Your fingernails are not only a barometer of your general health state, sometimes they can also signal the presence of a medical problem! Why do nails turn yellow? And how to discriminate yellow nails from the ‘yellow nail syndrome’?
Yellow fingernails are often the result of behavior habits: such as smoking, nail polish, cooking with curry, nail fungus, or the use of certain types of medication (e.g. tetracycline).
YELLOW NAILS DUE TO A MEDICAL PROBLEM?
But sometimes nails may take a yellowish teint which is not the result of behavior. Fingernails that are yellow can be an indication of a medical disorder in some cases. These include liver disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and nutritional deficiencies, most notably iron and zinc. Although most cases of yellow nails are not caused by an internal disorder, underlying medical problems should be ruled out if your nails have suddenly changed in color. Simple blood tests can generally rule out most causes of a yellow fingernail.
YELLOW NAIL SYNDROME?
The ‘yellow nail syndrome‘ is a rare nail disorder characterized by yellow to yellow-green, thickening, slowgrowing nail changes – with absent lunula and cuticle: see the picture below. The underlying pathological process if thought to be related to impaired lymphatic drainage.
THE NAIL TUTOR DESCRIBES THE MOST COMMON CAUSES
FOR YELLOWISH DISCOLORATION OF VARIOUS PARTS
OF THE NAIL UNIT:
Example of the yellow nail syndrome:
September 4, 2010
Emily Wang – beauty journalist in London – wrote an interesting article about various aspects of fingernails, including: beauty tips, a basic review of the nail structure, changes in nail color & texture, and… the meaning of fingernail types according traditional Chinese medicine!
A short impression from the article:
“Interestingly enough- according to Traditional Chinese Medicine,
our nails are also able to portray our innate constitutions.
If your nail shape is naturally:
Oblong – You are harmonious and well-balanced.
Stock and square – You are earthy and balanced but mentally rigid.
Long – You are artistic and creative but lack physical strength.
Oval – You are sensitive and have a weak digestive system.
I found this to be shockingly accurate!
Some interesting reads here.
I used to have artificial nails, acrylic nails and gel nails consistently for two years that I never got to see my natural nails until I decided to take them off for good. My nails became so weak that they felt and bended like paper. At some point they became sensitive to touch, and were unable to grow to a normal standard length before it eventually chipped away.
It therefore took a good year before they even came close to regaining to a healthy state. During this time I had to be mentally aware of what I ate, and made sure that I had substantial amount of vitamins and nutrients that were essential for healthy nail growth.
I am writing from experience. I know what it is like to have that moment where at the time, having fake nails is beautiful. Going to a nail salon, and getting your nails done feels like luxury.
But think about it. Can you really have fake nails for the rest of your life?
The answer is no. And that is why I had decided to be more natural and love my nails as they are. I have learnt to take really good care of my nails, and as my grandmother has always said to me – that “a woman’s fortune depends on her hands and feet.”
Not that I believe in it, but at least now my fingernails look and feel healthy- without needing to spend money doing it up
A little side note…. my younger sister had a “cheese on toast” addiction for a couple of months where she ate it for breakfast before going to school almost everyday. Luckily, because of our family genes, she did not gain any weight from it whatsoever, however we all noticed that her nails improved drastically. She is the only person I know that has the strongest, healthiest looking nails. Extremely envious! I don’t think I could eat cheese on toast everyday…… maybe jacket potatoes!
Shellac Hybrid Nail Color is CND’s new polish that goes on in three coats like polish, dries like a gel, and lasts for 14 days with high shine. It can only be applied by a professional manicurist using a special CND UV lamp, and became available at nail salons since May 1, 2010.
Imagine going to the nail salon and getting your nails done without having to wait for them to dry. Now imagine having your manicure last for 14 days with no chips, bubbles or smudges. And after bringing your color Shellac for two weeks, a 10 minute clock is removed for a new application, and you can change color. Sound too good to be true?
A REVIEW BY STYLIST.COM:
Grace Gold from Stylist.com test the new CND Shellac fingernail product, and these are her conclusions:
“I actually think that CND is playing it safe by claiming this manicure can last two weeks, because I can definitely push at least a week more out of my current nails, if not even more.”
“I also think this is a great option for weddings and other events. No need to get up extra early to fit a harried trip to the salon in on the day of a special occasion– you can instead comfortably Shellac a week before and be confident that your nails will look fresh and unchipped for the big day.”
