How do you tell if your unwell through your Nails?
I used to use really bad nail polishes with harmful ingredients (see the list of harmful ingredients here!) when I was a penniless Teenager, and although I thought I was being a smart alec among my group of friends because who would often brag about how beautiful their expensive nails are, it turns out I am the real dumb one as my Nails started turning yellow and more brittle over time…
Honestly, it is quite a disgusting Article, so bear with me. But this topic really requires much more attention than it is currently having right now. Nail health is something that needs to be taken more seriously, as Nails are often an indicator as well (Not just to look pretty!) for other potential illnesses that one might have.
So without further adieu, let me share with you the different signs you should look out for them when checking for potential illnesses or signs of over-doing your Nails!
(BIG DISCLAIMER: I am no Medical professional, this is just a compilation of different Nail diseases! My intention is to promote people to better take care of their Nails. I have linked the sources I referenced from in each section of the Article, so do check them out as well! ALWAYS seek Professional Medical Attention FIRST before attempting to cure anything yourself!)
This is one of the most common problems that men and women face often. If you have yellow nails for more than 10 days (as well as the continuous growth of yellow nails), you should make an appointment with your doctor to determine if it a sign for something even more severe health complications such as yellow nail syndrome.
The most common causes for yellow nails are fungal infections, smoking, applying henna dye, eating food like curry with your hands that contains strong food dye (turmeric) or using nail polish or very harsh nail products.
- A Proper Base Coat
Applying the base coat before applying nail polish is important as it prevents the nail polish from staining your nails. (Again, as you might already know, we are sheepish promoters who are bad at Marketing… at least we are upfront about it HAHAHA. See our health-centric base coats on our Store here)
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is known to retain moisture of your nails and make it looks much healthier. Hence consume more food that contains Vitamin E such as almonds or spinach. (Yup we have that as well)
- Baking Soda
Soak your nails or toenails in a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Soaking your nails in this mixture may prevent further growth of fungal growth and leave you with much clearer nails over a few courses. (no we don’t sell this)
Your nails are made up of layers of protein called keratin. However, healthy nails can be brittle too when applying too many chemicals and other bad stuff. As expected, us girls are more susceptible to such symptoms even though 20% of the World’s population is affected by it.
Causes: Repetitive exposure to water and chemicals such as nail polish removers, detergents or wearing nail polish for a long time. It could also be a sign of iron-deficiency or too much stress and trauma to your nails.
- Reduce Water Exposure
When washing the dishes, wear gloves to reduce exposure to water. This reduces the drying out your nails after being moist.
- Stay Hydrated
Your whole body is made up of 60% of water. Make sure that you stay hydrated and your body will be healthy!
- Avoid using too much of Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover containing acetone can be very drying to your nails, hence you should not use nail polish remover more than once a week.
- Iron supplements
Very rarely would Iron deficiency be the cause of Brittle and peeling Nails, however, do check with your Doctor before deciding that you need these supplements.
White Spots (Leukonychia)
White spots are incredibly common, but however, this is not an issue that you should be worried about. If however, your whole nail turns white, this is an alarming sign and you should be very worried as it is a sign of liver disease. Not only that, White spots (depending on the size and classification: Punctate, Longitudinal, Striate) can also mean many different things.
Problem: White spots (leukonychia) usually occur when there is damage to the base of your nail. Your nails are delicate and an overly rough manicure could cause you to have white spots on your nails. It is a myth that white spots are related to calcium deficiency or zinc deficiency! But if you have an iron deficiency, it can lead to spoon-shaped dips in your nails or brittle nails.
Since white spots are usually caused by damage that certain area of your nails, a way to get rid of them is to just wait for the nail to grow out the white spot. As your fingernails grow longer, the white spot should move forward with the fingernail. Once it is at the edge of your nail, you can just trim it off and your nails should look as good as new!
- Temporary Cover Up
If looking at the white spots displeases you, you could actually cover it up with nail camouflage or a skin toned nail polish (non-toxic ones of course). You could even go with colored nail polishes that you like still!
We currently carry this particular Nail product (Shameless self promotion :P) that “camouflages” your white spots and yellow discolourations. In fact we have a whole range dedicated to Nail health which you can check out here as well!
Infection that develops in the skin around the fingernails or toenails is called Paronychia. Paronychia is one of the most common infection found in nails that could cause swelling, redness, and pain around the sides and base of your nails.
