What the Color and Condition of Your Nails Is Telling You

The condition of your nails play a vital role to the state of your health. They are the outside reflection of what is happening to you on the inside. A warning bell as to what to take seriously concerning your health. Without much ado, here are a few points to consider:

Yellow Nails

Your nails may color yellow due to the use of nail polish or acrylic nails but it can also be result of smoking. If your nails are crumbly, thick and yellow a fungal infection might be the cause. They are also related to diabetes, respiratory disease like chronic bronchitis and thyroid disease.

Dry, Cracked or Brittle Nails

This might be as a result of using nail polish remover frequently, if your hands are in water a lot of the time, washing dishes or swimming or you live in an area with low humidity.  It can also be as a result of low value of vitamin A and C or the B vitamin biotin or a fungal infection.


This is when your fingertips become bigger and the nails bends downwards. This can be as a result of low oxygen in your blood that can be associated with lung disease, liver or kidney disease AIDS, Bowel or inflammatory disease.

White Spots

This occurs as a result of what is called a nail trauma and its quite natural, they are not a source of concern except if they are present for a longer period than normal, then one can look at a fungal infection. They tend to grow out on their own or fade away.

Horizontal Ridges

According to John Anthony, M.D., a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, explained them this way to TIME: “This is typically the result of direct trauma to the nail or a more serious illness, in which case you’ll see it on more than one nail at a time … Your body is literally saying, ‘I’ve got better things to do than make nails’ and pauses their growth.” They might also be caused by uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory disease, and severe zinc deficiency. They may also be as a result of trauma, serious illness, and high fever like pneumonia. Also another kind of horizontal ridges that is called Mees’ lines is as a result of Hodgkin’s disease, malaria, leprosy arsenic poisoning or carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Vertical Ridges

These are as a result of aging and are of no concern. They happen due to nutrient deficiencies like the decrease of vitamin B12 and magnesium.

Spoon Nails

They are curved upwards like a spoon. They show the signs of iron deficiency, anemia, heart disease or hypothyroidism or excess iron absorption-hemochromatosis.


These are when your nails have dents in them. They are a sign of psoriasis, a tissue disorder or an autoimmune disease (alopecia areata) that cause hair loss can affect the nails too.

Dark Discolorations

When you see black discoloration, it may be due to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. It’s best to see your Doctor.

White Nails with a Strip of Pink

Also known as terry’s nails. When you see this, it is a sign to check for diabetes, kidney failure, congestive heart failure or liver disease. Sometimes it may be due to aging.

Image Courtesy of: thealternativedaily.com, healthline.com.

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