If you can’t quite put a finger on what’s ailing you, perhaps you should take a closer look at your fingernails. Your nails are actually a strong indicator of various health problems—some mild and some more serious, according to the Mayo Clinic.
While dirty fingernails probably just means you need to maintain them a bit better, there are other telltale signs the keratin formations near your fingertips are trying to communicate to you, and which could warrant a trip to the doctor. Here are six health conditions that have been linked to irregular fingernails…
The Mayo Clinic notes that “ice pick-like depressions” on your nails don’t necessarily come from you chewing on them. It is a condition also found in people that have psoriasis, a condition that causes dry, scaly skin.
The clinic also warns that pitted nails could mean you have a connective tissue disorder, and they provide gave two examples. The first are tissue disorders, such as Reiter’s syndrome, which can have arthritis-like symptoms among other indicators. The second is alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.