To everyone's knowledge, the nail acts as a protective structure protecting the ends of the fingers and toes, however, a shortage in the supply of an essential element in the body changes the appearance of the nails first before it starts affecting any other part of the body. Therefore, regularly checking out your nails is a good way to check your health status. Here are things to watch out for when checking the nails;
The change in the color of the nails should definitely call for concern because it's indicating a particular deficiency in the body. Nails naturally are transparent or a bit dark in color depending on the individual, but when it's now whitish in color, then it means the individual might be suffering from liver diseases, kidney not functioning properly or heart condition according to Mayo clinic. Also yellow nails is usually caused by fungus infections or worse, thyroid disease or psoriasis. A blue nails indicate your body is reacting to cold or as a result of cyanosis (when RBC lacks enough oxygen). Finally, if your nails has a shade of green coloration, such individual is suffering from a green nail syndrome caused by a bacterial known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. If you notice any of these discoloration which is natural and not as a result of a manicure visits, then quickly visit a medical practitioners and complain for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Unusual shape and texture
The shape and texture of nails also acts as an indicator to certain deficiency in the body. Having a ram's horn nail for example is a condition where a very thick nail grows underneath your nail, it is usually the side effects of psoriasis or hystrix, it can also occur when you refuse to take good care of the nails. Pronounced horizontal ridges on the nails known as Beau's line may be caused by an undetected injury to the nail matrix, unbalanced diets, and drug reactions. Finally, digital clubbing where the nails become round and big may be caused by lungs cancer, intestinal disorders or endocrine disease.
White and dark lines
White lines along the width of the nails is called Muehrcke's line, it is associated with diseases such as pellagra, renal failure and sickle cell anemia, another white line known as Mees' line is mainly related to arsenic poisoning. Dark stripes which also appears on the nail known as linear melanonychia. These are normal in some individuals, but could also point to a form of skin cancer.
Cracking of the nails may result from injuries of the fingers, infections or even drug reactions, splitting nails may be as a result of iron deficiency in the body causing nail brittleness.
So if you notice a particular irregular shape or form of your nails, visit a medical practitioner as soon as you can for diagnosis and treatment.