Nails Reveal Your Character

It may take weeks, months or even years before you can truly know someone but our ancestors had a shorter way of judging people: they simply looked at their fingernails.

If you want to discern a person’s character, then the best place to start is by looking at his or her fingernails, according to Barkham Burroughs who wrote this “useful” guide in 1889. Some of his wacky insights include: White marks indicate misfortune so better avoid that person. Pale or lead-colored nails are found in melancholy people while broad nails mean that person is shy, timid, and gentle.

People who quest for knowledge are said to have round nails. A quarrelsome and ambitious nature is supposedly evident in those with narrow nails. Burroughs said conceited people have small nails while those who delight in war have red and spotted nails. If you have ingrown nails, consider yourself lucky for you enjoy the fine things in life and have good taste!

The day in which you cut your nails was also believed to have an effect on your future. In “A Dictionary of Superstitions” edited by Iona Opi and Moira Tatem, we get the following advice: Cut them on Monday, you cut them for health; cut them on Tuesday, you cut them for wealth; cut them on Wednesday, you cut them for news; cut them on Thursday, a new pair of shoes; cut them on Friday, you cut them for sorrow; cut them on Saturday, see your true love tomorrow; cut them on Sunday, the devil will be with you all the week.”

Today, we know that nails reflect our state of health and they mirror certain diseases. Deep horizontal grooves often indicate a serious illness while discoloration, thinning, thickening, brittleness, small white spots, and flatness can result from nutrient deficiencies, a drug reaction or poisoning or local injury.

“Doctors often look at nails to see how healthy a person is. Pink nails show that the person has enough iron in their blood and that the blood is circulating well around the body,” according to the Child and Youth Health web site of the Children, Youth and Women's Health Service in South Australia.

When fungi invade the nails, the resulting infection is called onychomycosis or ringworm of the nails. This occurs in two to 18 percent of the population worldwide and is common in people over 60. Onychomycosis is often caused by fungi called dermatophytes which are responsible for 90 percent of cases. This leads to thickened, discolored, streaked or spotted nails.

“A fungal nail infection can make wearing narrow or tight shoes, walking, or standing for long periods of time uncomfortable and in some cases painful. Over time, a fungal nail infection can cause permanent nail damage. As it invades more of a nail, it becomes more difficult to cure. An untreated nail infection can also spread to other nails and skin,” said the editors of WebMD.

Antifungal pills may be prescribed for severe cases but they can be expensive and cause serious side effects. What’s more, not all of them work. Some of the newer oral antifungals are safer and more effective but still take time to work. A better alternative is Somasin AFS, the safe and natural way to get rid of stubborn nail infections.

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