“The one drawback is that similar to its cousin, the gel, Shellac can only be applied in salons. It requires less skill than sculpting a gel nail, but still uses UV and removal technology that is not yet directly available to consumers.”
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:
PHOTO IMPRESSION from a CND Shellac 14 Day Manicure:
The photo above was taken just a few months prior to Redmond’s accident which resulted in the loss of her fingernails, for the 2010 Edition of Guinness World Records.
Lee Redmond’s nails are more famous, Melvin Booth has the world record!
The official Guinness World Record ‘longest fingernails':
Female record ‘longest female fingernails':
In an interview with Guinness World Records Lee Redmond talked about her meeting with Melvin Booth:
“I have very, very fond memories from Melvin, he touched my life. He also broke my heart, to see this man who wouldn’t even go out of his home. Tears when I left, both he and I. I hope that some day he will realise that he’s more than his fingernails. . . I think the difference between Melvin and me, for one thing they didn’t keep me from going out in public, and they didn’t make me be secluded. I would have never, never chose to keep them if they would have had to keep me away from people or you know, living whatever normal is you know.”
“I hope he will decide to go out and interact with people and I’m sure that he felt the love that I had for him and respect. It wasn’t his fingernails; it was him that I cared for.”
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:
• The full story about Lee Redmond’s world record fingernails!
October 21, 2009
Were Michael Jackson’s dark fingernails + nail moons caused by his health condition? Was his nail condition the result of medication/drug abuse?? Or, did the color of his fingernails look ‘weird’ merely because the color of his skin had become lighter over the years???
Obviously, during the past few months many people got wondering about those questions. Therefore a new PHOTO ESSAY on Michael Jackson’s finger nails is presented in order to find permanent answers.
A QUOTE FROM THE PHOTO ESSAY:
“Between 1989 and 1999 his skin had become lighter, and the condition of his fingernails became a bit more ‘pink’. But at the Michael Jackson meeting with Nelson Mandela the color of his fingernails appeared as quite ‘balanced’ and ‘normal’ (possibly only a bit ‘faint’ in the center of the nail plate).
In the last period of his life (2006 – 2009) his skin had become a bit whiter, however his fingernails had become darker and appeared to have ‘brownish’ look: the condition of his fingernails could no longer be described as ‘normal’.”
How to recognize ‘blue lunulae’?
A blue (purple) lunula is characterized by a bluish color of the nail moon (notice: the nail moon usually has a ‘whitish’ color).
Common causes for a blue nail moon:
In general blue nail moons are an indiation for circulatory problems (cold weather may be a part of the cause), or a lack of oxygen (smoking and/or obesity might play a role in this!).
More rare causes blue lunulae can be:
• A drug’s side-effect;
• Wilson’s disease (genetic disorder in which copper accumulates in tissues);
• Argyria (a condition caused by improper exposure to chemical forms of silver);
If the condition persists, it would be wise to consult the opinion of a doctor – for, even though this is a clinical sign of a simple condition, the cause can actuallly be more severe as well.
MORE DETAILS: THE COLOR & SHAPE OF THE LUNUA:
PHOTO – Where to find the lunula, a.k.a. the’nail moon':
• The FINGERNAIL TUTOR: an online nail disorder identification tool!
• 20 Common nail disorders!
• More reports about nail disorders!
• More hand & fingernail facts!
Fingernails, hair and ears are the only body part that show considerable constancy of growth untill the moment of death.
Though many people assume that the nose grows until beyond the age of retirement, the ‘Handbook of normal physical measurements‘ describes that by fact with age the nasal bridge rises producing a more prominent root – which implicates that the nose is not growing much beyond age 18!
Some facts reported by the Telegraph about fingernail & ear growth are:
“The actual rate of nail growth one may (or may not) be interested to learn is 0.123mm a day. But what is remarkable is its staggering constancy over many years – almost as if the nails were aware of the higher purpose they are intended to serve.”
“The only other body part (besides the hair) that shows a similar constancy of growth in adulthood are the ears. They increase in size by the same amount in a year as the nail does in a day. This compensates for the gradual age-related decline in hearing – and accounts for why those in their seventies and eighties have apparently oversized ears. Who says there is not a Designer?”
