Diagnosing Illness Through Nails

There is absolutely no doubt that Beautiful hands get same attention as a beautiful face. Healthy nails added bonus to ones image. But, there is more to nails than pure vanity and decoration.


More than adding to our well groomed image, they serve as a health indicator too.  When healthy nails began to change colours then it is a time to pay attention to your health. Many diseases and conditions are apparent on the nails. By reading these signs, you can very well be aware of an internal disease cropping up.

Nails and our health:

Written below are some ways in which nails indicate about our health problems.

• Black nails: They can indicate signs of Anemia, B-12 deficiency, bacterial infection, chronic kidney disease, adrenal gland problems, liver disease, cancer or melanomas.
• White nails: May be indicative of kidney or liver disorders or even Anemia. White lined bands across the nail beds can signal a protein deficiency.
• White spots on nails: In most cases this is due to iron or zinc deficiency or injuries to the nail bed. It can however also be indicative of certain internal problems such as arthritis.


• White areas under nails: White areas visible under the nail, normally at the tip of the nail where it joins the nail bed, indicates a fungal infection. Half white nails, with dark spots, especially on the tip, may be indicative of kidney diseases.
• Grey nails: Can suggest arthritis problems, edema, malnutrition, post-operative effects, glaucoma, lung problems, emphysema, cardio-pulmonary disease.
• Green nails: Are a result of allergies caused due to cleaning agents, Bacterial infection such as Bacillus infection, localized fungal infection, and serious emphysema.
• Yellow nails: May indicate problems with the lymphatic system, respiratory disorders, diabetes or liver. Yellow discoloration in your fingernails may result from a respiratory condition, such as chronic bronchitis, or from swelling of your hands (lymphedema).

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Purple nails: Oxygen deprivation, circulatory problems or congenital problems lead to purple nails.
Red fingernails: May indicate heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease or stroke.
• Darkening of nails (on the sides): This may be indicative of kidney disease.
• Lines (blue or black): A simple dark blue line in the fingernail can be a sign of skin cancer. Tiny black streaks can indicate a possible heart problem, and thin black lines on the nail often indicate a heart disease.
• Brown spots under nails: A skin and joint disorder called psoriasis may be indicated by brown spots in fingernails. Whereas, reddish-brown spots indicate a deficiency of folic acid, protein or vitamin C.
• Splitting and fraying nails are a symptom of Vitamin C deficiency, psoriasis, or lack of folic acid and proteins.
• Vertical ridges on nails appear due to arthritis. Whereas, horizontal ridges are a result of too much stress.

Image source: 1, 2, 3

Also read:
How to Get Perfect Nails
How to Take Care of Your Nails
Nails: Remedies for Nail Discoloration
10 Tips to Treat Brittle Nails


6 thoughts on “Diagnosing Illness Through Nails

  1. I have a black line only on my nail of my thumb for the past year, havent got it checked yet. I just left it as I presumed it as some sort of deficiency.

  2. Nothing about Pink nails 😛
    hehehehe…I have nice cute baby pink nails (touchwood)
    but they turn purple if I stay too long in an A.C. room or anywhere cold :ghost2:
    I scare all friends look I’m an alien :toothygrin:
    and I also used to have the white spots back when I was young,but we always used to say “Ohh you got white spot on ur nail,You will be getting new clothes” :yahoo: :tongue: :silly:

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