If you have noticed that your nails appear to be brittle, spotted, ridged, or very weak, then listen up—your body may be trying to warn you of possible health problems! If your nails exhibit any of the 7 conditions listed below, it may be time to have a conversation with your doctor.
Your nails have turned almost completely white
If you have nails that have gradually turned white, save a small pink band at the top, you may have a condition called Terry’s nails. According to The Mayo Clinic, Terry’s nails is generally attributed to aging, but failing to inform your doctor about this change could be chancy.
The nail color can also be a sign of very serious problems like liver disease, congestive heart failure, kidney failure, or diabetes.
Your nails suffer from deep indentations
Though indentations can occur due to age, or even a rough manicure, persistent indentations could spell trouble. Doctors call these ridges Beau’s lines, and researchers at The Mayo Clinic say that they can be associated with everything from uncontrolled diabetes to peripheral vascular disease to a zinc deficiency to scarlet fever.
If you have these indentations, and something feels amiss, definitely make an appointment to see your family doctor.
Your nails are thick and curve around your fingertips
If your nails have curved in and become thick around your fingertip area, then you may be suffering from “clubbing.” The medical experts at Healthline say that the process usually occurs over a duration of several years and can be indicative of low oxygen in the blood and is associated with AIDS, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, liver diseases, and pulmonary diseases.
Your nails are yellow
Yellow nails can be attributed to a variety of things from a reaction to nail polish to aging. If you are smoker, then you are probably well-acquainted with this type of discoloration. Nevertheless, exhibiting yellow nails can also be an early sign of something more serious—diabetes.
Dr. Oz recommends that if these symptoms are compounded by fatigue and frequent urination, then it’s time for you to visit your physician.
Healthy nails are generally characterized by a nice fleshy pink color. If your nails have turned a more muted pink, or even white over time, then you may be suffering from anything from malnutrition or anemia to more serious conditions like congestive heart failure or liver disease.
Your nails are colored with dark, vertical bands
According to dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Baxt, having dark, vertical bands on your fingernails can mean several things. Most of these times these bands are naturally occurring in dark-skinned people. They can also even just be benign moles in the nail beds, however, just like every other point on this list, these bands may be a sign of something scary.
In an interview with Prevention, Dr. Baxt says that, with all areas of discoloration on the body, it’s important to keep them monitored because they can be a sign of melanoma. If new ones pop up after being checked, it’s important to see a dermatologist immediately.
Your nails are dotted with white spots
Chances are, you’ve experienced this common condition at some time in your life. In an interview with Health, dermatologist Dr. John Anthony explains that “Usually, those white spots are not very significant. They’re often the result of minor trauma…” At their worst, the spots can be a sign of calcium deficiency, so if you have recurring spots, it’s suggested that you consult with your physician.
Have you ever experienced any of the symptoms listed here? If so, did you seek medical help? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!