Your nails may be small, but they can attract a lot of attention. Have you looked at your fingernails and toenails lately? If your nails don't look their best, it may be time to get to the bottom of it.
Nail Issue No. 1: Ridges
If the texture of your nails is more wavy than smooth, pay attention to which way the ridges run. If the ridges run vertically, these are usually associated with aging, but if the ridges run horizontally, they can be a sign of a circulatory problem, zinc deficiency or uncontrolled diabetes.
Solution: Make sure you're taking your daily multivitamin to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals, like zinc, that may be missing from your diet. These nutrients, including iron, promote proper circulation, so look for a product that offers 100 percent of your daily recommend allowance. If you're currently taking medication for a circulatory condition or diabetes, follow up with your doctor.
Nail Issue No. 2: Brittleness
This symptom is also typically a sign of a nutrient deficiency. Iron deficiency is a common cause for brittle nails that tend to break. Women are much more susceptible to iron deficiency and anemia due to menstruation and pregnancy.
Solution: Meat, seafood, beans and dark, leafy greens are wonderful dietary sources of iron. Make sure your daily multi contains iron -- your doctor can also perform a blood test to determine if you need additional iron supplementation.
Nail Issue No. 3: Peeling
If your nails are peeling and becoming thin, this could be because daily behaviors like hand washing, use of harsh chemicals like cleaners or even nail polish remover and changes in the temperature outside and in your home.
Solution: Take it easy on your nails by protecting your hands when cleaning and using gentle cleansers on your hands. Taking a supplement that contains horsetail, a natural source of the mineral silica, can also be beneficial in strengthening the nail bed.
Nail Issue No. 4: White Spots
Also known as leukonychia, these white spots on your nails are typically a sign of trauma. Did you pinch your finger or bang your hand on the edge of a table walking by? Working with your hands is a common cause of these harmless spots. They can also be a sign of infection or an allergic reaction, but this isn't as common.
Solution: Being gentle with your hands is the first step, but that isn't always easy. Using a topical nail strengthener can provide an extra layer of protection and help fortify the nail bed to prevent damage. You can apply one on its own or before using nail polish.
Nail Issue No. 5: Discoloration
Your nails should be a pale pink in color, so anything other than that could be a sign of an underlying condition. If your nails are white or pale, that could be a sign of anemia; yellow nails may indicate a fungal infection; and blue nails could be linked to poor oxygenation.
Solution: If you notice these changes in your nails, it's best to see a doctor who can advise you how to alter your diet and lifestyle to correct the issue. Medication may also be required.
Shop for nail care products as well as nail polish from top brands like Benecos and Nicole by OPI right now at eVitamins and check back for more health news!
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.