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How Your Skin, Hair, and Nails
Can Show Signs of Your Health

By Mikkie Mills

When it comes to beauty standards, a lot of people see the skin, hair, and nails as signs that you are healthy and taking care of yourself. That's why things like hair masks, fake nails, and skin treatments all exist. There a lot of different afflictions to these areas of your body, and not all of them are a cause for concern. Some of them are natural such as acne in teens or spots on your nail where you accidentally slammed it into something. However, some of problems can be an indication of underlying health concerns.

Skin Problems

adult acne can be troubling, they are perfectly natural. They are often caused by fluctuations in hormone levels or stress. Even adult acne can have simple underlying causes. However, acne that sticks around for long periods of time can be treated if it's really becoming a problem for you. You can use over the counter acne medications or see a dermatologist to see what they can recommend for you. Wrinkles are another skin problem that are simply part of the aging process. You can find treatments to soften them, but they won't go away completely.

There are other skin conditions that can pose a problem to you. This may include eczema, which is a common skin condition that causes itchy and flaky skin patches. It affects everyone from children to the elderly and seems to be a genetic disease, though doctors are not sure what causes it. Shingles is another common problem that affects the elderly in particular, although anyone who has had the chickenpox is at risk. It will go away on its own but will cause a painful rash for a few weeks. There's also melanoma, which is an early sign of skin cancer. Melanoma is characterized by the appearance of moles anywhere on the body. Moles themselves are very common, but melanoma moles are typically larger and darker than their counterparts in comparison. Athlete's foot is common as well, though it only affects the skin on the feet when they come into contact with certain fungi. It will cause a lot of itching and possibly cracked skin, but it will go away with time.

Nail Problems

Fungus is a common problem concerning nail problems as well. Nail fungus in particular is caused by certain fungi coming into contact with your nails and discoloring them, making them brittle, or sometimes even thinner. There are nail fungus creams that can help treat the fungus and keep your nails looking healthy after exposure. And while nail fungus is the most common, there are other nail problems you should be concerned about such as unexplained discoloration, lines across the nails, or nail pits. Discoloration can be a sign of anything from nutrition deficiencies to diabetes depending on the pattern and color. Lines across the nails can be a zinc deficiency or illnesses such as measles or pneumonia. And nail pits are common with people who suffer from psoriasis. Each of these may be a cause for concern and a reason to visit your doctor, as they may be able to tell you what's really going on.

Hair Problems

There are a lot of hair problems out there that may not have to do with your health. Most of the time, they're directly related to how well you take care of it. Frequent complaints about dry or greasy hair can mean that you simply need a change in your hair care routine. Fried or damaged hair happens when you dye or expose your hair to heat too often. There are times when changes in your hair's appearance can be caused by stress, although this is only in rare cases. However, hair loss could be a sign of something serious. A certain amount of hair comes off our heads every day, just from breakage and general care, so don't be alarmed if a few strands are falling off. If it's not a genetic trait and you aren't going through male pattern baldness, it may be a sign of anemia, lack of protein in your diet, or hyperthyroidism among other conditions. Those are all issues that would have to be seen by a doctor, although other symptoms should be present as well.

About Mikkie Mills: “I’m a Chicago native who loves to share her expertise about personal development and growth. When I’m not writing, I’m chasing the little ones around or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.” More articles by Mikkie.

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