Nails and Your Health

The shape, texture, and color of your natural nails act as a window into your body. While some nail symptoms are harmless, others can be indicative of chronic diseases even cancers.

These are 13 nail symptoms you might experience in your lifetime

  1. White Spots
  2. Pale Nails
  3. White Nails
  4. Yellow Nails
  5. Bluish Nails
  6. Clubbing Nails
  7. Horizontal Ridges
  8. Spoon Nails
  9. Pitting
  10. Cracked or Split Nails
  11. Puffy Nail Fold
  12. Dark Lines Beneath the Nail
  13. Gnawed Nails

White Spots

Small white spots on nails are usually the result of nail trauma. They're not cause for concern and will fade or grow out on their own.

Pale Nails

Pale nails can be a sign of Anemia, Congestive heart failure, Liver disease,Malnutrition

White Nails

White nails with darker rims can indicate liver problems, such as hepatitis.

Yellow Nails

Your nails may yellow with age or due to the use of acrylic nails or nail polish. Smoking can also stain nails a yellowish hue. If your nails are thick, crumbly, and yellow, a fungal infection could be to blame.Less often, yellow nails may be related to thyroid disease, diabetes, psoriasis, or respiratory disease (such as chronic bronchitis).

Bluish Nails

Bluish Nails can mean the body isn't getting enough oxygen. This could indicate a lung problem, such as emphysema. Some heart problems can be associated with bluish nails.

Clubbing Nails

Clubbing describes when your fingertips become enlarged and the nail becomes curved downward. It can be a sign of low oxygen in your blood and is associated with lung disease. Clubbing can also be related to liver or kidney disease, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and AIDS

Horizontal Ridges

Horizontal ridges, also known as Beau's lines, may also be due to trauma or a serious illness with a high fever (such as from scarlet fever or pneumonia). Horizontal ridges, may also be due to psoriasis, uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory disease, or severe zinc deficiency.

Spoon Nails

Nails that curve upward at the edges, taking on a spoon like appearance, may be a sign of iron-deficiency anemia, hemochromatosis (excess iron absorption), heart disease, or hypothyroidism.


If nails have multiple pits or dents, it's a sign of psoriasis. Nail pitting may also be due to connective tissue disorders or alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.

Cracked or Split Nails

Cracked or Split Nails have been linked to thyroid disease. Cracking or splitting combined with a yellowish hue is more likely due to a fungal infection, particularly hypothyroidism. Brittle nails may also be due to a deficiency in vitamins A and C or the B vitamin biotin.Lifestyle factors may play a role here, such as if you have your hands in water a lot (washing dishes, swimming, etc.), use nail polish remover frequently, are exposed to chemicals (such as cleaning products) often, or live in a region with low humidity.

Puffy Nail Fold

If the skin around the nail appears red and puffy, this is known as inflammation of the nail fold. It may be the result of lupus or another connective tissue disorder. Infection can also cause redness and inflammation of the nail fold.
Dark Lines Beneath the Nail

Dark lines beneath the nail should be investigated as soon as possible. They are sometimes caused by melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

Gnawed Nails

In some cases, biting nails may be a sign of persistent anxiety that could benefit from treatment. Nail biting or picking has also been linked to obsessive compulsive disorder.


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