12 Things Your Fingernails Can Tell You about Your Health

Posted by Editorial Staff in Health and Fitness On 17th May 2016

Our body has its own “language”, and whenever something is wrong, it makes sure to send us various signals. Fingernails can reveal some of the most dreaded diseases, some of which can be fatal if they are not diagnosed in the beginning stages.

This is why it is crucial to keep an eye on your fingernails and pay attention to even the slightest change.


#1 Yellow Nails

One of the most common causes of yellow nails is a fungal infection. As the infection worsens, the nail bed may retract, and nails may thicken and crumble. In rare cases, yellow nails can indicate a more serious condition such as severe thyroid disease, lung disease, diabetes or psoriasis

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#2 Green Nails

If your nails have slowly started to turn green, this might indicate nail psoriasis or a severe fungal nail infection, although it can also indicate jaundice, tuberculosis, sinusitis or lyphoedema.


#3 Brown Nails

Brown nails may indicate malnutrition or even thyroid disease (either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism).

If you notice that your nails have two distinct colors (for instance, they may be half brown and half white), this might indicate liver failure


#4 Dark Discolorations

Black streaks or painful growths on your nail warrant an immediate trip to your physician, as they may be due to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer

#5 Spoon nails

Spoon nails are soft nails that look scooped out. They are a sign of iron deficiency anemia or a liver condition known as hemochromatosis, in which your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat. Spoon nails can also be associated with heart disease and hypothyroidism

#6 Curved Nails

This is a condition characterized by an unnaturally large nail bed that tends to curve around the tips of the fingers.

This is a slow and gradual process that takes place over the course of several years. It is usually triggered by hypoxia (lack of oxygen)

#7 Vertical Ridges

Vertical ridges are typically a normal sign of aging and are not a cause for concern. They may become more prominent as you get older. In some cases, nail ridges may be de to nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin B 12 and magnesium.

#8 Horizontal Ridges

Horizontal ridges, also known as Beau's lines, may also be due to psoriasis, uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory disease, or severe zinc deficiency


#9 White Spots

Many people believe that white spots on nails indicate a calcium deficiency, but this isn't typically the case. "They're often the result of minor trauma, such as if you whack your finger against something, and aren't generally to do with calcium" says Dr. John Anthony, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio

#10 Nail pain

If your nails look healthy but are sore or even painful, see your doctor and have your nails checked. Pain in the nails can be any of the above reasons, so having them looked at by an expert is not a bad idea

#11 Dark bands on the nail tips

This may just be a sign of old age. According to Mayo Clinic, it can also indicate diabetes, liver disease or even heart failure

#12 White nails

If your nails are white, it may indicate liver problems or hepatitis.