Your nails can tell you much more than whether you need a manicure. They’re packed with details about your health. They can show if you have an infection, a serious disease, or even how well you’re eating. To figure out what your nails might have to say, answer these questions.
Kate Beschen spent years contemplating a tattoo. So when the 37-year-old Philadelphia-based doula finally went for her ink last year, she thought she had covered all the bases. "I had my son and daughter drawn as superheroes on my upper arm," Beschen says. "I decided this was an image I'd be proud to have for the rest of my life."
But there was one angle Beschen didn't anticipate: her daughter's reaction. "My 15-year-old is making comments about wanting a tattoo," she says. "Now I'm not so sure...
If your nails are mostly white with a narrow pink band at the tip, you have a condition called Terry’s nails. It can result from aging, but it can also herald diabetes or kidney, liver, or heart disease.
Talk to your doctor. She’ll probably want to examine your heart.
4. Do you see thin red or brown lines?
They’re called splinter hemorrhages. They usually come from trauma to your nails or a fungal infection. They can also be from psoriasis, melanoma, or even an infection in the lining of your heart.
5. Are there lines that go from side to side?
These are called Beau’s lines. Sometimes they come along with a severe illness or injury. Or they might show up after. They’re also linked with Raynaud’s phenomenon. Most often, they’re a sign of stress.
6. Are your nails spoon-shaped?
Your nails get thin and dip down in the middle, sometimes with raised ridges. It can be a sign of heart disease, trauma, lupus, low thyroid, or a problem with iron -- either too little or too much.