People should check their fingernails every fortnight, a doctor has revealed.
If you notice a change in colour in your nails it could be an important indicator for a number of health conditions.
If your nails appear white, yellow, blue or black, you could be suffering from a serious condition, according to Dr Zainab Laftah
“Yellow nails are commonly seen in people with thyroid and lung infections while blue nails, due to low oxygen in the blood, can signify heart and lung conditions.”
Black marks on nails can be a sign of skin cancer, warned Dr Laftah. He advised: “If you see black dots or marks, consult a GP or dermatologist straight away.”
White nails, also known as leukonychia, is when white spots or streaks appear on your nails.
Cold temperature can also cause fingernails to turn blue. But if they stay blue upon warming up it could be a sign of a condition known as cyanosis.
This occurs when there isn’t enough oxygen in your blood. If fingernails remain blue it may be an underlying condition interfering with the body’s ability to deliver oxygen-rich blood.
Black nails can result from a trauma or a fungal infection, but in some cases the cause can be more serious, including heart disease or melanoma.
Melanoma causes the skin to develop one or more patches of dark, irregular-looking skin.
In some cases, the patch of darkening skin grows beneath the nail bed.
If you notice any prolonged changes in the colour of your nails, see a GP.