What is the colour of your nails? Alas, does that matter? Your nails are generally pink. Any change in colour or texture could indicate an underlying health issues. Your skin, the largest body organ, is closely related to your nails and general health and wellness.
The relationship between nails and skin
The connection between your nails and skin goes beyond protecting your nerves, muscles, bones, and blood vessels. The impact of eczema on fingernails can cause discomfort and expose your skin to breakouts and infections. How do your nail and skin health support each other to ensure you’re healthy?
Your body’s outer layer comprises the skin, nails, hair and glands. Therefore, your nails and skin are the first defense against injury, extreme temperatures, and bacteria. Your outer protective layer is referred to as an integumentary system. The integumentary system works with other body systems to keep you healthy and balanced. This article will look at the relationship between the skin and nail changes.
Let’s delve into the details of your nails and skin and how the two affect your wellness. Both the nails and skin
- Protect dirt and germs from getting into your body, thus helping the immune system
- Protect the inside organs, tissues, and vessels from injury
- Help regulate body temperature because the skin holds the nerve endings that are sensitive to touch, pain, cold, and heat, which helps the nervous system.
- Controls water loss from inside the body because the skin forms the largest organ that protects the body from external factors and extreme temperatures.
Nails protect your fingertips and toenails from injury and sensitivity form. Your nails grow from the folds of the skin around the fingers and toes. The nails are an extension of the skin.
Chipped, brittle, weak, rugged, or black-lined nails are tell-tale of the underlying skin and general health condition. Physicians often explain these as indications of poor nutrition or indigestion. On the other hand, your skin may also appear dull, creased, and chapped.
Any colour change or texture can indicate skin and other systemic problems. Therefore, pay attention to anything abnormal on your toes and fingernails. You can see a physician or a dermatologist for further diagnosis. Some physiological changes and other factors can cause symptoms on your toe and fingernails. Here are some of the common signs to look out for:
- Pale nails
Your nails normal colour is pink. However, unhealthy nails can be partially white. In severe cases, the entire nail may completely turn white. White or pale nails could result from dietary deficiency, anemia, trauma, or poisoning. They can also be a symptom of kidney or heart disease.
- White nails
Nails that appear mostly white can indicate liver problems. One of the symptoms of hepatitis, a liver problem, is generally white nails with darker rims on the edge where the nails protrude. Seek medical advice for further diagnosis when you notice this symptom.
- Yellowish nails
Fungal infection can cause the nails to turn yellow. When a fungal infection is not treated for a long time, the nails can thicken, and nail bed retracts and crumbles. Psoariasis on nails can cause the nails to turn yellowish. Yellowish nails can also indicate lung problems and advanced thyroid disease.
- Bluish nails
Nails appearing blue is a sign of asphyxia. An insufficient supply of oxygen could indicate lung or heart problems.
- Rippled nails
Do your nails’ surface appear rippled or rigged? Rippled nail is an indication of inflammatory arthritis or psoriasis.
Your nails are only part of the puzzle with your skin. Not everyone with pale nails has psoriasis. See a dermatologist if you’re concerned about your nail colour or changes in your skin.
The skin is the largest organ in the body. It is thick, approximately 2 millimeters, and thicker on surfaces that take more stress, like the feet. The skin comprises three main layers, epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.
The epidermis is the topmost layer of the skin. It gives you the skin colour and provides a waterproof barrier. The dermis is the thickest layer of the skin. It contains oil and sweat glands. The hair follicles have their root in the dermis. The hypodermis is the bottom layer. It contains the fatty layer and insulates the body.
What does your skin reveal about your health?
The skin is the window to the wellness of your body. Sun damage may manifest in uneven pigmentation, spots, and wrinkles. Dehydration can cause the skin around the eyes to look sunken. Some of the skin conditions that require the attention of a dermatologist include:
- Dry, itchy skin
Itchy skin is uncomfortable. Always keep your skin moisturized after prolonged baths and showers. Dry, itchy skin is uncomfortable for people managing psoriasis.
Use medicated soaps, shampoo, and treatments to manage dandruff on the scalp and around the nose. See a dermatologist for further diagnosis and treatment if the over-the-counter medication does not clear dandruff.
Acne is a common skin problem for males and females. Acne breakout is typical in adolescence but can persist into adulthood. Acne can also indicate an imbalance in the hormones, especially in women.
- Discoloured skin
Changes in the colour of your skin can indicate an underlying health problem. Yellowish-looking skin tending to orange can indicate liver or kidney disease. On the other hand, tan spots indicate poor blood circulation. Seek a dermatologist’s advice for expert diagnosis of skin problems.
Skin rashes can be mild or severe. Many people get contact dermatitis, a reaction to something you touch. Rashes can also be a symptom of skin diseases such as psoriasis. See a doctor if your rash is persistent or accompanied by fever or joint pains.
Most nails and skin disorders don’t signal severe health conditions. However, it helps to see a dermatologist for further diagnosis and timely treatment. Your nails and skin tell you what’s going on inside your body. Therefore, take good care of them and see a doctor when you have severe symptoms and concerns.