Saraya – The Institute for Family Health Care, the King Hussein Foundation, dedicated its Sunday bulletin to talking about nails, of which experts confirm that their strength, health and shape are the mirror that reflects human health in general.
The institute’s bulletin talks about the substances that make up nails and details the causes of nail problems, common symptoms, and health problems that can indicate a change in nail color.
Fingernails are one of the most important aspects of beauty for a woman as they express her personality through different colors and designs. Nail shape is related to human health condition and any change in nail shape or color can indicate some health problems, which require the consultation of a doctor.
Nails are mainly composed of creatine, which is the same substance that hair is made of, and it relies on the body’s proteins and the nutrition on them. It is the most important building block for nail health. Protein can be obtained through many sources, the most important of which are animal proteins, such as red meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, and vegetable protein sources are found in legumes such as lentils, beans, oats, kidney beans, peas and nuts such as pistachios and almonds.
Calcium is also an important element for the health of nails and their strengthening, like teeth, and the body needs about 1000 mg of calcium daily, since the symptoms of its deficiency appear in the body on the nails and affects them as we find weak or thin in a big way. Among the most important sources of calcium are milk, cheese, black bread, eggs, spinach, vegetables and dried fruit such as hazelnuts and almonds.
Calcium needs vitamin D to help in the process of absorption and stabilization within the body and its sources include: exposure to sunlight early in the day, egg yolks, curds and fish. In addition to calcium it is necessary to take zinc, as it is one of the important elements for nails and hair to protect them from brittleness, and is abundantly present in fish and meat and can be taken in tablet form when prescribed by a doctor.
Healthy nails are usually strong, flexible, smooth and have a bright color. Any changes in the nails, such as the appearance of white spots, cracks or deformities, are actually signs of certain diseases.
These changes often occur gradually or suddenly, so nail changes need to be taken seriously because they can be an indication of serious illnesses such as heart, lung, or liver disease.
Causes Of Nail Problems:
The reasons are as follows:
Fungal infection: It makes up about 50% of nail disorder cases and causes the nail end to become detached from its bed. This infection often appears in toenails because it is confined to a warm, moist environment.
– Bacterial infections: often appear among women due to constant exposure of hands to moisture, frequent use of water and chemicals, or frequent use of rubber gloves.
Tumors and warts: which can appear anywhere on the nail and can change the nail plate. Nail tumors are classified as cancerous or non-cancerous (benign), and the most common non-cancerous tumors are warts and result from viral infections affecting the skin under the nail or the skin around the nail.
– Certain skin conditions: some of which affect the nails, such as psoriasis, leading to occasional cracks with dark spots on the underside of the nail, and sometimes bleeding under the nails, and the nail may appear eroded.
– Certain allergic diseases, especially those resulting from penicillin compounds.
– The use of concentrated alkalis, especially those found in some types of soap and household cleaning materials.
Hormonal changes, such as those affecting postmenopausal women.
– Chemicals used in nail polish, which reduce the hardness of the corneal cells that make up nails and affect the amount of blood reaching the living nail cells.
– Diseases of the circulatory system: especially its weakness in the extremities due to narrowing of blood vessels.
Acute anemia and calcium and iron deficiency during pregnancy and lactation.
– Syphilis infection.
– Stretching the nails or using the file incorrectly.
Nail biting: It is a general problem for everyone and for young children in particular, and its continued practice among adults indicates anxiety and psychological problems.
Here are some common ingrown toenail symptoms and their possible causes:
Rough and cracked nails are one of the most common nail problems. Brittle nails, officially called onychoschitia, are usually caused by frequent wetting and drying of the nails, so you should use gloves when your hands are wet, such as when washing dishes. In some cases, brittle nails can also be a sign of hypothyroidism or iron deficiency. You can try using lotions that contain alpha hydroxy acids or lanolin and wearing gloves while doing the dishes. If you have cracked nails and poor growth, you need to check your calcium mineral or thyroid problems.
Soft or weak nails:
These nails break easily or bend before breaking. Soft nails can be caused by excessive exposure to moisture or chemicals such as detergents, cleaning fluids, nail treatments and nail polish removers. Weak nails can also be associated with deficiencies in B vitamins, calcium, iron, or fatty acids. Avoid getting chemicals on your nails. Experts advise not to take iron supplements until after the necessary laboratory tests have been carried out. Instead, start taking a multivitamin that contains calcium and B vitamins.
This is likely due to trauma outside the nail itself: using the nail as a tool, putting too much pressure on the nail, or when removing acrylic polish. Nails can also peel if you soak your hands in water for a long time. Peeling toenails also means there is an internal cause, such as iron deficiency. If not, it is likely to be an external cause. If you think it’s internal, try adding iron-rich foods to your diet. If the cause is external, keep your nails moisturized by applying lotion after any activity that could cause your nails to dry out. Talk to a doctor if symptoms persist, especially if you also notice that your toenails are peeling.
Nails with ridges:
They are bumps that look like small horizontal or vertical waves on your nails. Vertical bumps generally appear later in life and extend from the nail tip to the cuticle. As long as it’s not accompanied by other symptoms such as changes in color, it’s usually not a cause for concern. Horizontal bumps, also called Beau’s lines, can be a sign of kidney disease or another underlying condition and could simply be the result of picking your nails or getting a bad manicure. For vertical bumps. For horizontal lines, see your doctor to find out the underlying cause. When the nails suffer from clear ridges, it is usually due to a lack of important elements in the body such as iron and zinc, and this is mainly due to a lack of proper nutrition.
Nail color change:
They include the following:
White Color: White spots on the nail are mostly harmless air pockets that form as the nail grows.
Yellow: Yellowing of the nails is relatively common and is usually caused by one of two factors: an infection or a reaction from a product you were using, such as nail polish. In rare cases, yellowness can be a sign of a larger problem, including thyroid disease, psoriasis or diabetes. Your new nails should grow back clear and there are many natural remedies like tea tree oil or vitamin E to help treat infections. Vitamins can also help with this. Talk to your doctor if you don’t see improvement after a few weeks.
White Color: If your nails are discolored and turn pale white, this indicates many causes such as heart problems, malnutrition, lack of important vitamins and minerals, or severe iron deficiency.
Blue or gray nails: may indicate heart or lung disease.
Red lines on the nails: If there are pigmentations in the form of dark red lines on the nails, this indicates serious health problems in the body and a doctor should be consulted, as they are caused by heart problems, diabetes or high cholesterol in the blood.
– The light brown color is evidence that the fungus has started to form, so it is advisable to visit the doctor in this case because the infection can spread to other nails.
Black streaks on nails: Also called splinter hemorrhages, black streaks (which can appear brown or dark red) look like splinters. The most likely cause is nail trauma, such as accidentally closing a door with your finger. In rare cases, streaks can be a sign of an underlying problem, including psoriasis, endocarditis, or nail skin cancer.
When there are obvious problems on the nails, care should be taken to visit the doctor to determine the type of problem, as it could be a symptom of a disease or health problem in the body. We emphasize that the health of the nails is linked to nutrition, and therefore attention to them is linked to a healthy and wholesome diet and to abundant quantities of proteins and important minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin C, and to the consumption of water and liquids so that dry nails do not occur, and it is also recommended to avoid eating fatty foods.
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