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McDowell Podiatry
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Your Nails May Be Sending You a Message

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Happy Halloween!In a couple of weeks, Halloween will be here and you can expect to see many kids (and adults!) in Carmichael, CA dressed up in all kinds of costumes. Some will be popular cartoon characters, while others may choose to lampoon political figures or dress as favorite athletes. When it comes to the scary costumes, individuals can give tremendous amounts of attention to detail, right down to grotesque-looking nails! The ghouls, zombies, and other creatures that come out around Halloween have a reputation for being scary, but one thing they certainly aren’t known for is their nail care.

As we look at nail care in real life, there are certain conditions that can make nails look abnormal or even scary. Here at McDowell Podiatry Group, we are used to seeing all sorts of foot and ankle conditions, so abnormal nails are often a matter of “business as usual.” Those who aren’t in the podiatry industry can see pictures of severe cases of fungal nails online and be shocked at their appearance. What’s important is to keep in mind that the state of your nails might speak volumes about your physical health.

There are some nail changes—the emergence of vertical lines and a certain degree of brittleness for example—that happen simply as a result of aging. In other cases, dark spots on nails develop as a result of an injury and will grow out over time. Sometimes, though, discoloration or nail changes are an indication of an existing problem that needs to be addressed.

Here are some potential nail appearances and the condition they may indicate:

  • Yellowed, thickened nails – emphysema or other lung diseases

  • Yellowish nails that are slightly red at the base – diabetes

  • Red nailbeds – heart disease

  • White nails – Hepatitis or other liver diseases

  • Half-pink, half-white nails – kidney disease

  • White or pale nailbeds – anemia

  • Dark lines underneath a nail - melanoma

When you have nails that look unusual, are causing issues, or have become ingrown, McDowell Podiatry Group can help. Along with foot and ankle treatment, we provide professional nail care and diagnosis so you can understand what is causing the issue before we take care of it for you. Contact our Carmichael, CA office by calling (916) 961-3434 or use our online form and schedule your appointment today!

Dr. Brian McDowell
Dr. Brian McDowell, board-certified podiatrist, provides cutting-edge foot and ankle care in Carmichael, CA.
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