It is said that hands are the card of a person. Accordingly, the nails - this is what first strikes the eye. If they are problematic and look unhealthy, they can easily be repelled from the handshake and cause unfavorable looks of your interlocutor. However, not only the condition of the nails, but also their color reports health problems. To determine this is very simple. A change in color indicates the presence of a disease that a person may not guess.
General information about nail health
Anatomy nail is defined as a hornlike process that covers the tips of the fingers and toes of humans, in most nonhuman primates, and several other mammals (they are similar to the claws of other animals).
The legs and toenails are made of a hard protective protein called keratin — it is one of a family of fibrous structural proteins and a key structural material that makes up the hair, nails, and outer layer of human skin. Medical and prehospital facilities often use nails as the first indicator of distal tissue perfusion in people who may be dehydrated or in a state of shock.
Healthy fingernails and toenails, as a rule, should be pink in color - with a healthy light colored plate, some of which can be white when it grows from the nail bed. Color and plate status changes are rarely the first key to serious illness. In most cases, patients show other signs and symptoms of the disease before nail changes become apparent.
Colors can usually be grouped into black, blue, brown, copper, green, blue-green, gray, yellow, pale, purple or red groups — each color means something especially important. Keep in mind that your nails may change color for another reason that is completely unrelated to health (caused by mechanical or environmental effects).
When healthy plates start to change color or texture, one of the most common causes is fungus, which can cause them to crack and peel. General disorders, such as thyroid disease, can also cause abnormalities in the plates, often producing dry brittle nails that easily split and break.
The nails never stop growing and must be trimmed from time to time. Tools for trimming them, used by different people, transmit infections. Using standard hygiene and sanitation procedures, you can avoid this. In some cases, instead of scissors for the cuticle gel and creamy means are used to remove the cuticle.
How can color change?
Nails can change their usual healthy color - this indicates changes in the body. Usually they are painted in a different shade when a certain disease has reached its limit and reports this with the help of a nail plate. The color that says this may be:
Black or purple color is caused by trauma (bleeding or bruising under the damaged covering). You may notice blood protruding from under the plate. Black color most often disappears as the injury heals, but it may take several weeks. Sometimes the appearance of black under the affected nail means damage to the matrix, the area where it first begins to form. If this is the case, then as a result, the removal of the nail plate and the repair of the matrix will be required. Melanoma can give a black appearance even to an intact plate.
Blue color can occur as a side effect of medication. It is also caused by problems that reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood, such as asthma and COPD, severe anemia, cold exposure, peripheral arterial disease, or shock. Brown stripes are usually found in dark-skinned people and cause concern only if they have appeared recently or are actively changing. They may be caused by medication or malnutrition. Green color is provoked by bacterial and fungal infections.
Pale whites can be caused by eating disorders such as anemia or zinc deficiency and other medical problems. White spots or stripes are associated with a minor injury (you may not even know about it). These symptoms can last for weeks or months and go on their own without any proper treatment.
A yellow tint occurs when the plate separates from the nail bed (onycholysis) due to injury, skin condition, or infection. It is also caused by medical problems: chronic lung disease or cancer. Nails may turn yellow from smoking cigarettes or from using some varnishes, especially red varnish.
Color and texture reflect a wide range of medical conditions. Take a look at your nails and you will notice subtle changes - there is a shade of white, a pink tint, perhaps some ripples or dents on the surface. These shortcomings may seem very similar to each other, but for a trained eye, they provide valuable information about the general state of the human body.
Sometimes patients are advised to check the lungs, as a bluish tint is a sign that there is not enough oxygen in the body (it may even turn out that there is fluid in the lungs). According to the doctors, warning signs often appear in the nails for many other conditions, from hepatitis to heart disease. Changes may be a sign of a local disease, such as a fungal infection or systemic disease (lupus or anemia). Sometimes doctors try to determine if a person has anemia by looking at his nails. Pale whitish discolorations indicate a low level of red blood cells, corresponding to anemia. A lack of iron can cause the coating to become thin and concave, as well as slightly ribbed.
Nails give a lot of clues about what's going on inside you. Patients with lupus develop quirky and angular blood vessels in the folds of the nails. Psoriasis causes splitting of the base of the bed. Heart disease causes the beds to turn red. Obsessive compulsive disorder can manifest through constant biting of the plate. Even common disorders, such as thyroid disease, can cause abnormalities: dryness, brittle nails.
Causes of color change
The main reasons for which the coating changes its color are:
- violation of the diet;
- improperly chosen drugs;
- thyroid disease;
- chemical effects on nails (nail polish, nail polish remover, nail extension, etc.).
More accurately determine the problem that has arisen in the body, help set symptoms. Below are all possible deviations that can be seen in the nails and give explanations to them.
Brown vertical stripe on the nail: can be a sign of melanoma. Although you may think that the most deadly type of skin cancer always appears as a dark spot on the body, it can actually begin in the nail. Only about 1 percent of all melanomas in Caucasians occur in the nail, but if you are African American, 20 percent of melanomas start from that place. In more complex cases, it extends to the area of the cuticle or to the skin around the nail. This sinister sign means that melanoma is growing and spreading. Hormones and some medications can also create pigmented strips, but you should especially be careful about the brown or dark stripe that goes from the cuticle to the free edge.
Brittleness: A common problem triggered by diet or chemicals to which the hands were exposed. If you do not eat up or lack nutrients, then the body does not have the material to create good nails. This is why people with eating disorders may notice problems of this kind. Fragility also indicates iron deficiency anemia or thyroid disease.
Remember, nails are made from keratin, protein. A common myth is that calcium plays a role in their formation. It makes bones strong, but has nothing to do with the destruction of the nail plate.
If your body has the material to create perfect nails, harsh chemicals can still destroy them as they grow. This includes everyday cleaning products and nail polish removers. Make sure that you eat a well-balanced food, which includes a large amount of protein. Avoid using harsh chemicals on your nails. Even acetone-free varnish remover can make them fragile.
Waviness: vertical ridges arise as they grow up, and most people eventually find them. They are like wrinkles on the plate. Doctors discourage patients from polishing these protrusions because it makes the plate thinner. The deep horizontal ridges and valleys known as Bo lines are more disturbing. They indicate that the plate stops growing temporarily. Causes may include: high fever; chemotherapy; serious illness; major surgery; blood transfusion; car accident or any serious stress for your system. You may have a series of parallel Bo lines if you experience several periods of stress.
Small white spots: a condition called punctate leukonychia is actually associated with some minor injury when a plate is formed.
Yellowness: Very yellow nails may be associated with lung problems. If you have yellow nail syndrome, you are also able to notice their excessive curvature.
A series of horizontal grooves on the thumb: this is a classic sign of the tick-deformation habit, when people chronically rub or peel the cuticle of the thumb with the index finger as the nail forms. He creates a series of horizontal grooves similar to a washboard (this is just a habit that should be discarded).
Infected, inflamed skin around the nail: known as paronychia, and can be caused by clipping the cuticle. They are really an important element for the body and they should not be cut off. The cuticles seal the skin around the plate and do not allow penetration of the infection (prevents the ingress of bacteria, fungi, yeast and mold).
To prevent infection, do not use any sharp tools to cut your cuticles. The best way to care for them is to gently rub the towel over the nails after a shower, when your skin is soft, to get rid of dead skin.