You know hair loss and splotchy skin are often signs something is wrong with you. Your nails too can tell a lot about your health. While most changes in your nails aren’t reason enough to run to the doctor, lasting or dramatic changes should ring alarm bells instead of applying a thicker coat of nail paint. Here are five nail problems you should sit up and take note of.
If your nails are brittle
Papery nails that split, peel and break is annoying but often a symptom of dryness, especially if you’ve had extensions or used industrial strength nail remover. However, long term brittle nails can be a sign of iron deficiency. Other symptoms include headaches, loss of appetite and cold extremities. If you nod yes to any of these, see your doctor right away.
If your nails are blue
Not painted blue but when your nail beds turn pale blue regularly. The condition is called cyanosis and while it’s normal when you’re feeling very cold, it’s a cause for concern when it happens often. It could be a sign that your circulatory system is sluggish. Oxygen-rich blood is bright red, which gives healthy skin and nails their pink tint. If your blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen, it turns bluish, hence the blue fingernails.
If your nails are pitted
Small depressions on your nails that reappear despite buffing should send you to the doctor post haste because it’s often an early sign of psoriasis or eczema. It could also be a result of absentmindedly scraping your nails against your teeth. If you’re not careful, these marks can become permanent so stop right now!
If your nails have white lines
Usually this isn’t anything to worry about. Small white dots or stripes are quite normal but if all your nails look stripey chances are you have low blood protein. A quick fix is to start including egg whites, soya and lentils in your diet.
If your nails are very pale
You probably have anemia, which means you’re not getting enough oxygen-rich blood to your extremities. Including iron-rich foods in your diet like meat, spinach, chicken, egg yolk, beans and broccoli is a good place to start. You should also see your doctor in case you need more intense, prescription-only treatment.
How to get stronger nails fast!
Moisturize with oil: Moisturize your nails like you would your face! Either use a specially formulated formula like Aroma Treasures Nail Care Oil or use your favorite oil like olive or jojoba to rub into nails and cuticles whenever they feel dry.
File carefully:Don’t use an emery board that feels too rough or sand papery. Remember to file smoothly in one direction rather than back and forth to minimize damage and jagged edges. We like Cosmetrix 20pk of Emery Boards.
Don’t tamper with your cuticles: Pushing back and trimming your cuticles is a vicious cycle. It causes them to grow back stronger. Instead, just leave them alone and gently push them back. Besides, cuticles protect nails from infection.
Use acetone-free nail polish removers: Acetone can be very drying for the nail and surrounding skin. Acetone-free polish removers may not be as effective but prevent drying and splitting. And always remember to moisturize your nails afterwards. Use Colorbar Nail Polish Remover which also contains conditioning Jojoba Oil.
Apply a nail strengthener: Especially if you have weak nails. Start applying a conditioning base coat like LYN Lacquers - Base Coat that contains nail thickening ingredients to create the illusion of smoothness.