We are all familiar with breast self-exams. And we know that suspicious moles need to be checked out by a doctor or dermatologist. But did you know there are other self-checks you can do to help you keep track of your health?
Women's Health magazine writes about "Self-checks before breakfast," things you can look in the mirror and see. Here's what they say, for instance, about your fingernails:
"If you see dark lines on the nail beds
It could mean Texas-sized moles aren't the only red flags for skin cancer--the disease can also develop under your nails. Yellowish, brown, or black stripes are a sign of cell damage, possibly from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, says Ariel Ostad, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City.
"With early detection and treatment, though, about 95 percent of cases are curable, so have your dermatologist take a second look.
"If you see bright white stripes
It could mean everyone gets white spots on their nails from time to time (usually it's a sign that you banged your finger in a drawer), but If you see long horizontal bands of discoloration on the nail's surface and you've been feeling fatigued lately, it could be bad news for your kidneys.
"These bands can be a signal that the kidneys aren't able to filter out protein from your urine," Ostad says. That means your body is losing protein faster than you can shovel in filet mignon--and that can lead to kidney failure. Visit your doctor ASAP for a urine test."
Other areas you can keep tabs on are your armpits, eyelids, knees, elbows, scalp, belly, tongue and eyes, to clue you into everything from cholesterol levels to acid reflux to polycystic ovarian syndrome, according to the article:
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.