What Your Nails Are Telling You About Your Health

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Did you know that your fingernails can provide you with clues into your overall health? Something like a bluish hue or a ripple in your nails can indicate an existing disease or infection you may be unaware of. If you think your nails look a little abnormal, read on.

Pale nails: Pale nails can be an indicator of serious illnesses like anemia, congestive heart failure, liver disease and even malnutrition.

White nails: If your nails are white with a darker outer rim, that could be an indicator of liver problems like hepatitis. Jaundice is another common symptom of hepatitis, so be on the lookout for that, too.

>> Read more: 49 Products for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

Yellow nails: Yellow nails could be a sign of a fungal infection. As the infection worsens, the nail bed retracts and the nail itself may thicken or crumble. In rare occasions, yellow nails could be an indicator of extreme thyroid disease, lung disease, diabetes or psoriasis.

Bluish nails: A blue hue to your fingernails could mean that not only are your nails not getting enough oxygen, but the rest of your body isn't either! It could indicate a lung problem or a heart problem.

Rippled or pitted nails: Rippled nails could be an early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. If you're noticing any other symptoms, you should contact your doctor.

rippled nails
(Photo: WebMD)

Cracked or split nails: Dry, brittle and constantly cracking nails aren't only a nuisance, but they could be symptoms of thyroid disease as well. However, if the split and cracked nails are also a yellowish hue, it is most likely due to a fungal infection.

>> Read more: 7 Maintenance for Healthy, Beautiful Nails

Puffy nail fold: Is the skin around your nail red and puffy? That is due to an inflammation of the nail fold, which could be the result of lupus or another tissue disorder.

Dark lines beneath the nail: If you've noticed dark lines beneath the surface of your nail, you should contact your dermatologist immediately, as they can sometimes be caused by melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

Gnawed nails: Not only is biting your nails extremely bad for your health, but it has been linked to obsessive compulsive disorder as well, especially if you can't stop biting them.

You should contact your dermatologist if you think you have any of the above symptoms.

Source: WebMD