The human body is an amazing thing. Did you know your nail appearance can give you an inside look at your health? If your nails begin to look brittle or discolored, it may be your body’s way of hinting that it needs some medical attention. These six common nail abnormalities may be clues hinting at an underlying health condition.
Yellow Nail Appearance
Discolored nails can be the result of several different issues. If your nails start to turn yellow in color, you may want to talk to a health care professional about any underlying health issues you may be suffering from. Health conditions that involve yellowing nails as a side effect include diabetes, hypothyroidism, and psoriasis. Extra sugar in your body can cause a breakdown of collagen, which is what triggers the yellowing coloration in your nails. However, if your nails are yellow and become thicker, you may be suffering from a nail fungus.
Brittle nails may simply be the result of working with your hands too often and the loss of moisture. However, brittle nails can also be the result of vitamin deficiencies and poor nutrition. Vitamin A, vitamin C, and Biotin deficiencies are the main culprits behind the brittle nail appearance. Hypothyroidism may also produce brittle nails as a side effect.
Verticle Ridge Nail Appearance
Verticle ridges run from the cuticle of the nail to the bottom or tip. This condition can be caused by an iron deficiency but is also common with aging adults. This side effect may be paired with swelling toes, extreme urination, and weight reduction. In this case, you may have an iron deficiency. If you have some of these symptoms together, it may be a good idea to see a medical professional to run tests with your blood work.
Horizontal Ridge Nail Appearance
Horizontal ridges run side to side across the nail face. This abnormality may be a side effect of diabetes, kidney issues, or a zinc deficiency. This condition is commonly known as Beau’s lines.
Nail pits are shallow depressions or holes that are noticeable on the nail. This condition may be a side effect of psoriasis or alopecia areata. Both of these conditions involve the immune system attacking hair follicles. The nail will commonly suffer from these conditions, which results in the pitting in the nail plates.
Dark Colored Streaks
Dark-colored streaks or marks are the side effects of broken blood vessels, commonly from smashing your fingers. However, they can also be a side effect of psoriasis, melanoma, or endocarditis. If the streaks are fine and clean-looking, it may be a big clue that you are suffering from melanoma.
As you can see, many of these conditions are closely related to your diet and gut health. Taking care of your nutrition is a good first step to take when you start noticing these abnormalities in your nails. However, if these symptoms keep progressing and getting worse, you should see a health care provider as soon as possible. This will rule out any potential underlying diseases you could be suffering from.