, (as mentioned) the way your nails look may come down to how old you are.
Final Thoughts: Nail Health 101
- While nail soaks aren’t bad, don’t soak your nails for too long. Also, wear gloves when doing yard work or washing dishes as an extra protective barrier.
- Make sure you cut your nails regularly but try not to cut them too short in which the skin the nail protects is exposed, as this could cause irritation.
- Wash your hands frequently to prevent grime and dirt from building up in your nails. And, eat a well-balanced nutritious diet and drink lots of water; as the saying goes “you are what you eat.”
- Also, make sure you indulge every once and a while and pamper yourself. This could mean getting a manicure at the salon or giving yourself a DIY manicure with polish from Pink Gellac or the drug store.
- No matter however hectic your schedule is, it’s important for your well-being to carve out some “you” time for yourself to get centered; for some, that 15-minute manicure is all it takes.
If you do notice that your nails are brittle, yellow, blue, pale…or simply don’t look normal, go to the doctor’s and get the medical help you need. Have you had brittle, pale, yellow, or blue nails before? What other nail health tips can you offer? Leave a comment.