Red Nail Tips Health – Reviewed by Deborah Weatherspoon, PhD, MSN – Posted by Rachael Link, MS, RD on Jul 2, 2021
Most people have a pinky toenail with a white lunula, which is the crescent shape that sits at the bottom of your toe just above the cuticle.
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Changes in the color of your nails can be caused by certain medical or other health conditions.
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For example, some people may have completely white nails, except for a brown band at the edge of the nail. This disease, known as Terry’s nails, is more common in people with severe liver disease.
Also, nails that are half white and half bright red are called Lindsay’s nails, a condition often associated with kidney disease.
This article will explore everything you need to know about Terry’s nails, including the causes and how to treat them.
Terry’s nails are completely white with a red or brown band at the tip. They also have a unique shape that resembles ground glass.
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Although this disease usually affects all of your nails, it can also appear on one toe and has been reported on the toes as well.
Apart from changing the appearance of your nails, Terry’s nails do not cause any other negative symptoms.
Terry’s nails are believed to occur when there are fewer blood vessels and more connective tissue than normal in the nail bed, causing the nails to appear white.
Although Terry’s nails are harmless, they should be checked by your doctor, as they can be a sign of a more serious problem and can be associated with many health problems.
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The condition is often seen in people with liver disease and liver cirrhosis or scarring. U
Additionally, Terry’s nails can appear on their own as you age, even if you don’t have any other medical conditions.
Terry’s nails do not require any treatment and usually fade as the underlying conditions associated with them improve.
However, since many conditions that cause Terry’s nails can be serious, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you notice any nail damage.
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Like Terry’s nails, Lindsay’s nails are characterized by discoloration of your nails and are often caused by underlying medical conditions.
They are sometimes called “half-and-half nails” because they are white at the bottom and pale red near the top.
Although it is not entirely clear what is causing Lindsay’s nails, it is believed that chronic anemia due to kidney failure may be causing the nails to look pale. Meanwhile, a dark color on the top half of the nail can be caused by high levels of melanin, which is a type of brown pigment.
Changes in the color, shape or texture of your nails can sometimes be a sign of other health conditions.
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Similarly, other abnormal nails such as lines or holes on the fingers or toes can also be caused by medical conditions.
For this reason, it is important to talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in your nails to determine the cause and the appropriate treatment method for you.
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Whether you’re the type of person who religiously paints their nails as a form of self-care or someone who regularly picks and bites their nails, we all crave healthy, well-groomed nails. Well-manicured nails instantly make you look good (pun intended!) and can even make hands look younger.
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To combat the side effects of extra hand washing and skipping salon visits, we spoke to nail care experts to find out exactly what you should be doing for your nails – but first, how can you tell if your nails are healthy? Here’s what to pay attention to.
If you are concerned about the health of your nails, it is important to consult a dermatologist. Because your nails are more visible, it’s easier to tell when a problem is occurring—which means you can fix it sooner if you get help, says Dana Stern, MD, a dermatologist and nail care specialist in New York City. Here’s how to get strong, healthy nails:
After washing your hands, make sure your nails are completely free of dirt by first removing any remaining nail polish with an acetone-free, non-drying nail polish remover. Apply soap to a clean toothbrush, then scrub your nails and surrounding skin to remove dirt and dead skin without harsh, drying chemicals, advises Ava Shamban, MD, a Los Angeles-based dermatologist and author of
Your hungers are mild, so treat them as such. Avoid using metal tools under the nails, as too much digging can cause the nail plate to separate from the skin (a condition called onycholysis), which is common in people over 50, says Dr. Stern. Cleaning with chemicals and washing dishes by hand can also weaken nails. Protect them by wearing rubber, vinyl, nitrile, or plastic gloves, says New York dermatologist Janet Prystowsky, MD, Ph.D.
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Healthy nails are just as important for your nails as they are for your hair, says Dr. Prystowsky, and makes nails less prone to cracking and breaking. So try to trim them every two weeks, adjusting the frequency as needed as you see how your nails respond.
Long nails are beautiful, but if you’re someone who has had issues with them hanging or breaking, Dr. Shamban recommends keeping your nails short—a little longer while you let them grow. A short style with rounded edges looks good and is usually easy to maintain, so you don’t have to put your nails through a lot of wear and tear. As long as each nail is evenly shaped and in line with its nine neighbors, you won’t miss out on extra length.
If your job or your exercise routine exposes your nails to potential injury, Dr. Prystowsky suggests keeping a nail file handy for buffing out any rough edges on the spot. For a smooth finish, work in the same direction as your nail.
Instead of a memory board, which can cause nails to crack and split, try a glass (also called crystal) nail file. “A glass file will create an even nail edge and can be used on weak, brittle and damaged nails,” Dr. Stern says.
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Disinfection of nails between uses is just as important as regular cleaning of makeup brushes, and for the same reason – bacteria. To keep your nails free from infection, Dr. Pristowsky suggests washing the metal tool with soap and water, then wiping it with rubbing alcohol. And don’t forget to regularly replace disposable tools like a sanding pad. There’s no need to keep using your old device when it’s easy to replace it with a new one for a small amount of money.
The cuticle has an important purpose: it covers the area under the nail. So think twice about cutting or removing your cuticles, as doing so can break that protective seal, leaving you vulnerable to bacteria and the possibility of infection (as well as painful and invisible tears). Caring for your cuticles also helps reduce those dreaded nails, Dr. Stern says.
If you want to suppress your wrinkles, Debbie Palmer, D.O., medical director of Dermatology Associates of New York in Harrison, NY, recommends doing so once a week after showering (when skin is soft) with orange peel. Finish by massaging the cuticles and nails with a cuticle oil or treatment. “A serum-like conditioner absorbs quickly and often contains a moisturizer to repair dry, brittle nails,” says GH Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek.
When painting your nails at home, do not go over the base coat. Ph.D. Prystowsky points out that this step prevents nail polish from staining and helps make the color more intense and bright with one application. Even without color, “strengthening polishes leave a hard-to-cover shine on nails; they strengthen the tips, make them look thicker, and can protect against damage,” says Wnek. And if you really want to take things up a notch, Dr. Shamban recommends adding a coat of clear gloss between each coat to add shine and protection.
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Just like with makeup and skincare, not all nail brands are created equal, so make sure you’re buying or using the right product. Ph.D. Debbie Palmer recommends avoiding nail polishes that contain toxic chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene, as these toxins can cause brittleness, splitting and cracking.
Don’t think you can skip the top coat either. This step is important, as the top coat covers the polish color and adds the shine needed to finish off your figures. Ph.D. Prystowsky recommends adding another top coat every three days to reduce dullness, so you’ll get the most out of your manicure.
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