Your nails can tell you many things.

Causes of Nail Discoloration

If you’ve noticed that your fingernails aren’t looking quite the way they used to, don’t panic yet. There are a few fairly harmless reasons why nails can change color: -Using dark nail polish can leave nails stained close to the color of the polish or may leave them an orange- yellow shade -Smoking can turn nails a brownish color -Reactions to certain medications could give nails a blue-ish tinge

Causes of Nail Discoloration

However, sometimes there is a more serious cause behind your nails changing color like: -Bacterial infections that can turns nails a green-black color -Fungal infections that turn nails yellow -Melanoma can cause black or dark brown discolorations

Discoloration Can Also Be A Sign of Liver Disease

Fingernail appearance and discoloration can be a sign of serious liver disease -Pale Nails – Pale nails can indicate anemia, a potential side effect of the medications used to treat liver disease. -Muehrcke’s Lines – These are double white lines that run across the fingernails horizontally and have been linked to low albumin (an important protein made in the liver) levels. -Terry’s nails – A condition marked by the tip of each nail having a dark band, Terry’s Nails are frequently a symptom of liver failure and cirrhosis.

Prevent and Treat Nail Discoloration

The good new is, most causes of nail discoloration are easily treatable. Here are a few tips for preventing and treating nail discoloration.

Keep Clean

A strict regimen of washing the feet and hands with antibacterial soap and water every night before bedtime, and drying them completely, is one of the best way to prevent bacterial or fungal infections.

Wear Shoes in Dirty Areas

If you’re prone to developing fungal infections, walking barefoot in public facilities can expose your feet to the troublesome fungi. Always wear shoes or flip flops in public areas, like gym locker rooms, public showers, and public swimming pools.

Keep Your Toenails Short

Long toenails can get caught on things or rub against tight shoes, causing the nails to lift from their beds, making it easier for bacteria to get into the skin under your nails.

Wash Your Hands Often

Fungal infections can easily spread from your feet to your hands. So make sure to wash and dry your hands thoroughly after inspecting your feet.

Use Base Coats

Be sure to use a base coat (clear nail polish) before applying colored nail polish. This will help from getting your nails from getting stained from darker nail colors.

You Should Visit a Doctor When...

-You notice unexplained changes in the color of your nail. -Your nails appear to be abnormally thick. -The area surrounding your nails are swollen, painful, or tender. -You have a nail that appears to have separated from the nail bed. -You can’t link your nail discoloration to nail polish, smoking, or if you nail discoloration is linked to other symptoms.

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