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Find Out How Your Fingernails and Your Health Are Linked Together

February 18, 2016

Well-maintained nails make any person’s hands look good. But, to many of us, our nails serve no other major purpose. However, the condition of the nails often reflects the condition of the body as well. When you are giving yourself a manicure using your nail set and nail polisher, pay closer attention to your nails to see if there is any indication of disease. Do this before the polish is applied because polish often covers up the natural look of the nails.

The workings of your body need not always be a mystery. The truth is, your body tries to communicate with you through various mediums – and your nails are one of them. Taking a quick look at your nails, after cleaning it with your nail set, could help identify a number of health issues.

Thyroid problems

Problems with the thyroid are often associated with sudden weight loss or weight gain. But did you know that the state of your fingernails could also point to thyroid problems? Onycholysis - which normally occurs in the pink or ring finger – is an indicator of an unhealthy thyroid. This condition causes the nails to separate easily from the nail bed – making the use of a nail polisher almost impossible.

Heart trouble

The health of your heart can be understood from the nails. Thin brown or red coloration under the nails could be a symptom of heart infection. If your nails feel soft or appear to be suspended above the nail bed, you may have congenital heart problems. The color of your nails is connected to respiratory and cardiac health. Blue nails – which can be cause by pneumonia, low haemoglobin, etc. – is a dangerous symptom and needs urgent medical attention. Do not make the mistake of assuming that the tinge is left over from the polish.

Nutrition deficiency

If your body is not getting enough nutrients, your nails may indicate it. White-tinged or pale nails could be a symptom of anemia, which could also cause the nails to change shape. Apart from iron deficiency, it could also indicate deficiencies in protein, biotin, etc.


An infection can have an impact on the look of your nails. If the skin near a nail is itchy or red, it could be a sign of bacterial or yeast infection under the nail. Fungal infections could also make the nails brittle and thick. One of the main causes of infection is the use of unsanitary manicure equipment. Make sure that you keep your nail polishers and nail sets clean, and that you only visit reputed salons.


Diabetes could give your nails a yellow tinge, which almost makes it look like you have applied polish. If you have yellow nails coupled with other symptoms like frequent urination and extreme thirst, you may have diabetes. It is an extremely dangerous disease, often called a “silent killer”, and you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

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