Eyes may be the windows to the soul, but nails can offer an important glimpse into your overall health. It turns out, having strong, healthy nails isn’t just good news for your manicure unpleasant nail symptoms could also indicate bigger health problems.
1. Dry, cracked, or brittle nails
This issue is a common one, and there are a few possible causes. Soft, brittle nails can occur from dryness on the nail plate, This could be from swimming, overuse of nail polish remover, frequent dish washing without gloves, or just from living in a low-humidity environment. Other possible causes include chemicals (such as if you’re frequently exposed to cleaning products) or aging. However, if brittle nails are an ongoing problem, speak to your doctor: sometimes hypothyroidism (a condition where the thyroid works too slowly) causes this side effect, too.
Clubbing of the nails is when the ends of your fingers swell and the nail becomes curved and rounded. It can sometimes be a sign of liver or kidney disease.
3. White spots
Many people believe that white spots on nails indicate a calcium deficiency, but this isn’t typically the case. Usually, those white spots are not very significant. They’re often the result of minor trauma, such as if you whack your finger against something, and aren’t generally to do with calcium.
4. Horizontal ridges
This is typically the result of direct trauma to the nail or a more serious illness, in which case you’ll see it on more than one nail at a time. It can also be caused by a drug reaction.
5. Vertical ridges
This is usually a normal sign of aging. Just like wrinkles on your face, you also get lines on your nails as you age.
6. Severely bitten nails
Nail-biting is a common habit, but if it’s excessive—say, constant biting or picking at the skin around the nails—it could be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
7. Spoon nails
“Spoon” nails refer to a very thin nail which has become concave in shape. This is usually a sign of iron deficiency anemia. Extremely pale nails could also be a sign of iron deficiency anemia.
8. Dark stripes or a painful growth
If you have black discoloration on your nails (such as black streaks) or a painful growth on the nail.
To keep your nails away from all the problem stated above
- Use a milky hand wash. The clearer the cleanser, the more it may dry out your skin. Also avoid soaps that contain harsh chemical and instead look for naturally antibacterial ingredients such as tea tree oil or eucalyptus.
- Never put your hands in hot or icy water. Hot water makes the skin dry by taking away sebum; cold can cause a constriction and then a dilation of capillary vessels, leading to redness.
- Lube up with oils. Oils are the best way to get moisture into the skin
- Learn proper cuticle care. If cuticles are dry and torn, any manicure will look old. However, cutting cuticles can open you up to infection and make them look worse. Exfoliate hands with a body scrub, then nip only hangnails that you can wiggle.
- Moisturize post sanitizer. It’s a step most of us wouldn’t think to do, but it’s important: High amounts of alcohol can dehydrate skin and nails, making polish chip faster.
- Protect with sunscreen. Your hands can wrinkle and spot just as fast as your face.