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Nails - Can They Indicate Any Illness?

MD, BHMS
Homeopath, Mumbai  •  27 years experience
Nails - Can They Indicate Any Illness?

We grow up thinking of our nails as dead cells and pay attention to them only to trim them once a week. If you’re a woman, this might extend to painting them in different hues. However, the shape, texture and natural colour of your nails along with the rate at which they grow says a lot about your overall health.

Homeopathy is an effective way of treating nail disorders as it addresses the root cause of the problem. This form of treatment has negligible side effects and hence, can be used over a long period of time. However, homeopathy should never be used to self medicate. This is because a homeopathic prescription depends on the symptoms presented and the personality of the patient.

Here are a few changes in your nails that could be signs of health disturbances.

  1. Horizontal ridges: White horizontal ridges across your nails are developed when there is a pause in the growth of the nail. They could be an indication of an injury or a symptom of a serious illness. These are also known as Beau’s lines or Mee’s lines. Beau’s lines are developed due to psoriasis, diabetes, circulatory disease or a severe deficiency of zinc. Mee’s lines can be a result of arsenic poisoning, malaria, leprosy, Hodgkin’s disease or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  2. Vertical ridges: This is a common sign of aging and is usually nothing to worry about. However, in some cases, it could be a sign of vitamin B12 or magnesium deficiencies.
  3. Spoon nails: If the edges of your nails curve upwards and take on a spoon-like look, it could be a sign of anemia, excessive iron absorption, heart disease or hypothyroidism.
  4. Pitted Nails: Dents or pits in your nails are usually a sign of psoriasis. It could also be a symptom of tissue disorders such as Reiter’s syndrome or autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata.
  5. Dark nails: If you notice dark,discoloured patches on your nails, consult a doctor immediately. This could be due to melanoma which is the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
  6. Yellow Nails: Smoking and excessive use of acrylic nail polish are the two most common causes of yellow nails. However, if your nails are thinand crumbly along with being yellow, it could be a sign of a fungal infection. In rare cases, yellow nails could also be a sign of thyroid disorders, diabetes or psoriasis.
  7. Clubbing: Nails that are enlarged and curved downwards are said to be clubbed. This is typically a sign of low levels of oxygen in the blood. It could also be symptom of lung disease, liver and kidney disorders, AIDS and inflammatory bowel disease. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Homeopathic.
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