When nails are mentioned, many people would automatically think about manicure and pedicure. But our nails are worthy of much attention than just being in different colours and styles. Nails play a crucial role in our lives. They protect tissues, relieve us from itches and also reflect our overall health. Nails also provide us with clues of malnutrition, infection and some serious diseases. With all of these facts, certainly our nails deserve more than a mani and pedi.
Getting to Know the Nails Deeper
If you are wondering what nails are made up of well the answer is that they are layers of protein called keratin. Keratin is also in our skin and hair. Did you know that your nails, even though they seem tiny have six parts? The most visible part which is hard and offers protection is the nail plate. The nail folds is the skin around the nail plate Underneath the nail plate is the nail bed. The white crescent moon you see at the base of the nail is called the lunula while the cuticle is the tissue that overlaps the nail at the very base.
What Your Nails Say About You
You Lack Certain Nutrients
Your nails say much about your health. Generally nail issues are not connected with nutrition but some nutritional deficiencies are revealed by your nails. For example if you have anemia your nail beds can become pale and whitish. Anemia is a deficiency in iron. If this deficiency is servere your fingernail may even change its shape. This is called koilonychia.
You’re Stressed or Bored
When you bite your nails, you either are stressed out or bored. Nail biting is a horrid habit and not only can your fingers get bloody, you are also making yourself more prone to infection especially in the fingers and mouth. Severe nail biting though can indicate an anxiety disorder or compulsive disorder. If you know someone who has severe nail biting habit topped with hair pulling or self pain-inflicting behaviours it is best that you suggest a visit to the doctor.
You May Have an Undiagnosed Disease
If you notice any changes in your nails, you should not automatically think that you have a serious disease left undiagnosed. Not all changes in the nails mean a serious health problem however some diseases are revealed by the nails.
- Nail Discoloration – You may have been used to the stain of nail polish left on your nails but you should watch out for colours that are hinting a disease.
Colours to Watch out For
- White may be pointing to a liver disease.
- Half white and half pink can mean a kidney disease.
- Red may point to a heart disease.
- If you have yellow and thick nails that take too slow to grow and sometimes detach from the nail bed, you may have a lung disease.
Basic Caring for the Nails
- Trim your nails regularly and clean under the tips of your nails.
- Moisturise your nails regularly with Moroccan Argan oil. The Moroccan Argan oil contains Vitamin E which moisturises cuticles and strengthens nails.
- Hang nails should be clipped.