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Diagnose Health Issues by Looking at Your Nails

Your fingernails and toenails are not just decorations for the ends of your palms and feet; they’re also an effective warning system for our health. So from now on, before you clip or paint your nails, take a look because they might be trying to tell you something.

WARNING - Some of these images may be unpleasant to look at

1. Dark bands on the nail tips

The tips of the nails seem to have dark bands on each one. This may just be a sign of old age. According to Mayo Clinic, it can also indicate "Terry's nails", diabetes, liver disease or even cognitive heart failure. If your doctor diagnoses you as diabetic, you may want to consult with a podiatrist on how to cut your nails to prevent harm.

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2. White nails

If your nails are white as seen in the picture, WebMD warns that it may indicate liver problems or hepatitis.

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3. Clubbed nails

According to the NCBI, nails that are round as seen in the picture may indicate lung problems.

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4. Yellow Nails

According to WebMD, if your nails have a yellowish tinge, it may indicate a fungal infection, and even thyroid or lung disease.

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5. "Spoon" nails

If the nail edges curve upwards and are soft to the touch, the Mayo Clinic says that it may indicate anemia, heart disease, liver problems, or hypothyroidism.

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6. Weak nails

The nails split and chip easily and are overall weak. This often indicates abuse of acrylic nail polish. Let your nails "breath" for a few days, it will help them regain their strength.

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7. Bitten nails

WebMD confirms that nails that are bitten down often indicate a state of anxiety, stress, or boredom. Applying foul-tasting nail polish can help you stop chewing on them.

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8. Nail dents

If your nails have vertical dents, the NHS says that you may be suffering from skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis, as well as arthritis or even alopecia areata.

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9. Loose nails

The nails are loose and come off the nail bed with ease? Cedars-Sinai says that it can indicate hyperthyroidism. If you're a runner, however, it may just indicate that you're wearing ill-fitting shoes.

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10. Blue nails

Nails that are bluish in color are often an indicator of a lack of oxygen to the extremities. This is why surgeons insist on patients removing any nail polish before undergoing anesthesia. Another possible diagnosis is lung problems, according to WebMD.

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11. Ingrown toenails

This is one of the most common nail-related ailments, characterizes by the edges of the toenail growing into the flesh of the toe. This condition may be accompanied by infection and pain. WebMD indicates that the most common causes are: Ill-fitting shoes, trauma to the toe or incorrect trimming of the nails.

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12. Dark nails

According to AAFP, if your nails take on a dark color in conjunction with a discoloration of the skin, it may be an indication of melanoma (skin cancer).

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13. Nail ridges

Vertical ridges along the nail are actually nothing to worry about. 

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14. Hematoma under the nail

If you notice spots of red/brown/black color under the nail, it's most likely indicative of a hematoma, caused by mild trauma to the nail. The AOCD says that the best treatment is to elevate your feet and ice the injured toe.

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15. Horizontal ridges

Horizontal ridges along the nail, known as "Beau's lines", occur in cases of zinc deficiency, as well as diabetes, and as a result of high fever. (Source: Mayo Clinic)

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16. Thin nails

The AAD warns that constant use of gel nail polish and the subsequent use of UV light and other chemicals can result in thinning of the nails. If this is the case, allow some time for the nails to recover before resuming your gel manicure.

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17. Cracked / Missing nails

The NCBI warns that if any part of your nail looks similarly to the discolored, cracked nail in the image on the right, it may indicate that you have a fungal infection called onychomycosis.

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18. Pincer nails

According to the NCBI, ill-fitting shoes, excessive trimming, a hereditary condition, and in rare conditions - tumors, can result in the formation of curved "pincer nails".

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19. White spots on the nails

Are there white spots on your nails? WebMD says it's most likely a result of harsh manicure, nail trauma or ever a hereditary trait.

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20. Nail pain

If your nails look healthy but are sore or even painful, visit your doctor and have your nails checked. Pain in the nails can be any of the above reasons, so having them looked at by an expert is not a bad idea.

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H/T: lifehack.org

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