Did you know that your nails hold vital clues as to your health status? Their shape, color and the appearance of any lines all represent valuable information. To maintain optimal health, it is important to be aware of how your body works and what it may be trying to tell you.
What If There’re White Spots And Bumps On My Nails?
Many people will experience nail-based abnormalities at some point in their lives. For example, white spots and bumps on nails may look unsightly but are nothing to worry about, as they usually signify superficial injury. As the nail grows, such marks often disappear within a few weeks.
What If There’re Lines On My Nails?
Some marks deserve to be taken more seriously. Some types of nail ridges, such as Beau’s lines, can tell of underlying ill-health. Nail ridges come in two varieties–vertical and horizontal. The former are harmless, and are usually an inevitable effect of aging. As we get older, our nails lose their ability to retain moisture and this can lead to vertical ridges appearing on one or all of the nails.
Horizontal ridges should be interpreted differently. These are not merely a normal effect of passing years. Instead, they tell of disruptions to the usual pattern of healthy nail growth. This disruption is usually caused by some kind of illness. The Mayo Clinic states that Beau’s lines can be a sign of zinc deficiency, but also cautions that they can point towards more serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. They can also emerge as a result of potentially serious diseases that entail a high fever such as pneumonia or scarlet fever. Occasionally they can arise from superficial physical injury.
What are Beau’s lines?
Beau’s lines–named after a French physician of the same name who uncovered the link between nail appearance and health–are horizontal in appearance and can appear on the nails of anyone at any age. However, they are more common–as is the case with all nail problems–in older people.
As nails are continually growing, Beau’s lines can be ‘read,’ rather like the rings on a tree. A solitary line can indicate that the body has dealt with a bout of illness in the recent past. A series of lines tells a different story–that of ongoing disease. If this applies to your nails, it is a clear sign that you should take a good look at your current state of health and head to your doctor for a checkup.
Getting rid of Beau’s lines
The only sure way to make sure that you don’t develop these lines in the first place is to take care of your health and make sure that you are properly treated for any underlying conditions. The remedy will therefore depend on the exact nature of the illness. If, for example, a medical professional believes you have a zinc deficiency, you may be prescribed mineral supplements. As your health improves, so will the appearance of your nails. It takes approximately five months for a nail to ‘grow out,’ so you will have to be patient as you wait for the marks to disappear.
Some people dislike the appearance of nail ridges and want to solve the problem as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there is no immediate quick fix. Getting a high-quality manicure with polish can conceal the marks, but they will take time to fade completely. It isn’t a good idea to attempt to file the ridges down. You risk causing further damage to the nail and giving yourself further problems! Instead, try to accept the lines as the helpful indicators they are.
Whatever your age or current health status, it’s important to take a quick look at your nails every now and again. They can reveal your body’s history of injury and disease, and may give you a valuable clue to any underlying illness. Remaining in tune with your body’s signs and signals is vital for ensuring that any ailments you may suffer are treated as quickly as possible.
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