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5 Signs Your Fingernails Are Trying to Tell You Something

Did you know there are clues about your physical health right at the tip of your fingers? Yes, they’re on your nails! The condition of your nails can signal everything from iron deficiency to serious lung conditions. Here are five signs your nails are trying to tell you something. 

1. Brittle nails

Brittle nails can have multiple causes. They could be caused by too much wetting & drying of hands or chemicals often found in harsh cleaning solutions. If that’s the case, the solution is simple: wear gloves when washing dishes, cleaning your home or doing laundry. Also, consider using the Magic Pen Starter Pack. It’s a moisturizing nail pen cream packed with ultra-hydrating ingredients, like Vitamin E & Argan Oil, that can help strengthen your nails. 

But sometimes, brittle nails happen because of your diet. They can indicate thyroid issues or iron deficiency anemia. Your body might also lack the material to make good nails. Your fingernails are made of keratin, a type of protein (and not calcium; that’s a myth!). So to make your nails stronger, be sure to eat a well-balanced diet that includes a lot of protein. 

2. Deep horizontal ridges 

Vertical ridges on nails are common as you get older. Think of them like wrinkles in the nail. But it can be alarming if you notice deep horizontal ridges on your fingernails. Also known as Beau’s lines, deep horizontal ridges indicate that something has temporarily halted your nail growth. It could be a blood transfusion, trauma from a car accident, chemotherapy, serious illness or any major stress to your system. If you can’t link your Beau’s lines to a specific illness or episode in your life, consult with your doctor to pinpoint the cause.

3. Very yellow nails

Healthy nails are light pink or mauve. So if yours look too yellow, are thick and are slowly growing, you probably have yellow nail syndrome. This rare condition is often associated with serious lung problems. It’s also linked to swelling or puffiness in different areas of the body due to the accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the soft layers of tissue under the skin. If you have very yellow nails, see your doctor and get a proper diagnosis & treatment plan.

4. Brown vertical stripes

Melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, often starts to appear as a mole or dark spot in your skin. But, sometimes, it begins in the nail as brown vertical stripes. In more advanced cases, the brown vertical stripes spread onto the skin around the nail or the cuticle area. That’s alarming, as your melanoma is likely growing and spreading. 

What about brown spots on nails? Brown spots or round or pitted discolourations could be a sign of nail psoriasis. To be sure, get any brown pigmentation on your fingernails checked out by your trusted dermatologist.

5. Inflamed or infected skin around the nail

Is the skin around your nail inflamed or infected after pushing back the cuticle? That’s probably the cause. You shouldn’t push back your cuticles because they act as a barrier, keeping bacteria from getting underneath your fingernail and causing an infection. 

The solution? Soak your nail in hot water twice or thrice a day to help reduce the pain and swelling. But you should still see your doctor, who may prescribe oral antibiotics or other medicines to treat the nail infection. How to stop it from happening again? Don’t cut or push back your cuticles. And if you need to get rid of the dead skin on the surface of your fingernails, do it after a shower by gently rubbing a towel over your nails.

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