Taking good care of your nails may reflect not just on good hygiene, but also on your overall health condition. Healthy nails appear pink, smooth and even in shape. Uncared for nails may indicate poor health maintenance or a sign of a developing illness. This article talks about different nail characteristics and their associated health conditions and the much needed tips on how to get healthy nails.
The overall condition of your nails tells a lot about your health – even the things we are not aware of and the things we lie about. The texture, shape and color of the nails are good indicators of health and sickness.
Weak, Brittle Nails
When your nails break easily, constantly split or peel off, it may be that they’ve been exposed to too much manicure substances – acrylic nail polish, gel wraps and others. Brittleness is also related to advancing age or vitamin deficiency (A, C and biotin).
Ever noticed beaded ridges like wax drippings on your nails? This is an indicator of possible thyroid conditions, hormonal changes, stress and diabetes mellitus. This sign is not conclusive of a specific disease, so other symptoms and lab findings will determine the diagnosis.
Your nails are normally convex in shape, but when a drop of water sits on top of you nail rather than sliding off, it is spoon nails.
This might indicate iron deficiency, heart disease or hypoactive thyroid gland. Iron is needed to allow for adequate blood supply to our fingers. A deficiency in this mineral can be remedied by proper nutrition and/or iron supplementation. Hypothyroid and heart diseases may need more medical work up from an endocrinologist and cardiologist.
These appear as deep horizontal depressions across the nail bed similar to the ones you get from direct trauma to the nail (like slamming your finger in a door). Beau’s line is a sign of uncontrolled diabetes and circulatory problems.
A yellow tinge on your nails is common after peeling off dark nail polish. But it can also be a sign of a more serious condition such as psoriasis and nail fungus. Yellow nails can also be a stain acquired from long term smoking – a sign that can be observed by health providers even if you make a point to deny this unhealthy lifestyle.
If the yellow tinge is cleared by manicure, it’s just because of dark polish. But if the condition persists accompanied by pain, it may be caused by a fungus (onychomycosis).
Dark Vertical Bands
If you notice dark lines running from the base of your nails to the tip, they might indicate benign moles or a malignant melanoma. The vertical bands are fairly common for dark skinned people, however. But if the lines change or darken, they might be indicative of deadly skin cancer so consult a dermatologist immediately.
Tips for healthy nails
Give your nails a break!
Sure you want matching nail polish for your OOTD, but make sure to let your nails rest. Dark polish leave yellow stains on your nails so make sure to alternate dark colors with light one. Better yet, have a week free of polish so that your nails can breathe. Stay away from the salon so you won’t get tempted. Frequent use of hand and nail conditioner (olive oil will do) will help replenish the lost moisture and keep the nail beds from drying.
Professional nail care
Don’t be scrimpy when it comes to nail care. Keep your nails free of ingrown with regular sessions with a certified professional so you avoid infection (from contaminated tools).
Keeping your nails short is much preferred so they are easier to care for. But for those who feel naked without lengthy, square and stylish nails, keep in mind the abovementioned tips to keep your nails strong and beautiful.
Base coat is important.
The base coat protects your nails from dark polish which “cooks” your nails yellow.
When doing house chores or any task that involves harsh chemicals, wearing rubber gloves will keep your nails and cuticles protected. Even laundry detergent can cause drying, so keep your hands gloved.
Keep them moisturized.
The chemicals we use for our nails are the main culprit for drying them out. Polish removers like acetone or formaldehyde-based cause nails to be brittle. A better option is an acetate-based remover since it’s less harsh and won’t cause drying.
Also, there are lots of commercial creams to keep your hand and nails moisturized. If on a budget, you can use olive oil and petroleum jelly to achieve the same effect.
Check and treat for infection.
Yellow nails are commonly caused by fungus. Fungus thrives on warm and moist environment. You can avoid infection by using slippers when in dressing room of gyms or swimming pools to avoid contracting the microorganism from possibly contaminated wet floors. Good hygiene – washing and complete drying of hands and feet – will help eliminate fungi. Treated socks (with silver and other compounds) keep your feet dry and kill off microorganisms. These are the best choice, especially if you’re on the active side (an athlete or someone who just likes to keep moving about).
Nail fungus (more commonly affects toes than hands) is tricky to treat. Topical application and oral fungicide will be needed to treat the fungal infection. Some cases might need complete removal of the affected nail, so that a new and healthy nail may grow in place.
When you jam your finger on a door, it might cause more than just a dent. Serious cases impede circulation on your nail and cause it to die. Some injuries, however, are not as sudden and may remain unnoticeable up until a full-blown unhealthy nail condition arises. Incorrectly fitting shoes press too tightly on your toenails. Prolonged exposure may cause nail death or even infection.
Foods for healthy nails
Much like any part of our body, our nails need good nutrition to keep them healthy. Here is a list of foods and vitamins for healthy nails:
Milk – it is rich in Zinc which promotes healthy nails.
Vitamin B complex – it is utilized in the production of Keratin ( the major component of hair and nails). Three (3) mg of Vitamin B daily will keep your nails in top shape. Banana, potatoes, liver and tuna are natural sources of B viamins.
Vitamin A – it can be obtained from yellow or orange vegetables such as carrots, squash and sweet potatoes. Green, leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli are also good sources of Vitamin A. Animal sources like butter, eggs and milk also provide good amounts of the vitamin.
Vitamin C – it can be obtained from oranges lemons and strawberries.
Vitamin E – good sources include green, leafy vegetables, margarine and oils.
Essential fatty acids (EFA) – most people who undergo slimming diet forego intake of fats. This results in having dry, brittle hair and nails. EFA (omega 3 and omega 6) are obtained from flax seeds and fish.
If you are suffering from weak nails and bones try ” ORIGINAL SILICEA LIQUID GEL” . This amazing mineral Silica for beautiful skin and hair, stronger nails and bones, cellulite aid and more! You’ll have lustrous hair, luminous skin and healthier nails. Silicea gel is an excellent source of silicon which is a trace mineral in silicic acid. If silicic acid acid is missing, the connective tissue loses it’s elasticity and becomes unstable- wrinkles and cellulite becomes evident in such cases, including weak nails and hair, dull skin and more.
Taking care of your nails is no easy feat. Make it a habit to follow the tips and eat the recommended treats to keep your nails as healthy as they can be.