Nails have a close link to our health and also provide crucial indications about many deadly diseases. As nails are the major carriers of germs entering our body, especially that of children, regular washing of hands should be carried out to keep nails clean.
This routine can keep away serious diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea. It is estimated that lack of hygiene is the cause of death of over 20 lakh children below the age of five. It has also been seen that washing of hands can prevent even diseases like Ebola.
An idea of a person’s health condition can be obtained by examining his or her nails. Diseases affecting the heart, liver and lungs can be detected from the nails. Nails that are yellowish or anaemic indicate major ailments.
Take precautions, but do not panic
Not all changes to the nails are signs of serious diseases. Though the changes may be harmless, unusual developments should be noted and the advice of a skin specialist sought.
Such nails are a sign of old age. They also indicate chances of a heart attack, liver ailments, malnutrition and other serious diseases.
A light colour is seen around the nails of some people. This may be a sign of liver disease. Pale-coloured nails are seen in hepatitis patients also.
In some people, the nails may have a yellowish look. This is a sign of fungal infection, which causes thickening of the nail and leading to cracks. Yellow-coloured nails are also considered to be a symptom of thyroid disease, lung ailments, diabetes and psoriasis.
Nails get a bluish tint owing to insufficient oxygen supply. It also suggests the presence of lung diseases like pneumonia. Diabetes patients also may have bluish nails.
Red colour detected in the area where the nail joins the skin may be the sign of damaged cell walls. It could also mean tuberculosis affecting the skin.
Black stripes below nail
A pointer to dangerous diseases like melanoma, black stripes beneath the nail have to be taken seriously. However, as they are visible clearly, such maladies can be detected early.
This condition, seen in elderly people, is a symptom of thyroid disease. If yellow colour is also noticed on the nail, fungal infection may be present.
Psoriasis and rough nails
Nails with thin lines on a rough surface are a symptom of psoriasis and certain types of rheumatism. In case the skin under the nails gets a reddish – coffee colour, it is a clear sign of these diseases. In fact, the initial symptoms of psoriasis become evident on the nails.
Avoid nail biting
A symptom of depression, biting of nails should not be taken lightly. It is a habit that has to be changed as early as possible. Obsessive compulsive disorder is another psychiatric condition associated with nail biting. If this tendency cannot be curbed voluntarily, a doctor has to be consulted.