What your nails are trying to tell you about your health
Whether or not you’re into nail polish, paying attention to your nails is pretty important. Yes, we love a good ruby red lacquer that makes our hands look gorgeous, but once the polish comes off, your nails are always trying to tell you something. If your nails are constantly peeling, that can be an indicator of how you digest food. If you’re experiencing a lot of yellowing, it’s a possible sign of fungus. Regardless of what you’re doing with your nails, you need to start reading the signs they’re sending. Below, we’ve listed out what’s going on with your nails, and what exactly they’re trying to tell you.
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Peeling: If your nails are peeling, it could mean that you’ve got a deficiency when it comes to mineral absorption. While this can be caused by something as minuscule as not chewing your food enough, it could also mean a low amount of acid in your stomach, which means that your food isn’t properly digested.
Dry Cuticles: This one may seem obvious, but dry cuticles means you’re lacking in the hydration department. Especially if you work in an office where you’re constantly washing your hands or you’re always washing dishes (and particularly in the winter), resolve to use cuticle oil at least once a day to keep your fingers in great shape. If you can’t use cuticle oil, massage hand cream into your cuticles while you’re applying it to your hands.
White Spots: While most people believe that white spots on nails are actually a sign of a calcium deficiency, they can actually be a small area of nail fungus or a tiny result of trauma to the nail like bumping or dinging your finger. If there is pain in your nail, seek medical attention to treat fungus. If there’s no pain and it’s likely the result of trauma, the white spot must simply grow out (which can take up to eight months).
Breaking: There are a few reasons why your nails could be breaking, and they range from harmless to significant. Your nails could be breaking because they’re exposed to water, soap or detergent for too long, or they could be breaking for more serious reasons, like endocrine disorders or malnutrition. The key to determining which is causing your nails to break is to take notice of whether your nail’s thickness, color, etc. have changed over time. If you notice a change in your nails and stop exposing them to water and detergent, yet the change persists, see your doctor.
Yellowing: Besides smoking, your fingers could be turning yellow due to a few reasons. First, it could be nail fungus, which can be taken care of with an anti-fungal medication from your doctor. If it’s not nail fungus, your nails could be turning yellow because you paint them too often and you neglect to use a base coat. As a rule of thumb, give your nails about three days with no polish every three weeks or so, and be sure to use a clear base coat to avoid polish staining your nail bed.
Dark Vertical Lines of Color: While dark marks underneath nails could be benign moles underneath your nail bed, single, new bands of color could also indicate melanoma. If you notice this, see your dermatologist immediately.