Fingernail Problems That May Indicate Health Issues – Take a Careful Look at Your Nails

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Your fingernails can give you some important indications of a possible health issue. These signs should be paid attention to. In some cases you may even want to seek medical attention. This article is for information only and if you are concerned you should seek advice from your physician.

Here are some conditions or signs that you should possible pay close attention to:

YELLOW DISCOLORATION

Yellow nails could result from stains (i.e. smoking, nail polish) but could also result from a condition that causes the nail growth to slow down. Yellowing in your fingernails could be the result from a respiratory condition like chronic bronchitis. It might also result from lymphedema – which is the swelling of the hands. In the case of yellow nails, the nail actually thickens and new nail growth slows down and that results in the yellow colorization.

NAIL CLUBBING

Nail clubbing is when the tips of your fingers enlarge and your fingernails actually curve over and around your fingertips. This condition results from low oxygen levels in your blood and could be a sign of lung problems or disease. It could also be the result of other health issues such as inflammatory bowel disease or cardiovascular disease or a liver problem.

SEPARATION OF YOUR NAIL FROM THE NAIL BED

This is when your nails become loose and can even separate from the nail bed. This condition could be the result of an injury or infection to the nail; a drug reaction or reaction to a acrylic nails; a thyroid problem or even psoriasis.

HORIZONTAL RIDGES OR INDENTATIONS

These lines run across your nails and unlike normally harmless vertical ridges (which run the same direction as your nail grows). The horizontal lines or indentations occur because growth in the nail matrix or under the cuticle has been interrupted by a serious sickness or disease such as malnutrition, diabetes, circulatory problem or even an illness with a high fever.

NAIL FUNGUS

Fingernail or toe nail fungus often may start as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the nail. It can then spread deeper into your nail and cause it to change color (usually darker), look dull, get misshaped, get thicker or even develop “crumbly” edges and it may even have a slight odor. In addition to not looking very good it can also sometimes be pretty painful.

PITTING NAILS

Fingernail pits are small indents or depressions in the nail itself. They might be the result of a nail injury, but are also common to those with psoriasis (scaly skin patches). The pitting nails often accompany conditions that can damage your nails cuticle. This can include chronic dermatitis of your fingers (alopecia areata) which is an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss. Pitting can actually cause your nails to crumble in some cases.

OPAQUE or WHITE NAILS

With this condition your fingernails look opaque but up at the end of the nail near the tip is a dark band. This may only be a sign of aging but it could also be a sign of a more serious illness like a liver, heart or nutrition issue.

CURLED NAILS

Curled fingernails or spoon nails is called koilonychias. The nails are soft and look scooped out or like a spoon. The “scooped out” area or depression can usually actually hold a bit of liquid. This type of nail could be an indication of iron deficiency anemia.

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Source by Derek John

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