5 Things You Need to Know About Your Nail Health

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We all want our nails to look healthy and perfect. But how many of us know what a healthy nail looks like?

In general, the front half of the nail should be white in color while the back half should be pinkish. If you notice that your nails are not this color, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.

Here are five things you need to know about your nail health:

1. The moon at the base of your nail is NOT normal!

The part of the nail that attaches to the skin is referred to as the lunula (little moon). A healthy lunula should only cover about 15% of the width of your nail bed. If your lunula covers more than 15%, consult a doctor.

2. Nails making downward curves indicates iron deficiency.

Your nails should curve slightly upward on all sides, including across their top surfaces. If you see nails that curve downwards, it could indicate iron-deficiency anemia which is a common blood disorder resulting from too little iron in the body. This can be caused by loss of blood during menstruation or pregnancy, internal bleeding or ulcers, poor diet, intestinal disorders and more…

My name is Dr. Dana Stern, I am a dermatologist specializing in the care of nails, and I’m here today to talk to you about your nail health.

1. What are nails made of?

Your nails are made up of layers of dead skin cells called keratinocytes. Each layer is called a “lamina.” A lamina is about 1/4th of a millimeter thick and is made up of 15-20 layers of keratinocytes. The very top layer is actually translucent and is the part that you see when you look at your nails. This layer is called the “stratum corneum.”

Underneath this layer are the living layers, which contain blood vessels, nerves, oil glands and hair follicles. The stratum corneum is constantly being worn away by everyday activities such as typing and using your hands to do things. In order to keep up with this wear and tear, new keratinocytes are pushed up from below every day. You get a new nail every few months!

2. How can I tell if my nails are healthy?

The most important thing to know about healthy nails is that they should be pink. If your nail bed (the bottom part) or lunula (the little half moon

How strong is your nail?

In general, your nails are a reflection of you. They can tell a lot about your nail health. The shape and color of the nails can give you a hint about possible diseases or conditions.

Some changes in the appearance of the nails may be due to normal aging or simple nail injury. On the other hand, some changes in the appearance of the nails may be due to more serious medical conditions. These changes may include:

1) Discoloration: white and pink nails

2) Brittle and crumbly nails

3) Thicker than usual nails (thick fingernails), caused by fungal infection

4) Thinner than usual nails (thinning fingernails)

5) Lines on fingernails (horizontal and vertical lines on fingernails, ridges on fingernails, pitting on fingernails, grooved fingernails)

6) Changes in nail shape (clubbing of finger tips, spooning of finger tips, koilonychia or spoon shaped nails, curving upwards or downwards of fingers or toes).

1. White nails

White nails are bright white and look like you have dipped them in milk. This is an early sign of liver disease and should be checked out by a doctor.

2. Blue nails

Blue nails can be caused by Raynaud’s phenomenon, lupus, or poor circulation. If you have blue nails and you also have joint pain, this could also be a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Yellow nails

Yellow nails may indicate a respiratory disease such as severe asthma, chronic bronchitis, or lung disease. It can also mean that you have a fungal infection in your nail bed.

4. Pink and red streaks in the nail bed

Pink or red streaks under the nail are often called splinter hemorrhages because they look like splinters under the nail. They are caused when small blood vessels break and bleed under the nail itself. These streaks can be caused by an injury to the nail but more often indicate endocarditis (an infection of the inner lining of your heart) or other forms of heart disease, so get them checked out if you see them!

5. Dark lines under the nails

Dark lines under your fingernails that don’t go away may be melanoma, so

1. Nails can reveal a lot about your health

2. White nails may be a sign of liver disease

3. Yellow nails may be a sign of lung disease

4. Pink nails may be a sign of heart disease

5. Dark lines beneath the nail may be caused by melanoma

It’s a common question that I hear frequently: “Why are my nails white?”

There is a wide range of colors and textures that nail abnormalities can take. Some of these are harmless, while others are good indicators of health problems that could be going on inside the body.

Many people think that white nails indicate liver problems, specifically hepatitis. That is partially true. But only partially. Let’s learn more about why your nails may be turning white, and what to do about it.

Nails are composed of a protein called keratin, which is also found in hair and skin. Keratin is non-living and acts as a protective covering for the nerve endings at the ends of your fingers and toes.

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