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What Your Fingernails Actually Reveal About Our Overall Health

As humans, we tend to take our fingernails for granted. We certainly don't pay them much attention as far as our health is concerned.

And yes, while we should definitely be working out and watching what we eat, what we should also be doing is making sure that our fingernails are as healthy as ever.

Contrary to what you might think, nails can reveal a lot about our overall health. From not having enough color to displaying too much color to excessive cracks and bumps, there are plenty of nail-related symptoms which could be an indicator that you are suffering from a particular illness.

Here are all the potential signs that you could be experiencing problems with your health, as indicated by the color and texture of your fingernails.

1. Fingernails with a hint of blue

Blue fingernails could indicate that you have a decreased supply of oxygen to your body, or that you're experiencing problems with your heart or your lungs. In the worst case scenario, it could be an early sign of emphysema. If you notice this on your own nails - get it checked out!

2. White fingernails

that are chalk white are not necessarily healthy so if you notice them turning whiter, this could potentially be a cause for concern. It could indicate that you are experiencing health problems connected with your liver. In particular, white nails tend to be early signs of Hepatitis or Jaundice.

3. Rippled nails

In general, healthy nails are smooth without any cracks or ripples. Unfortunately, if you do have ripples on your nails, this could be a symptom of either psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. The color of the fingernails will most likely remain the same but the skin below the nails may change color slightly.

4. Yellow nails

Yellowing of the nails is not hugely uncommon, however, if you have detected this change of color on your own nails, you should pay close attention. In some cases, this is caused by lung disease, thyroid disease or psoriasis.

5. Excessive nail biting

Excessive nail-biting often stems from deep-seated issues with anxiety. When you feel nervous or afraid of something, being able to occupy yourself by biting on your nails may seem like a way of soothing your anxiety. It's a psychological issue that could be resolved through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Or you could also try these five tips for overcoming a long-term nailbiting habit:

6. Cracked nails

Cracked nails could be a sign that you have developed a fungal infection or that you have a form of Thyroid disease.

7.  Dark lines on the nails

This is probably one of the more serious and unnerving fingernail-related symptoms. It could indicate that you are suffering from Melanoma, the most fatal form of skin cancer. You should immediately book an appointment with your doctor if you detect this on your own nails.

8. Very pale nails

Unless your nails have always been very pale in color, this could be a cause for concern. And that's because generally healthy nails have some color to them. If your nails seem alarmingly pale, this could potentially mean you have problems with your liver or that you're suffering from anemia.

9. Puffiness around the nails

If the skin underneath your nails seems puffier than usual, this could be a sign that you are suffering from lupus. Or alternatively, it could also be an infection that needs treating.

So to recap, healthy fingernails tend to be smooth and consistent in terms of color. Plus they typically do not have many spots, ridges or sharp cracks. And again, if you think you could be displaying any of these symptoms, you should definitely pay a visit to your doctor!

And while we're on the subject on fingernails, check out the woman with the longest nails in the world: