Conditions that affect the health of your nails can be a clue to your overall health. Healthy nails are usually smooth and consistent in color. Specific types of nail discoloration and changes in growth rate can be signs of lung, heart, kidney, and liver diseases, as well as diabetes and anemia. White spots and vertical ridges are harmless. Nail problems that sometimes require treatment include:
- Bacterial and fungal infections
- Ingrown nails
Keeping your nails clean, dry, and trimmed can help you avoid some problems. Do not remove the cuticle, which can cause infection.
Our nails often reflect our general state of health. Changes in the nail, such as discoloration or thickening, can signal health problems, including liver and kidney disease, heart and lung conditions, anemia, and diabetes.
Symptoms that could signal nail problems include changes in color, shape and/or thickness, swelling of the skin around the nails, bleeding or discharge, and pain.