9 Serious Health Problems Your Nails Might Warn You About
Nailing your health issues
Moles or melanoma
A common thing people deal with is nail discolorations from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. According to Dr. Poblete-Lopez, African Americans and Asians suffer from pigmentation changes related to ethnicity, but such changes could also indicate benign moles or cancerous melanomas.
If you notice a linear brown or black streak beneath the nail plate, you might want to consult a dermatologist. Brown lines could indicate a more serious cause when they appear on one finger rather than on all of them, so best have them checked out before it’s too late. You might also like to find out more about Moles – Causes, Warning Signs and Prevention.
If your nails have tiny holes on their surface (on the hard part of the nail) or scaly, red patches, you might have a common skin condition known as psoriasis. Nail changes occur in about 35 percent of people with psoriasis and around 80 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis. According to Dr. Poblete-Lopez, it can not only affect fingernails but toenails as well. You might want to visit your dermatologist if you also notice yellow-red spots on your nail, also called “oil drop” or “salmon patch”, for diagnosis and proper treatment.
Stress can have numerous adverse effects on your health, from giving you frequent headaches to weakening your immune system and causing sudden hair loss. Stress can also affect your fingernails and toenails, causing white horizontal lines across the nails. Not to mention that it is the main cause of “onychophagia,” the stress-relieving habit of biting your nails and picking at the skin around them until your fingers are raw and bleeding.