What Your Fingernails and Toenails May Tell You

Ever notice when you visit your doctor they check out your finger and toenails. They’re not surveying them to comment on your buff and polish. Not quite ~ they’re looking for signs or symptoms of health issues.

Your toenails and fingernails protect the tissues of your toes and fingers. They are made up of layers of a hardened protein called keratin, which is also in your hair and skin. Your nails’ health can be a clue to your overall health.

Healthy nails are usually smooth and consistent in color. Specific types of nail discoloration and changes in growth rate can signal various lung, heart, kidney and liver diseases, as well as diabetes and anemia.

White spots and vertical ridges are harmless. However, horizontal ridging may indicate an underlying health problems, such as:

This type of ridging is in need of your doctor’s attention.

Nail problems that sometimes require treatment include bacterial and fungal infectionsingrown nailstumors and warts. Keeping nails clean, dry and trimmed can help you avoid some problems. Do not remove the cuticle, this practice could cause an infection.

Because nails are a great source for clues to your overall health, you lose this advantage with the “fake” ones.