Changes in the thickness, shape or color of the nails can be indirect signs of certain deficits, bad habits or problems of lesser or greater severity.

The appearance of my nails, what does it say about my health?

The nails hands and feet are not just a decorative complement for our body, but it can be a huge source of medical information it is included psychosocial according to the characteristics they present.

The possibilities are multiple, but a bad appearance of nails on a medical level can give some information of interest, since they are still one more part of the largest organ of the human body, the skin.

Essentially, nails are nothing more than dead and hardened cells made up of keratin, whose purpose is protective -for him nail bed– Y practicescratched body, to help fuck to the human being and also fend. However, if they change shape, color or thickness for no apparent reason, they could be indicating problems at the systemic level.

What your DNA says about you

Grooves in the nails

Medically known as beau lines, the grooves in nails are often associated with having suffered certain types of infections or the fact of having submitted the nails at very low temperatures. In both cases, the matrix that makes up the nail lacks nutritional contribution reason why it does not grow properly, giving rise to malformations that are nothing more than a kind of “stop”In growth.

Likewise, there are other causes for Beau’s lines to appear, as stated in a work published in 2010 in DCMQ. According to this study, carried out with more than 100 individuals with these furrows, the most frequent cause was drug treatment, followed by the chronic renal failure, the diabetes mellitus type 2 and the surgery, among many other causes.

The solution so that these grooves disappear is the weather; the nails are will regenerate little by little and the new growth will replace the furrows in a period of approximately six months in the hands, and between six and twelve months in the feet.

Stretch marks on the nails

Nails with stretch marks The gaps are commonly related to some dermatological diseases known, such as nail psoriasis or the eczema. In the case of psoriasis, other signs are usually associated, such as the so-called “oil stains”On the nail, or their thickening. In some cases they can be confused with infections by fungi.

On specific occasions, these stretch marks can be related to other types of diseases, such as inflammatory arthritis -where the immune system attacks the same organism- among others autoimmune diseases.

Nail discoloration

Another of the signs that can be found in pathological nails is a change in color, from the White until the blue or purple, going through colorations black, yellow and even green. In the latter cases, it is possible that a fungus is the cause of the whole problem, and can cause the nail to fall off.

In the case of white, blue or even purple, the cause could be a poor oxygen perfusion general, that is, oxygen does not reach the body’s blood correctly. In these cases, other signs such as purple lips and respiratory distress in general.

In addition, there are rarer cases, such as the Raynaud’s disease where the nails initially turn white, later blue or purple, and finally red, associating pain in the fingers. This disease can originate for no apparent reason or be associated with other rheumatoid-type diseases.

It should be noted, finally, that in the case of seeing a blue or purple nail, the color change actually occurs in the nail bed – the skin below the nail – and not in the nail as such. In the case of black, yellow or green colorations, the nail is affected, since the cause is usually a nail fungus.

Beau's lines.

Beau’s lines.

Nails in spoon

The spoon shaped nails The coilonychia They are excessively thin and fragile nails, flattened and with cavities, so it is easy for them to end up changing their shape, bending and adapting a “spoon shape”. This case may be normal in children, but it is not in adults.

When a change in shape of these characteristics occurs, more common in women than in men, it can be indicative of blood problems as the iron deficiency anemia, the by hemocromatosis The excess iron in some organs of the body.

Black lines on the nails

Finally, when a few black lines on the nail and a blackening widespread, as is the case with fungi mentioned above, it is convenient to monitor the evolution of these marks.

Sometimes it may be the beginning of a skin cancer called melanoma subungueal, which generally affects a single nail and the surrounding skin, something that would make those lines stand out. It should be noted, on the other hand, that this type of malignant melanoma is a very rare subtype of acral melanoma, which in turn is usually detected in individuals of black or Asian race and has a very low incidence in Spain, representing 1-2% of melanoma cases in Caucasians worldwide.

At other times it may be the onset of a fungal infection that has not progressed yet, so it requires observation. Generally, nail abnormalities tend to occur more commonly in children and the elderly, being the medicines one of the main causes of these anomalies, so take a look at the prospects in some cases it might help.

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