11 Health Secrets Your Hands Are Trying to Tell You

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Close-up of a hand that index finger have contact lens at a tip (selective focus). Jtas/Shutterstock

A long index finger, higher risk of heart disease

On the flip side, men who had coronary artery disease were more likely to have a longer index finger compared to their ring finger, notes a study on Chinese men and women published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences. It's not the first study to show the correlation, either. Here's the truth about why women usually outlive men.

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A purple rash along wrists may be an immune reaction

Purplish, itchy bumps around the wrist may be an inflammatory condition known as lichen planus, says Dr. Jaliman. Though it may look like a contagious rash, it's not. Most common in middle-aged adults, the condition can be triggered by the flu vaccine, prescription medications (like those used for high blood pressure or arthritis), or over-the-counter painkillers, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Male doctor consults with his patient and writes notes on the clipboardRostislav_Sedlacek/Shutterstock

When to seek help

Sometimes the cause of a nail problem is obvious. You may have caught it in a door (ouch!) or gotten a nail infection (ugh). But when the reason for your nail trouble isn't clear, seek a professional opinion. Dr. Jaliman advises heading to the doctor if nail changes appear on most of the nails and if they appear suddenly. Next, find answers to the 13 most contentious health debates.