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For some reason, many of us ignore changes in our nails. If we even notice that is... A healthy nail on average grows 3.5mm depending on diet, medication, disease or even aging. If you are a nail biter, you may be susceptible to paronychia-a skin infection that occurs around your nails.
As you chew your nails, bacteria, and other micro-organisms can enter your body leading to swelling, redness and pus around your nail. The more reason to stop.
The next time you go for that manicure or pedicure session, inspect your nails for changes such as swellings, change in shape, thickening and color.
While it may not be anything serious, it may be a sign of a hidden problem.
- Your body is missing some nutrients
When there is no healthy blood going into your nails this can result in indentations and pitting. This could be a sign your body is lacking iron, protein or folic acid. When your body doesn’t have enough protein, the nail will not grow accordingly due to less keratin-which is a structural protein the nail plate. Excessive pitting and indentations may be a sign of something more serious like connective tissue disorders which should be ruled out by a dermatologist.
- Sign of cancer
One of the symptoms of the deadliest form of cancer can be detected on your nail bed. If you discover black streaks or dark marks under the nail bed, this could be a sign of benign tumor or melanoma. It might also be subungual melanoma which is an aggressive type of cancer that only affects the nail bed. This should be diagnosed immediately.
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- Injured nail
If you injured your toe or finger chances are you will get a dark reddish or purple bruise on the nail bed? Put less pressure on the finger and it will eventually grow out as it heals.
As you get older your nails lose moisture naturally. This is because they are susceptible to evaporation especially if you’re in constant contact with water. Vertical ridges may also appear which typical sign of aging is. To be on the safe side make sure you do not have a B12 or magnesium deficiency.
- Tight shoes
Ridiculous as it may sound, tight and awkwardly high shoes can cause enough trauma on your toe nails resulting in thickening and deformities. Despite how much you love your heels, it is time to boot them. Ensure your shoes fit right and your feet do not sweat excessively. This could lead to fungal infections.
- Exposure to harsh chemicals
Many cleaning products have harsh chemicals which result in brittle, dry and cracked nails. To avoid this, use gloves where possible and use hand lotions or Vaseline to moisturize. Too much application of acrylics, dark nail polish and frequent polish remover use may cause some reaction turning your nails yellowish and can even make them crumbly. Stay away from these if possible or use natural alternatives such as henna.