Everyone wants healthy nails, but how do you know if you have them? Nail health is often an indicator of overall health, so it’s important to know if your nails are healthy. We’ve put together some tell-tale signs for you to evaluate your nail health.
Healthy nails should be a pink or mauve color. The yellowing of the nail is fairly common and is often the result of an infection or reaction to the nail polish you have used. Scattered white spots can be an indicator of a zinc deficiency, an allergic reaction, a fungal infection, or from an injury to your nail. Any dark lines should be reviewed by your doctor as light-to-dark-brown discoloration can be a sign of subungual melanoma.
Vertical ridges on your nails are common and not particularly noteworthy; however, horizontal ridges across the nail plate could be a more serious problem. These deep horizontal grooves, known as Beau’s lines, could indicate an injury to the nail, lack of nutrition, or an infection.
The cuticle is the delicate, transparent skin located above and around the nail base. Cuticles protect nails from bacteria when they grow, so it is important to protect your cuticle to promote healthy nail growth. The presence and cleanliness of your cuticles is a sign of healthy nails.
Nails that are sturdy and have little breakage are typically healthy. If you notice your nails are constantly breaking, you may have brittle nails. Brittle nails can be caused by an iron deficiency or could be the result of wetting and drying your nails too often.
For those who bite their nails, this habit can cause diminished health for your fingernails. Nail biting can also lead to ingrown nails and infected cuticles. Additionally, chronic nail biting may eventually lead to the permanent shortening of nails.
Are you keeping your hands and nails moisturized, especially during the winter months if you live in a cold climate? Proper hydration helps cuticles stay healthy and supports nail growth, which is why we love our lavender-scented cuticle oil.
Avoid ripping and biting those pesky hangnails and opt instead to regularly trim your fingernails. Longer nails can retain more dirt and bacteria than shorter nails, which could contribute to the spread of any infections.