Acute Paronychia can cause pus-filled pockets to form at the edges of your nails. It usually affects just a single nail. Chronic Paronychia can eventually make your nail to separate from your skin. Fungus-caused paronychia can make your nails get worse gradually as it thrives in moist environments.
Causes: There are a few ways of getting Paronychia which is biting, chewing or picking at your nails or hangnails. Ingrown nails could also cause paronychia. Since fungus thrives in moist conditions, the bacteria and fungus can get caught and grow to cause itchiness and redness of the skin.
- Care For Your Nails
Do not pick, bite, chew on your nails or cuticles as it would expose the skin to bacteria and fungus to cling on and grow. Learn to take care of your nails at home by trimming nails on a frequent basis but it does not need to be too short and the cuticles should not be trimmed or cut.
If the problem is spotted, do soak your nails in warm water or a mixture of 50% warm water and 50% liquid antibacterial soap three times daily for 15 minutes. Once an abscess shows up, you should go see a doctor have the pus removed.
- Reduce Water Exposure
If your hands are frequently exposed to water, irritants or allergens, the best way the treat and prevent this kind of infection is to wear gloves or changing your socks every day to ensure the continual exposure of moisture to your nails.
- Surgery may be required
Surgery may be needed in more extreme cases, sometimes removing the entire Nail if the infection is too severe!
Thickened Overgrown Nails
A common cause of thickened nails is a fungal nail infection. This can also cause them to discolor and become crumbly.
psoriasis – a long-term condition that tends to also cause red, flaky patches of skin, long-term pressure from shoes that are either too small or too narrow over the toes and possibly reactive arthritis, where the immune system attacks the joints, muscles and other parts of the body following an infection.
- Use Cream Treatments
Applying Cream Treatments consistently can ensure that your Nails do not get infected by Fungi and other bad stuff. Tolnaftate is one example, however, do know about the side-effects before purchasing any OTC (over-the-counter) medication before purchasing them.
- Use Tea-Tree to on the Area
Use Tea Tree Oil in and around the area of your Nails, ensure that it is done twice a day for the best possible effect. (After showering would be good)
Deep lines or grooves that go from left to right across the nail are known as Beau’s lines.
Had Chemotherapy, a previous injury on the nails or exposure to extremely cold temperatures. (Fun fact: Extreme Cold temperatures can actually prevent the growth of your Nails)
The grooves tend to only be noticed a few months later when the nails have grown and the grooves have moved up the nails to become visible.
- Soaking in Salt Water
Soaking your Nails in Warm Salt Water for ten minutes every day, drying and applying the antiseptic cream on the affected area with a bandage covering it once the process is completed.
- Soaking in Warm Olive Oil
Soaking your fingers in Warm Olive Oil can help strengthen your Nails as well.
I think it is easy to realize that most of these solutions are actually interchangeable with one another, along with the fact that they can be done sequentially from each other for a much faster healing process as well.
I cannot emphasize this enough, but consult with your doctor before doing anything yourself. Solutions like these are meant to heal your Nails in general, but they may cause harm to you if there are other health factors at play.
This is slightly more solemn than my usual posts, but I feel that it is important to advocate Nail health as it is rarely talked about these days. With so many different chemicals being used in Nail products, what chemicals do you think that end up leaking into your body at the end of the day? I think it’s fair to say that people need to start caring about their nails like all of the parts of their body, as it is easily more permeable (easy to seep into, i.e chemicals) than the skin itself…
That is kinda the reason why I started blogging and opening up my E-commerce Store as well. I try my best to promote Nail health as much as possible, as it has not enough media attention and widespread understanding from the public. It is hard, but I think people need to know about this instead of letting Big corporations get away.
My products are over here at the store, do take a look at the ingredient list as well if you are not feeling comfortable. I can attest to the fact however that the information provided by the company itself is in fact Lab validated, so it is definitely true.
The product ranges deal specifically with Nail health as it’s utmost priority (that’s why you only see me selling that brand), so do take a look if you are in fact finding something that would still make you look good yet guarantee you a level of safeness.
Ok enough of me talking about my own products. I hope you find information here useful at the end of the day, seeing these pictures give me the hibbie-gibbies and you should definitely consult a doctor first before doing self-medication.
Wishing you guys a wonderful Day ahead,