Sick of No Lunula

Feeling good is within the power of your hands.

By Kevin RR Williams

HEALTH When a doctor looks at your hands during a routine exam, he may see more than what you care to admit. Healthy fingernails should be smooth and glossy with a white crescent called the lunula. On average, it occupies one fifth the surface near the cuticle. Pedicures with nail polish mask lunula. It is normal to have 8 to 10 visible lunula (two are generally absent from pinky fingers). The lunula is not just pigment. Even when the nail is totality removed, the lunula remains in place. It is looks like another smaller fingernail embedded in the nail bed. It contains stem cells and nail plate matrix that help the nail grow.

Questions about how often you exercise might seem intrusive to non-athletic patients. According to Eastern medicine, a more energetic person has correspondingly whiter lunulae. Minimal lunulae signals lower energy, poorer health, poor blood circulation, depleted immunity, and a possible digestion. When lunulae only appear on the thumbs, physical energy is insufficient and disease may be imminent. People with absent fingernail moons are not necessarily ill but they tend to have serious diseases when they feel sick. Conversely, some Western doctors may simply view lunula absence as atypical. Others express more concern.

A red lunula is common among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In patients with Wilson’s disease (hepatolenticular degeneration), lunula is blue (azure lunula). Heart failure can show up as red lunula. Tetracycline therapy can turn it yellow. A blue-gray nail is indicative of silver poisoning. Excessive fluoride ingestion may turn nails brown or black. Chronic renal failure affects almost all the systems of the body, including the skin and appendages. Three nail disorders most common in patients with chronic renal failure are half-and-half nails, absent lunulae, and splinter hemorrhages.

Don’t bite your nails if you lack lunulae. Take it as a sign to exercise for better cardiovascular circulation and to subsequently feel A Bit More Healthy. The Understanding Skin anatomy poster includes cutaway illustration of the fingernail.

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Tags: dermatologists, fingernail analysis

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