top of page

Fingernail warning signs

I found this interesting article about the fingernail and how the appearance of them can warn you about underlining health issues that you cannot see. So I thought this would be the topic of my next blog -

Take a look at your nails and assess each one. Look at whether it has ridges, dips; how thick or thin it is and the skin around the nail.

1. Discolored nails​​

A healthy fingernail should be pink with a touch of pinkish white (moons) near the base.

  • -Green nails are a sign of bacterial infection​​

  • -Red nails maybe a sign of heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease, stroke, carbon monoxide poisoning

  • -Blueish nails signal low oxygen levels in your blood

  • -Dull nails mean a vitamin deficiency

  • -White nails may signal of kidney or liver disorders or anemia.

Scrub your nails clean and really look at your nail color!

2. Thick nails

Thick nails are not natural. You want your nails to be strong, but if they resemble talons or claws more than traditional nails watch out!

  • -Thickened nails that are otherwise normal can signal lung disease

  • -Thick and rough-textured nails can signal a fungal infection

  • -Thick and separated nails may mean thyroid disease or psoriasis

  • -Unusual thickness may also be a symptom of a circulation problem

Thickening nails are a change that should tune you in to other health symptoms you may be ignoring.

3. Split nails

Split nails aren’t just occasionally chipped or shut in doors. Instead, these nails seem to flake away in layers. Don’t blame frequent handwashing or nail polish for everything,

  • -Split nails result from folic acid, Vitamin C, and protein deficiencies so get those vitamins out and watch what you eat!

  • -Split nails combined with a pitted nail bed (base) can signal psoriasis

  • -Split nails may result from chronic malnutrition

4.Concave (Spoon) nails

Spoon fingernails signal a number of internal issues. To be considered full spoons, nails will be soft and curve up, forming a dip that is often big enough to hold water. Spoon nails signal:

  • -Iron deficiency (usually from anemia)

  • -Hemachromatosis, a liver disorder where your body absorbs too much iron

  • -Heart disease

  • -Hypothyroidism

5. Pitted nails

Small dips or holes in your nails can be a result of banging up your hands – or they could be a sign that you need to look more closely at your health. Nail pitting can signal:

  • -Psoriasis

  • -Connective tissue disorder

  • -Alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss

  • -Zinc deficiency (when the pit seems to form a line across the middle of your nail)

Watch your hand to separate natural dents and dings from real, lasting pits. The first will clear up quickly, but pits linked to disease linger.

6. Ridges

Nails should have smooth surfaces with almost imperceptible lines. Obvious ridge lines are a signal that something is up with your body. Some of the most common conditions associated with heavy ridge lines are:

  • -Iron deficiency

  • -Inflammatory arthritis

  • -Lupus (for red lines at the base of your nails)

Don’t just buff away your ridges – hear their warning!

7. Dry, brittle nails

You don’t need lotion or cuticle oil. If your nails are dry and brittle, you should check your hormone levels and bacterial health.

  • -Thyroid disease leads to brittle, dry fingernails that crack and split easily

  • -Fungus can make nails dry or even crumbly, affecting 12% of all Americans according to the American Academy of Dermatology

Both thyroid and fungal issues take time to treat, so you won’t see a difference in the look of your fingernails for a full growth cycle.

Your fingernails won’t be the only signs of these diseases, but they can provide confirmation or motivation to seek medical care.


  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
bottom of page