The fingernails and toenails are made up of keratin, just like your hair. Keratin is a protein, and healthy oils and fats are also needed to keep the skin, hair and nails moisturized and strong. A varied diet rich in vitamins, antioxidant fruits and veggies, protein and minerals is key for healthy skin, nails and hair. Minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, sodium and zinc are particularly important for your nails. However, it’s not just these minerals that make a difference — other nutrients like biotin, folic acid and protein are just as important to nail health.
If you’re deficient in certain nutrients or have ongoing health issues, you may see changes in your nails that include discoloration, ridges or lines in fingernails. Some lines in fingernails can signal serious health problems, while others are simply due to impact or injury. However, with the exception of zinc, folic acid, iron or protein deficiencies. nutrient deficiencies are unlikely to be the cause of your fingernail ridges.*
Why do we have fingernails? They are not just on the tips of your fingers to beautify your hands but to protect and aid in your daily activities.
Nails serve several important purposes.
They help humans function. Nails are basically flat versions of claws that help humans dig, climb, scratch, grab, and more.
They guard against injuries. They serve as protective plates that help prevent the fingers and toes from getting cut or scraped during daily activities.
They enhance the sensation. The fingers and toes contain nerve endings that allow the body to process the volumes of information that it receives every time something is touched—and the nail acts as a counter force, providing even more sensory input after a person touches something. ~verywell health
Healthy, happy nails! Check out the healthy cuticles
Healthy nails are not . . .
Purple nails – When nails turn purple or blue, says Dr. Graf, it could be a symptom of Raynaud’s. The syndrome causes blood vessels in the fingers and toes to spasm, and while it’s usually just a benign inconvenience, Raynaud’s can also be an early symptom of more serious disorders. This can also be a sign of poor circulation.
Dark Spots – Those small, vertical plum lines you see running along your nails? They’re called splinter hemorrhages, and sometimes they can be chalked up to a run-of-the-mill injury. However, says Dr. Graf, it’s important to pay attention. “If you see dark, longitudinal lines, those are definitely things to get checked. They could be birthmarks, but if they go below the nail plate, they need to be evaluated for melanoma.” These tiny blood clots are also loosely associated with a host of other health issues, from lupus to heart inflammation, so schedule an appointment to rule out anything serious.
If a dark stripe or band suddenly appears at the cuticle or on in the nail plate, get it checked out.
If any of these apply to you, please see a licensed manicurist or podiatrist for advice.
There are some conditions that may be helped by visiting your pedicurist on a regular basis, not just when you have to or some special occasion.
Think About It: Does your outer appearance match who you are on the inside? You are the only one that can really see you.