Fingernails can grow downward as a result of a condition called nail clubbing in which the fingers grow larger, while the nails grow around and curve over the larger fingertips, explains Mayo Clinic. Health problems such as low blood oxygen, inflammatory bowel disease, AIDS and cardiovascular disease can cause clubbing.Continue Reading
In some cases, nail clubbing runs in families and is not associated with any health problems, notes NHS Choices. However, when a person suddenly develops nail clubbing, it can be a warning sign of diseases of the lungs and heart, such as lung cancer, endocarditis and bronchiectasis. Other health issues that nail clubbing may indicate include cirrhosis, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and polycythaemia, a condition in which the blood is thicker than normal.
Some other fingernail and toenail abnormalities that can provide clues about health are brittle and crumbly nails, loose nails, thickened nails and discolored nails, according to NHS Choices. Possible causes of brittle, crumbly nails include fungal infections, thyroid problems and the skin condition lichen planus. Loose nails can signal overactive thyroid, poor circulation, an allergic reaction to a medication or a fungal infection. Potential reasons for thickened, overgrown nails include fungal infections, reactive arthritis, or shoes that are too narrow or small. Nails that are discolored a yellowish tint may result from sinusitis, jaundice, lymphoedema or tuberculosis.Learn more about Nail Care
There are a variety of ways to strengthen nails, including practicing good nail hygiene, avoiding too much water, keeping nails manicured and shaped, and applying protective coatings, according to the Mayo Clinic. Moisturizers and supplements can also help.Full Answer >
Fingernails and toenails marked by horizontal waves or ridges are typically the result of the medical condition known as Beau's lines, according to Skinsight. An abrupt interruption of nail keratin synthesis causes the waves. As the nail grows, the lines tend to vanish.Full Answer >
People get split fingernails from constantly wetting and drying their nails in low humidity weather and when they expose their nails to harsh chemicals such as detergents and nail polish removers, states the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Though rare, some diseases and vitamin deficiencies also cause split fingernails.Full Answer >
To grow long nails naturally, take biotin supplements, avoid nail hardeners, limit professional manicures and avoid harsh chemicals such as cleaners and acetone nail polish removers. Improving the health and strength of your nails allows them to grow longer without cracking, splitting or breaking.Full Answer >