5 Signs of Iron Deficiency on Skin, Hair and Nails

The human body needs iron to make haemoglobin, which in turn enables red blood cells to carry oxygen through the blood vessels. Yet, iron deficiency, which occurs when the body does not have enough mineral iron, is considered one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in humans. An iron deficiency in the body, called anaemia, results in a lack of oxygen to tissues and muscles, hampering their proper functioning. It further causes various symptoms affecting the skin, hair and nails majorly. Several signs on the skin, hair and nails show chances of iron deficiency.

Hair fall

Due to iron deficiency, it becomes hard to transport oxygen throughout the body. As a result, nail and hair growth is inhibited. One might also notice their hair becoming thin and falling out. If you notice your hair falling out around the hairline, crown and middle section of your hair, it may hint at severe iron deficiency. It becomes more apparent when the hair is wet or you’re standing in a bright place.

Dry and damaged hair

Hair becomes rather dry and damaged due to iron deficiency. As the haemoglobin level decreases, hair cells do not receive enough oxygen for effective hair growth.

Paler inside eyelids

The inside portion of the eyelids is usually bright red in colour. However, with moderate to severe levels of iron deficiency, the insides of the eyelids turn pale. This is the first thing doctors check when looking for signs of iron deficiency.

Brittle fingernails

Another sign of iron deficiency is brittle fingernails or koilonychia. Due to iron deficiency, your nails will start to crack and chip easily, which later on develop a curved shape with a dip in the middle and edges.

Pale skin

The rosy pink or light red colour in your palms or on your cheeks is due to the haemoglobin in the red blood cells. An iron deficiency will result in your skin turning pale.

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