Nails reflect the state of one’s health. Even if one tries to conceal the reality, his nails and their color can give an idea about his health. Nails of a patient can be examined to find out the disease from which he is suffering and the part of the body associated with it.
The relation of nails with medical science is not new. Even in ancient days, doctors used to diagnose the disease by examining the nails of the patients. Earlier, when there was no facility of diagnostic tests, the type, and severity of the disease was ascertained by examining various parts of the body. In this process, the color of the nails was also analyzed. Even today, Ayurvedic, and Homeopathic practitioners, during the examination, note the nails’ color of the sick.
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This is because nails and their color are a reflection of physical ailments. Our nails are composed of keratin. It is the key structural component of hair and nails, and it provides the necessary strength and toughness of masticatory organs, such as the tongue and the hard palate. This layer gets adversely affected when the body suffers from a nutritional deficiency or any ailment. With this, the color of the nails also begins to change rapidly.
According to medical experts, those with cracked or broken nails are often found to suffer from the deficiency of vitamin C, folic acid, and proteins. But, this condition may also arise due to the deficiency or zinc or when one is suffering from psoriasis. But, in the latter case, holes also appear on them along with cracks. The growth of nails varies with seasons. They grow rapidly in summer while demonstrating a slower growth during winter.
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Tension and anxiety adversely affect their growth, because stress disturbs the hemoglobin level of the blood. Dermatologists are of the opinion that it is not essential that the changing color of the nails may indicate the same disease in everyone. Many a time, their color, stripes, and thickness may be the same for more than one disease.
Thich nails, a bit elevated from the nail bed, indicate a fungal infection. Low immunity level could make them dry and colorless, while the presence of pus in the body could turn them black. Curling of nails indicates heart disease, while the appearance of white lines on them is a symptom of kidney disorder. In the case of Diabetes, they either turn white or are marked by few pink lines, while red lines could be seen on the nails of heart patients.
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Yellowing of nails could indicate anemia, heart disease, malnutrition or liver disorder. But, this may also be due to jaundice, thyroid disorder, diabetes or psoriasis. Thick yellow nails indicate a problem in lungs. White colored nails or presence of white spots on them indicate diseases related to liver, heart, and intestines. Nails which are half pink and half white indicate a kidney disorder.
If the nails are raised or the nails folds are swollen, then this could mean swelling of the lungs and intestine. They could turn blue either if the body is not getting sufficient amount of oxygen or due to other diseases like pneumonia, lung infection and heart diseases. Nails could acquire a convex shape like that of a spoon in the case of blood deficiency, hereditary diseases, and many other diseases. In medical terminology, this condition is referred to as ‘clubbing’ of nails.
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Fungal infection may also be a reason behind the changing color of the nails. Initially, they appear white or yellow. But, with increasing infection, they get discolored and turn rough and thin. Experts believe that the chances of infection in nails increase when our body comes in contact with various microbes and germs. If the skin is infected and the affected area is scratched with nails, then they also get infected. Those who swim a lot or spend more time in water or those who wear shoes for long hours are also prone to nail infection. Usually, this infection distorts their shape. Also, itching, swelling and pain occur around them. Doctors say that it could take up to six months to cure the infected nails of the hands, while those of the feet could require a treatment of nine to twelve months. In many cases, the infected nail needs to be removed altogether. If one wants healthy nails, he should look after them properly. For this, it is essential to take healthy food. This would not only keep the nails healthy but would also prevent them from cracking or breaking.
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The consumption of vitamin B would augment their beauty. They may be kept healthy and beautiful by protecting the nail folds. Oil or some other lubricating agent should be applied on them to maintain their softness and prevent them from drying or turning lifeless. The application of chemical products should be avoided, or at least, restricted. Smooth and clean nails, which are light- pink in color, are a mark of fitness. Yet, full care should be given to their cleanliness, otherwise, they may get infected and eventually, cause diseases.
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Disease-causing bacteria grow rapidly in the gap present between the skin and the nails. Therefore, one should give special attention to keep this area clean. The hands and the nails should always be washed properly after visiting the toilet and before cooking and eating. Nails should be cut and cleaned whenever they grow long and appear dirty. In anything unusual appears in them, then the physician must be consulted.
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“There are two kinds of people. One kind, you can just tell by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no more surprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keeps moving, changing… they are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are still alive. You must be constantly on your guard against congealing.”
Source (Sabhar: Akhand Jyoti) & Edited By articlesworldbank.com