What Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health
Soft, Brittle, Or Flaky Nails
Your nails might be weak due to some nail polishes or polish removers, or even everyday products with harsh chemicals like dish soaps and detergents. Weak nails, especially if they’re on your fingers and toes, can also be a sign of health conditions like hypothyroidism, Reynaud’s syndrome, or missing dietary nutrients.
Unusual Nail Colors
Nails should have a flesh-colored or pinkish tint, so if they turn white, yellow, bluish, greenish, brown, purple, red, or gray, it could indicate a health condition. These issues can include circulatory problems, cancer, infection, or nutrient deficiencies, so get your nails checked by your doctor to address any underlying conditions.
Swollen Nail Fold
When the nail fold swells up and becomes inflamed it is called paronychia and is usually the result of a bacterial infection. It can cause lasting damage to the nail and is most common in individuals whose hands frequently get cold or wet or those who have dermatitis, like bartenders, cleaners, or people with poor circulation.
Bad Nail Habits
Damaging the nails through biting or picking is particularly problematic, especially if it brings you shame or is so consistent that you can’t stop even when you hurt yourself. Nail biting or picking can be the result of an anxiety disorder and is usually accompanied by other symptoms like sleep problems and irritability.
Nail Separate From Nail Bed
When the nail peels off the nail bed, it is called onycholysis, and can be caused by trauma to the nail, wearing tight shoes, frequent manicure or pedicure sessions, or soaking your nails in water for too long. It could also be the result of some medications, or be a symptom of conditions like diabetes.