Humans bite their nails surprisingly often. It has been said that the ancient Greek philosopher Cleanthes would gnaw his nails constantly. Onychophagia is the medical term for regularly biting one’s nails, and it is estimated that 20% of adults bite regularly, meaning millions of Americans experience it. Almost everyone picks and bites at least a little bit, says Fred Penzel, a psychotherapist who works with people who have nail biting, hair plucking, and other body-focused repetitive disorders. We treat people who harm themselves as something other than normal when they get to the point of harming themselves. This clearly applies to a far lesser percentage of people, but he claims it’s a fairly frequent issue. Despite the fact that excessive nail biting is common, psychologists have just recently began to investigate it. In fact, they’re still attempting to figure out the basic dilemma that many people with onychophagia struggle with: why do we keep biting our nails when the reasoning half of our brain wants to stop? The current theory is that nail biting helps to balance our emotions. It provides stimulation when we are bored; it provides temporary tranquility when we are stressed or upset. Also, Read: Tips on How to Take Care of your Nails
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What Nails Tell about Health
While there are many other causes, pale finger and toe nails are a common symptom of aging. Almost three-quarters of patients over the age of 60 had pale, poor nails, according to one poll. Pale nails, on the other hand, can suggest more serious health problems in some people. The following slide will go through a few of them. If your nails have turned pale, rather than wondering what caused them, consult your doctor.
White nails may indicate a dangerous disease, but they can also emerge in seniors as a normal aspect of aging.
White Nail Polish
There are numerous reasons why only one nail may be partially or completely white, including damage, and some of these reasons will be described more below. In any case, if all of your nails change to the same strange white pattern, you should see your doctor for additional evaluation. Terry’s nails are white nails with a pink band at the top of the nail bed, and they may indicate a significant health issue. The lunula is indistinguishable from Terry’s nails.
Fungal infection is the most common cause. Tobacco can cause smokers’ nails to yellow. Yellow nails may signify psoriasis, thyroid disorders, or diabetes if they defy therapy. Yellow nail syndrome (YNS) develops in uncommon situations in patients with severe pulmonary disease and extremity swelling (lymphedema). Although children have been documented with the syndrome, it nearly always occurs in people over the age of 50. YNS can disappear on its own at times. If that doesn’t work, vitamin E and medicine may.
What causes blue fingernails? Nails can turn blue for a variety of causes. Technically, your nail isn’t blue; only the nail bed is. Your nail bed lacks skin pigment, making it prone to blue colouring in a variety of ways.
Poisoning with Silver
Blue nails (argyria) are one cause of blue nails. Because your nailbeds lack skin pigmentation, they may be the first to show signs of silver deposits. This irreversible disorder can worsen with increased silver exposure and may eventually spread to sun-exposed skin areas. Silver miners and silverware manufacturers, for example, are in danger of developing argyria. Also, Read: Benefits of Positive Thinking on Health
Here are the illnesses that can cause nail problems. However, for a diagnosis, you should consult your doctor, who will consider several things other than nail issues.
According to Dr Poblete-Lopez, fingernails and toenails are closely related to hair. Just as your hair may fall out after an illness or an extended period of stress, so can your nails. Stress is the most common cause of side-to-side lines on your nails.
2. Melanoma or Moles
Dermatologists receive many complaints about nail color, according to Dr. Poblete-Lopez. Moles or malignant melanomas may form in lines from the cuticle to the tip of the discoloration. The pigmentation of African-Americans and Asians is more likely to change than that of other ethnicities. She recommends seeing a dermatologist if the skin behind the nail plate – the hard portion of the nail that covers the fingertips – becomes brown. Whenever a single finger is affected, these developments are always more worrying. The brown lines running into the cuticle are a sign of melanoma. Those that cease before or at the cuticle are most likely to be caused by moles.
Arthritis can cause small cysts to form at or on the cuticles. These are not malignant and should be treated by a hand surgeon.
4 . Psoriasis
According to Dr. Poblete-Lopez, this frequent skin ailment is marked by scaly, red spots, but it can also affect fingernails and toenails. Consult your dermatologist if you develop yellow-red discoloration on your nail, sometimes known as a “oil drop” or “salmon patch.”
She claims that in many cases, changes in your nails are normal and do not indicate any undiscovered health issues. However, if you have a query, it is always advisable to visit your doctor.