You may have noticed that when you have a bad diet - with a lot of sodium and fat, for example - to alcoholic beverages, your skin reports a certain swelling, right? But that doesn't just happen with the skin. Nails also serve as good health alerts. But how to perceive these signs?
According to dermatologist Dr. Paola Pomerantzeff, changes in the color, shape and texture of nails can be a sign that you are not eating as you should or that you are suffering from more serious diseases. So it is always important to be aware of this keratin structure at your fingertips, which must remain strong, transparent and smooth.
Broken nails with white spots
Generally, breakage and white spots are the most common changes in nails and can be indications of allergies from the use of nail polish, detergents and soaps. Excluding these allergies, the problem may be related to nutritional deficiency, mainly of elements such as iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 or even thyroid disorders.
Purplish nails, wide and curved down
According to the specialist, more serious problems also interfere with the appearance of the nails, as is the case with heart disease or that affect circulation in some way, such as asthma and bronchitis, which make nails purple, wide and curved downwards.
Yellow and thick nails
This type of change is linked to lung disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Problems tend to make the nails yellow, thick and difficult to grow, as changes in the lung make circulation difficult and affect nail growth.
Nails with white streaks
White streaks on the nails can indicate kidney pathologies, such as kidney failure.
Changes in structure and appearance of spots
Nails can also signal skin diseases, such as psoriasis, when they become rough, weak and have punctate depressions. In case of severe bacterial or fungal infection, the nails also undergo changes, peeling off, becoming swollen and acquiring a greenish black color.
"The formation of spots under the nails is also a warning sign, as these changes, despite being mostly related to mycoses or trauma in the region, can be indications of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer", warns dermatologist.
However, it is not necessary to despair every time you notice changes in your nails, as some changes are due to minor trauma, such as biting your nails, or the constant use of cleaning products without the protection of gloves and can be easily avoided through basic care, such as making daily use of moisturizers and avoiding prolonged and unprotected exposure to detergents and chemicals.
It is also important that you adopt a healthy diet, consume 2 to 3 liters of water daily and, especially, avoid removing the cuticles completely. This is because this small piece of skin that surrounds the nails is responsible for protecting them, preventing water and other harmful substances from reaching the nail matrix and favoring the growth of fungi and bacteria.
However, even following these precautions, it is essential that you always pay attention to the condition of your nails. To perform this action efficiently, the ideal is that you do not use nail polish for at least 10 days in the month. The doctor adds that if during this period you notice any kind of change in the nails, the most important thing is that you see a dermatologist. After all, for diseases to be detected, it is necessary to carefully evaluate your health through a series of tests that will lead to the final diagnosis.