What Are Your Nails Trying To Tell You?

Posted by in Hands & Feet

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In the world of online beauty it can be easy sometimes to forget about the significance of things that aren't aesthetically pleasing. If your nails are dry, cracked and flaking it can totally throw off your nail art game, but what does it actually mean? If you've ever been to see a dermatologist, or needed to have surgery, you might've been a little confused when they requested you remove all traces of nail polish. Well this polish hating practice isn't because the dermatologist is jealous of your on fleek nail art, it's actually because your nails can tell you a lot about your health. To make sure you're up to date on these nasty nail signs we've summarised a few symptoms to keep an eye out for, after all there's no polish in the world pretty enough to cover up a gross fungal infection...

Darkened Nails

There are many types of pigmentation that can happen on or under the nail, some of which are totally harmless such as moles and bruises. However certain types of melanoma, a type of skin cancer, can present as a solid dark line stretching from the nail bed to the tip, so if a new darkened patch like this appears on your nail it's worth getting it looked at quickly just to rule out anything unpleasant. Different kinds of fungal infections can also cause darkening but these tend to be in greeny/grey patches. If you see signs of this, pop down to your local pharmacy to get a professional opinion. A common cause of fungal infections is wearing false nails, so if you've been donning the falsies a little too often lately, why not give your nails a break with a pastel nail colour like this Smith & Cult Nail Polish in Bitter Buddhist £19.00 - the perfect online beauty buy for Spring, plus the colour suits nails of any length.

Blue Nails

We've all been out in exceptionally cold weather once in a while and noticed our nails going a little blue and this isn't an issue if it's a rare sight. Prolonged blue nails can be a sign of poor circulation which can be the result of Raynaud's Phenomenon, a common but harmless condition where stress, anxiety and cold can trigger the blood vessels to contract and restrict blood flow. However blue nails can also be a sign of heart and lung problems so if you're commonly experiencing severely blue nail beds try seeking some advice from a health care professional.

Brittle Nails

Brittle nails are a very common symptom and are often cause by the nails simply being dry. Nails can become dry when you use too many products on them, or where nail polish back-to-back for a long period of time. The best way to keep nails hydrated is by giving you nails a break from polishes once a while and using nourishing nail oils such as this Aromessence Nail Oil from Decleor £33.40. This nourishing online beauty buy uses essential oils to nourish and strengthen nails, reducing the risk of flakes and cracks. If you find your nails are brittle, as well as your hair thinning and becoming exceptionally dry, in rare cases this can be a sign of an under-active thyroid so keep a look out for these common signs and symptoms.

enter image description here Ellie's green fungal infection had reached catastrophic levels...

Vertical Dents Or Lines

If you can see lines running from your nail bed to the nail tip that look like dents this is another common sign of dry nails. Even if you don't wear nail polishes this can still be the result of the weather or a certain hand wash you may be using. The simplest solution is to keep a thick and nourishing hand moisturiser on you at all times so you can keep your hands soft and healthy. One of my favourites is this Shea Butter Hand Cream from L'Occitane £8.00 because it provides intense hydration as is the perfect size for slipping into your handbag.

Horizontal Ridges

Ridges that span across the nail from left to right are usually the sign of a past trauma that upset the production of the nail while it was still in the nail bed, this can be due to stress, illness or malnutrition. If you find you are getting these regularly try to think back and identify period where perhaps you weren't eating properly or felt worried about something, if you can rectify these issues then the horizontal ridges will simply grow out. Panic over!

Thickened Nails

If your nails are looking unusually thick and perhaps a little cloudy or flakey this can be a common sign of a fungal infection. However the nail quality can vary naturally with age so if you're concerned speak to your pharmacist before shelling out for any expensive and lengthy fungal treatments.

As much as we love to dress up our nails to the nines and try out the latest nail art trends, it's very important to keep an eye on your nails and neglecting them can lead to poor health. By removing varnish regularly, avoiding gel extensions and keeping your nails well moisturised, you can have healthy, flake-free nails all year round.

If your nails are looking a little dry, you can shop our nourishing range of online beauty buys specifically for your hands and nails here.

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