Are you taking note of what your fingernails are telling you about your health? Yes, your eyes could also be the window to the soul, but your fingernails can offer you a glimpse of what is happening elsewhere in your body. Besides keeping your nails looking nice, you almost certainly don’t spend an excessive amount of time brooding about your nails, but they will offer valuable clues to your wellbeing.
According to the Mayo Clinic, our nails are made from layers of a protein called keratin. They grow from the nail matrix, located underneath the cuticle. As new cells grow, the older cells become hard and tightly packed and are eventually pushed out toward the fingertip. Because fingernails grow so slowly, they will offer a peek into your body’s recent past.
The Mayo Clinic noted that healthy nails are pink and smooth. Some variations, like ridges that run the length of the nail, are harmless while “others can signal health concerns.” Worried about your talons? These are the surprising things your fingernails can tell you about your health.
Yellow fingernails could be a sign of a fungal infection
If you’ve got yellow spots under your nails or the entire nail has turned yellow, you’ll have a mycosis. referred to as onychomycosis, fungal nail infections can cause discoloration and thickening of the nails. they’ll also make them more brittle. Fungal infections are more common on toenails, but fingernails aren’t immune. The infection is caused by dermatophytes, a kind of fungi that needs keratin so as to grow.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fungal nail infections are often hard to cure and typically require prescription oral antifungal medication. In very severe cases, a doctor may have to completely remove the affected nail. to stop fungal infections, the CDC recommends keeping nails clean, dry, and well-trimmed. you ought to also avoid sharing nail clippers.
However, yellow nails aren’t always a health concern. most frequently, they’re simply the results of the nail cosmetics we use. As Self-explained, dark-colored polishes can stain nails yellow because the coloring agent in them reacts with the nail plate. The formaldehyde in nail enamel also can react with the keratin in nails, turning them yellow and making them brittle.
Low oxygen levels can lead to blue fingernails
Because our nails are on our extremities, distant from our lungs and heart, and fed only by small blood vessels, they will be a superb indicator of low oxygen levels within the blood. Healthline noted that the nail bed turns purplish-blue when it doesn’t get enough oxygen, which color shows through the translucent nail above. Sometimes the shortage of oxygen is merely temporary and thanks to cold weather; the temperature causes the blood vessels within the fingertips to contract, preventing oxygen-rich blood from reaching the nail bed. But if your nails are blue all the time, this might indicate a more serious underlying ill-health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many conditions associated with breathing or circulation which will cause low oxygen levels (hypoxemia). These include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, asthma, congenital heart condition, apnea, and even certain medications.
A pulse oximeter is often wont to measure blood oxygen levels. Normal values range between 95 and one hundred pc, and anything under 90 percent is taken into account low.