Did you know that sporting less-than-pristine nails may not have anything to do with poor cosmetic or hygiene practices? It’s a surprising concept, but there are actually times when our bodies may shake up the look of our fingernails in order to let us know that something is going awry!

So, if you are noticing any of these following signs, then it may be time for you to go pay a visit to your doctor.

  1. Nails that never need cutting

    It’s only healthy and natural for your nails to need a trim every once in a while! If you rarely find yourself busting out those clippers, then perhaps it’s time that you confront that issue of nail-biting once and for all.

    Gnawing on your nails can mean that you are dealing with anxiety, depression, and even negative self-esteem. It’s a hard habit to break because those mental health issues are usually deeply-rooted. Nevertheless, the sooner you go talk to someone about your problems, the sooner the look of your nails will improve!

  2. When brittle nails can’t be fixed with topical remedies

    brittle nailsnanka-photo via Deposit Photos

    Struggling with brittle, paper thin, dull-looking nails? Many times this has more to do with nutritional deficiencies than just plain bad luck.

    Sometimes lack of protein in the diet is to blame, but some medical professionals, like Dr. Michael Greger of Nutrition Facts feels that this problem is more frequently connected to insufficient potassium intake. To up your own, try adding bananas, brazil nuts, squashes, spinach, and beans to your daily diet.

  3. Painful fake nails can spell a nasty infection

    Are you the type of gal who likes to sport super long nails? Unless you have been blessed with naturally strong ones, then we bet you make frequent trips to your local nail salon to get fitted with acrylic or gel nails.

    Though this is a common enough practice amongst women everywhere, it is also known to be super damaging to the nails. If you have noticed that your natural nails are beginning to lift from the beds, are red, and feel painful to the touch, this could mean that you may be developing an infection that could damage the area or even make you sick. Yikes!

  4. Never ignore that black line

    Black Nail LineCBS New York

    Sure, we’ve all slammed our nail in a door at one time or another—it’s no fun being left with a dark, painful blotch! Nevertheless, if you see darkness appear on your nail without an injury occurring first, then it could mean something very serious.

    It’s a relatively rare occurrence, but it is actually possible to develop a deadly melanoma under your nail. It’s obviously difficult to screen for, but the cancer is sometimes known to pop up in the form of a black straight line. If you have one of these yourself, it’s key that you get to a trusted medical professional stat.

  5. Look at your lunula

    Take a look at your fingernails and locate the half-crescent moon shape near your cuticle. If this feature seems to be discolored, hard to locate, or even oddly-formed, then you could be suffering from anything as inconsequential as a rough manicure to something as serious as cardiovascular disease.

To learn even more about how the lunula can reflect other alarming medical issues and conditions, be sure to watch the video below. Who would’ve thought that your fingernails could reveal so much about your health?

What do you think of these abnormal nail conditions? Have you experienced changes in your nail appearance? If so, how did you remedy the problem?