Did you know ? Your nails can reveal your state of health and a detail, unnoticed by you, can be an indication for your doctor. Here are 5 things it can detect on your fingertips, according to Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens.
Observing the patient in consultation is the job of any good doctor who can thus know his state of health. An examination which involves taking anamnesis, questioning the patient, then a clinical examination through inspection and auscultation. During this inspection, you do not always know it, but your doctor is experienced in observing the smallest detail that could give him information. And the nails, varnished or not, are revealing in this respect. Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens, teaches us 5 things we see on patients’ nails.
Thickness ? A dermatological problem
Spots, thickened or yellowed nails may be caused by a fungal infection or a dermatological problem. Nothing very new, you may have noticed it yourself but your doctor can confirm the cause.
Brittle nails? A nutritional deficiency
Poor quality, brittle, ridged nails that peel off are often the result of a fairly severe nutritional deficiency in iron, zinc or vitamins. “This may also be due to thyroid disorders” adds Dr. Kierzek. Significant signs to be treated quickly.
Yellowed nails? A smoking
There is no point lying if the doctor asks you if you are a smoker or not. Yellow discoloration of the fingertips and nails indicates smoking.
Blue nails? A circulatory problem
“If the nails turn blue, it is a sign of cyanosis, poor blood circulation, cardiovascular or respiratory problem” underlines our doctor. A problem that can be confirmed with the skin recoloring time: when you press on your nail, it turns white but should instantly recolor when you release the pressure. “This time must be short. If it is long, it is a sign that circulation is impaired and a sign of respiratory failure. We do this, especially in children, to see where the oxygen saturation is.” he continues.
Curved nails? A sign of respiratory failure
The shape of the nails can also inform the doctor. So nails with a rounded shape “in watch glass” are called “clubbing” and are found in cases of respiratory failure. “Of course, we’re talking about a ‘change’ in the shape of your nails. If you were born with curved nails, there’s no need to worry” however reassures our expert.