RELATED STORIES ABOUT NAILS & MORE:
October 7, 2009
In 1941 Dr. William Bennett Bean started his study on nail growth. His investigation began back in 1941 when he filed a horizontal line just above the cuticle and then measured its stately progress up the fingernail.
The American physician subsequently published his findings – once (incorrectly) described as the most boring scientific study ever undertaken – as “Nail growth: 35 years of investigation”.
The actual rate of growth one may (or may not) be interested to learn is 0.123mm a day. But what is remarkable is its staggering constancy over many years – almost as if the nails were aware of the higher purpose they are intended to serve.
The growth slowed remarkably when Dr Bean was laid low by mumps, but compensated by doubling its speed for the following six months. Disease and trauma might be expected to have an adverse effect, but not so: the nails accelerate as if to “grow out” the damage – a fifth as fast again in regular nail-biters.
The only other body part (besides the hair) that shows a similar constancy of growth in adulthood are the ears. They increase in size by the same amount in a year as the nail does in a day.
A milestone in William Bean’s nail growth research concerns his 1963 paper:
RELATED STORIES & MORE:
October 4, 2009
Last months researchers from the University of North Carolina presented a study in which they monitored 195 fingernails and 188 toenails over a period of three months. Then they compared their results with studies on nail growth that were in 1938 and the 1950’s.
The new study points out that today people’s fingernails grow 25 percent faster than 70 years ago!
|THE RESULTS IN A NUTSHELL:
The new results revealed that fingernails now grow by 3.47mm every month – almost twice as fast as toenails. Thumbnail growth rate was 3mm a month in 1938 and 3.06mm in the 1950’s study. However, the average thumbnail now grows by 3.55mm a month – an increase of more than half a millimetre over seven decades. The little finger nail grows much more slowly than other fingernails, at a rate of 3.08mm each month. The middle finger has the fastest-growing nail.
The results also confirmed that the nails of younger people and men grow faster. Nails tend to grow faster in summer. Cold environments and smoking are factors that can slow down growth.
FOOD & LIFESTYLE:
A rapid change in the environment, lifestyle and health conditions – such as diet, physical activity and body composition – has occurred over the past 30 years. During post-war rationing, foods rich in protein were scarce. Instead, diets consisted of carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes and bread. However, the modern diet is rich in protein from readily available fish, meat, eggs and poultry – may be behind the spurt in nail growth.
Teresa Smith, director of a mobile manicure service said:
“Nail length has increased, the main reason being that we have a far more healthy, balanced diet. Also, people are more aware of their bodies’ nutritional needs.
The sun does help nails grow faster, too, because of Vitamin D. And people tend to drink more water in the summer which flushes out toxins and makes the body healthier, so nails grow stronger.”
MORE ABOUT GROWING LONG FINGERNAILS:
• New research says: ‘nails grow faster on a protein-diet & vitamin D!’
September 30, 2009
‘Onychomycosis’ is the medical term for nail fungus – which is usually the result of a living organism that thrives in dark, damp environments such as under and around nails. This nail disease is commonly misunderstood: it is usually NOT related to poor hygiene!
Fungal infections are very common on both fingernails and toenails. Toenails are more likely to be affected by onychomycosis since it is attracted to a dark and damp environment which is more common on the foot than on the hand. A common cause of ‘onychomycosis’ in the fingernails is… artificial nails!!
The prevalence of childhood onychomycosis is estimated 0.2%. The typical age range for onychomycosis in children is 6-14 years of age.”
This disease is commonly misunderstood and left untreated for various reasons. nail fungus, in particular, is notoriously difficult to treat.
Onychomycosis is usually a chronic condition that progresses to involve more of the nail and other toes. Even if you lose the affected nail, the nail that grows back is usually also still affected by the fungus.
RESULTS OF TREATMENT ARE USUALLY POOR:
There are some internal medications available by prescription that help fight onychomycosis, but they can have severe side effects such as upset stomach, headaches and liver damages. Also mixing these drugs with other medications can be extremely dangerous.
Not to mention the cost. Some of the nail fungus prescription medications can cost well over $1000 by the time treatment is complete. Studies show that there is only 35-50% complete cure rate after 72 weeks of using these prescription medications as a nail fungus cure.
Topical medications are helpful in treating early small infections. They just aren’t capable of penetrating the nail to reach all of the fungi, so most prove unsatisfactory as a nail fungus cure.
SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING: