Age-related changes in nails
If the eyes are called the mirror of the soul, then many call the nails a barometer of general health. Unfortunately, external age-related changes overtake not only the skin and hair, but also our nails, making them dull, and not only dull.
What Causes Nail Aging?
But, not only time can harm nails. The predominant majority of the female half of humanity is accustomed to carefully care for the skin of the face and hair, forgetting that hands and nails in particular require no less care. It is they who are able to give out the true age of their owner.
True, it happens exactly the opposite - when a woman is so eager to ensure that her nails are beautiful and well-groomed, which, frankly, goes too far. Excessive manicure, which, moreover, could not be of very good quality, damages the nails and causes allergic reactions and even chronic diseases.
In some cases, nails can actually reflect:
- Internal aging processes;
- Lack of nutrients;
- External exposure to harmful substances - chemicals or ultraviolet radiation.
All this can directly affect the parameters of growth and texture of the nail, its color, shape and contours.
Healthy nails are smooth and shiny. Their color is light pink, and at the base there is a pronounced whitish hole. The nail plate is constantly updated, growing weekly by 1 millimeter.
How nails change with age
The older a person becomes, the thicker his nail plate becomes. In addition, nails:
- break down;
- Lose their transparent luster;
- Change color to gray or brown.
In many women of the age category 40+, ridges (ribbed nails), longitudinal or transverse furrows begin to appear on the nail plates. So, what are the most common nail changes and what do they signal to us.
- Severe fragility indicates an acute deficiency of vitamins, in particular groups A, E, C. The body also lacks zinc and iron. In some cases, brittle nails can be a harbinger of diabetes or thyroid disorders.
- The appearance of white spots (the so-called leukonychia) can speak not only of injured nails, but also of an unbalanced diet, depletion of the nervous system, and even heart failure.
- Pinpoint depressions, almost imperceptible to the naked eye (as if a nail had been pierced with a needle), almost always indicate psoriasis. May be additional manifestations of arthritis or eczema.
- Too large lunulae (the light part of the crescent-shaped nail) speak of hard physical labor, in some cases signal malfunctions of the cardiovascular system and low blood pressure. Conversely, too small lunula is a sign of deficiency of vitamin B 12 and iron components. But in this case, problems with blood circulation are also possible.
- Transverse or longitudinal grooves. Transverse - may indicate a change in the chemical composition of the nail, due to a lack of nutrients. May be the consequences of a strict diet. May be the consequences of mechanical or toxic damage. In the second case, transverse stripes appear after taking potent drugs or a course of chemotherapy. In rare cases, they are symptoms of cardiovascular disease or a fungal infection. Vertical - lack of B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and iron. Very rarely, they can appear after an incorrectly performed manicure (if the root of the nail was damaged during excessive removal of the cuticle). True, then only a few stripes appear on the injured nail. If there are a lot of stripes and they are on each nail, it is worth looking for the reasons in the cardiovascular and digestive systems.
- Nails in the form of spoons indicate that the body is sorely lacking in iron and endocrine system disorders are possible. Additional causes are exposure to sudden changes in temperature, trauma and exposure to chemical reagents. Sometimes spoon nails are the result of inherited gene mutations.
- "Drum sticks" indicate the presence of serious diseases, up to cancer. It can be tuberculosis, heart disease, endocarditis, Crohn's disease, intestinal ulcers and other dangerous diseases.
- If the nail does not exfoliate after an injury, this may indicate a fungus or an allergy. Only in 10% of cases, detachment of the nail is associated with systemic diseases.
- Half of the nail (closer to the body) is white, and the half with a brown edge indicates kidney failure, chemotherapy. Occurs in people who are HIV positive.
- Changed color of nails: turned white - the digestive and cardiovascular systems failed, especially attention should be paid to the liver. Turned yellow - lymphatic or endocrine systems, liver. Turned blue - poor circulation, low hemoglobin and lack of oxygen.
- A single black line on the nail can be a symptom of melanoma, an injury, or a poor diet.
Of course, everything changes with age and, unfortunately, not always for the better. Perhaps the nails signal you about more serious diseases. Therefore, if you notice signs of obvious changes in the nail plate, it’s better to immediately go to the doctor’s office, isn’t it?