Facets of beauty are not limited to facial features, body contours, nice skin, great smile and sexual attractiveness. For wholesome and optimal beauty, every part of your body should flawless including your nails. However, nails are not simply objects of admiration and beauty. They have a major function of protecting the terminal portions of your toes and fingers as well as the sensitive and delicate tissue contain underneath from trauma.
Thus proper nail care means you must protect the integrity of your fingernails and toenails from any pathologic influence. Nails are made of a kind of protein scientists call keratin. Sometimes, you may notice some changes in your nails and underneath your nail beds, which in most cases are telltale signs of a systemic disease, the nature of your job as a neurogenic or vascular disorder, your nutritional status or a skin disorder.
What Are Black Lines On Nails? What Causes Them?
A relatively common condition that many people suffer from yet they do not understand is black lines on nails. According to experts, such lines may result from splinter or hemorrhage of the fingernail or toenail. The lines appear as thin vertical stripes that develop under your nails because of abnormal bleeding into the nail bed.
At first, the lines may be plumb colored but they then to darken with time so that in a couple of days, they become brown or black. Researchers have never deciphered the actual cause of splinter or hemorrhage that lead to black lines in nails. However, some authorities think the cause may be particles of fat or blood clot carried via blood and stick in the nail bed.
Sometimes, they may result from traumatic injuries to your finger or toenails due to the nature of your occupation. In some rare cases, the cause could be an underlying systemic disease or disorder such as connective tissue disorders. This underscores the importance of consulting with your medical service provider if you notice the lines growing.
Another important and common cause of black lines on nails is an infection. In most cases, such infection result from a fungal infestation of the nail but another organism such as bacteria or even parasites. In most cases, such nail colonization result from poor hygiene of the fingers. If your occupation requires the use of hands in handling not so clean stuff then you are at a higher a risk of developing black lines on nails.
Is It Possible To Get Rid Of Black Lines On Nails?
I guess the answer is yes, but permanent treatment is determined by the perceived or actual cause of the problem. Because of the multiplicity of the causes, the remedy of black lines on fingernails or toenails, no one solution can be effective. For instance, consider the following :
- If the dark streaks under your nails resulted from traumatic injury, then allowing your nails time to heal could be the amicable solution. Your body has a very efficient mechanism to clear off or dissolve blood clots in just a few days.
- For dark lines that resulted from lodging of a foreign object into your nail bed then the best treatment is to remove the object and then allow your nails time to heal. It is good to have a qualified doctor remove the object. Doing it incorrectly could cause more problems than good.
- A case where you have these nail problems yet there is no known associated history of trauma then it is best to consult your physician or another qualified health expert to advise you on the steps to take.
- If the problem were due to an underlying systemic disease that has been diagnosed such as scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) then the remedy would be to treat the underlying cause. A doctor may prescribe medication for you to take.
Can Home Remedies For Black Lines on Nails Be Of Help?
Today, both naturopaths and modern medical experts agree that nature has some of the best solutions when it comes to treatment of many conditions. So, are there home remedies that can help with getting rid of black lines on nails? Yes, there are and they are numerous, readily available, safe and extremely affordable.
Many people can attest to having achieved full relief and regained their uniformly colored nails after using combinations of these remedies. You too could benefit but first, you must consult a medical professional to diagnose the cause of your problem. Even if the cause is a systemic disease, use of these natural remedies can quicken the process of healing and in certain circumstances completely erase the black lines.
Here is a descriptive list of the most effective home remedies for black lines :
1. Keep Your Nails Clean
Many people overlook nail hygiene especially if they are working in places where that make it easy for the nails to be affected. A good home remedy for black lines under your nails is ensuring your nails as clean as possible at all times. Make sure you clean your nails very well every day regardless of your occupation. Use the safe disinfectant or sterilizer, soap and clean, running water. Scour or scrub your hands with a scrubber or a brush if necessary to remove stubborn germs.
2. Balanced Diet
As we mentioned earlier, one of the most important causes of black lines on your nails is nutrient deficiencies. The major deficiency is that of vitamin C. Remember your nails are made of keratin, a connective tissue protein. Vitamin C plays an important role in the synthesis of keratin. Keeping balanced diet will always equip your body with enough ingredients to synthesize the necessary vitamins to keep your nails healthy.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is considered by many as super-food because of its many properties. One of the major properties is the antifungal properties. If you apply it on your nails, coconut oil makes a barrier against moisture and therefore prevents the multiplication of the fungus. It is recommended that you apply coconut oil on the affected nails 3 times per day.
Garlic is another important home remedy for black lines on your fingernails and toenails. Among the many health benefits of garlic are its strong antifungal properties. Crush some fresh garlic clove and then apply it sparingly and directly on the affected nail or nails. You can use garlic together with a base oil such as coconut oil or olive oil.
