It is possible to assess the general state of health by observing the characteristics of the nails, as most serious health problems are capable of altering the process of growth and development of the nails.
So, to assess health through nails, the most important thing is to keep the nail without any type of enamel, as it is the only way to correctly evaluate all the characteristics of the nail, such as color, shine, shape and texture, for example.
If it is possible to identify changes in the normal characteristics of the nails, it is recommended to consult a dermatologist to diagnose the problem and start the appropriate treatment.
Main nail changes that reveal health problems
1. Yellowed nails
Yellowed nails can indicate various types of problems, from yeast infection, psoriasis, diabetes or spots caused by cigarette smoke, in the case of smokers, for example. See how to treat psoriasis at: Treatment for psoriasis .
What to do: It is advisable to consult the dermatologist to assess the presence of fungal infection or psoriasis in the nail and to start the appropriate treatment, especially when you are not a smoker.
2. Brittle and dry nails
Brittle and dry nails are the ones that break or splinter very easily and are usually related to natural aging or over-manicure in the hair salon. However, they can also be a sign of vitamin A, B or C deficiency, since they are responsible for producing a protein that gives strength to the nails.
What to do: it is recommended to give your nail a rest and avoid doing a manicure for about 2 weeks. However, if the problem persists, it is important to consult a dermatologist to assess if there is a vitamin deficiency. Meet some foods with vitamin A: Foods rich in vitamin A .
3. White spots on the nails
The white spots on the nails are usually small and difficult to remove, arising mainly from bumps or lesions on the nails, such as hitting the nail on the wall or removing cuticles.
What to do: the nail should be allowed to grow naturally until the white spots disappear. However, if the stain remains the same over several weeks, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist as it may be a sign of fungal infection.
4. Blue nails
Bluish nails are usually a sign of lack of oxygenation from the fingertips and, therefore, are a normal symptom when you are in a cold environment, for example. However, if the color blue appears at other times, it may indicate circulatory, respiratory or cardiac problems.
What to do: It is recommended to consult a dermatologist or cardiologist if the problem appears frequently, takes time to disappear or other symptoms appear. See which symptoms to watch out for: Symptoms of heart disease .
5. Nails with dark lines
Dark lines under the nail are common in people with dark skin, however, when they appear suddenly or develop over time they can indicate the growth of a signal under the nail, which can be one of the first symptoms of skin cancer. Meet others at: Signs of skin cancer .
What to do: it is advisable to consult a dermatologist immediately if the stain appears suddenly or develops over time, changing color, size or shape.
6. Nails facing up
The nails turned upwards are a sign that the blood circulation is failing to reach the center of the nail correctly, and may therefore be a symptom of lack of iron, heart problems or hypothyroidism, for example.
What to do: You should see a dermatologist or general practitioner to have blood tests and identify whether it is a nutritional deficiency that is causing the problem or if there is a problem with the thyroid or heart.
In addition to these problems, another less frequent alteration is the appearance of small holes or grooves in the nails, which are usually related to trauma to the nail, such as pinning the finger on the door, for example. However, if there has been no trauma to the nail, it can also be a sign of diabetes, hormonal changes, excess stress or thyroid problems and, therefore, it is advisable to consult the dermatologist or general practitioner.