4. Lemon Juice
Soaking your finger or toenails on concentrated fresh juice can kill bacteria, fungus and other microorganisms that may cause the dark lines. Lemon juice can also remove run-of-the mill stains that might lodge under your toenail and fingernails. Just like the other remedies discussed here, lemon juice will work better if you combine it with others.
5. Cayenne (capsicum) Pepper
Cayenne paper is a very potent anticoagulant. It has been used for a year in the east as a cooking necessity. Capsicum works by preventing platelets from sticking together (platelet aggregation) and thereby easing blood flow and clearing current blood clots in your nails. The main active ingredient in a cayenne paper is a compound referred to as capsaicin responsible for its potent anticoagulant properties.
6. Cat’s Claw
Cat’s claw is an herb containing several potent compounds found in its bark. This herb may prevent blood clots from forming in your bloodstream and increase circulation. For this reason, alternative medical experts have used cat’s claw for years by to manage severe health conditions associated with blood clottings such as heart disease and stroke. Take 1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. of the cat’s claw tincture two to three times per day.
Asia is home to some of the most potent herbs in the world. Ginger has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Ayurvedic tradition recommends daily ginger consumption to prevent heart disease. Ginger is able to prevent platelet aggregation and therefore clotting and thus protect your nails hemorrhage that might cause dark lines on your nails. Just add ginger to your daily meals as a spice and you will always have healthy nails.
8. Turmeric and Cinnamon
Turmeric curry powder and cinnamon are some of the best spices nature as provided us with. Besides being delicious spices, turmeric and cinnamon are great anticoagulants capable of neutralizing clots and preventing formation for more. Turmeric contains curcumin as its active ingredient that positively affects blood flow the same way exercise does.
The ingredient also decreases the levels of clotting factor fibrinogen, which protects you from coronary artery disease and other vascular problems that might underlie the black lines in nails. One teaspoonful of turmeric in glass a glass of warm milk taken daily should be sufficient to enable you to enjoy the all the benefits of this spice.
9. Sunlight Exposure
It may not mean much to you but exposure to adequate amounts of sunlight is an important natural remedy for black lines on nails. This is because sunlight is necessary for the synthesis of vitamin D, a potent blood thinner. A blood thinner is a compound that reduces the viscosity of blood and thereby reduces any chances of clot formation.
10. Green Tea
Green tea is among the most potent remedies for getting rid of black lines on nails. It has powerful antioxidant properties which prevent over oxidization and production of toxic free radicals and in so doing reduce the risk of blood clot formation. Green is also a potent vasodilator (relaxes blood vessels) due to its ability to increase the production of nitric oxide. Drinking warm green tea with a dash of honey can improve circulation by relaxing the arteries. Green tea has several health benefits that will guarantee you perfect health.
11. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) Sources
There are several sources of vitamin C, which you can obtain from home. Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants. You can find this vital ingredient in virtually all citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, kiwifruit and certain herbs. Foods rich in ascorbic acid can help in the rebuilding of the walls of the arteries and thereby maintain proper vascular health.
12. Fish and Fish Oil
Fish is perhaps the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that alter the shape of blood platelets preventing them from sticking together to form a clump that is characteristic of black lines on nails. This prevents blood clots from forming. Make it a habit to add enough of fatty fish to your diet. This will guarantee you overall cardiovascular health.
Nuts such as groundnuts and peanuts are very rich sources of healthy fats, the most important of which is omega-3. These healthy fats reduce the chances of blood clots due to atherosclerosis. Secondarily, this will help eliminate hemorrhage into your nails and thereby reduce the chances of formation of black lines on nails and clearing the ones that are already there.
Helpful Tips to Get Rid Of Black Lines on Nails
In addition to the above natural remedies, adopting the healthy lifestyle can help cure and prevent black lines on your nails from forming. However, many people tend to ignore these remedies when looking to treat those unsightly black lines. Here are some helpful tips:
- Regular Exercise
Exercise promotes blood circulation and this has the effect of clearing clots including the ones that might be causing the unsightly dark lines on your nails.
- Drink Lots of Water
Water is a natural blood thinner as it increases the fluid level in your body. This way, it reduces the chances of a blood clot forming within your blood vessels leading to hemorrhage.
- Avoid Smoking
Cigarette smoke is a killer. Substances in a cigarette smoke contain toxins that can damage the lining of your blood vessels and this will hamper blood flow and form a nidus for clot formation. You will do well by quitting smoking. A good alternative is to use the much safer vape pen.
- Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
Taking a few drinks is vital for good health but having one too many can predispose you to serious problems including black lines in your nails. How could this be? Alcohol increases triglyceride fat levels in the blood and thereby promotes the deposition of fat in arteries including the small ones supplying the tiny arteries in your fingers and toe tips.
If you have been suffering from black lines on your nails and you are looking for ways to get rid of them then the natural remedies we have discussed here can be of help. One thing you must keep in mind is that such black lines on nails could be a sign of a terrible underlying disease. Therefore, consult with your doctor or physician even as you try the home remedies we have discussed in this post.