8 Things Your Nails Could Be Telling You About Your Health

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These subtle changes in your nails may be signs of a bigger health issue.

Contrary to popular belief, your nails are not merely a canvas for colorful murals, paints and shiny lacquers. In fact, your nails can tell you a thing or two about health before the rest of your body really begins to display any symptoms. So, those brittle, yellowing, or ghostly white nails you've been sporting may not be due to an over-processed manicure, but rather, they could be a sign of something much more serious.

We've broken it down by symptom to help you determine whether or not you need to pay your doc a visit!


Symptom: Pale, colorless nails with a rosy rim at the base of the tip
Cause: This could be caused by poor circulation or merely aging, but it could also be a sign of something more serious like liver or kidney trouble, or diabetes.

What You Should Know Before Your Next Manicure

Symptom: Yellowing Nails
Cause: This could be the result of using old nail polish which can stain you the surface of your nail. If you're a smoker, this may also be an issue that you face. If you can't seem to get rid of the discoloration after soaking your nails, then you may want to consider a doctor's visit, as it could also be the result of a fungal infection, jaundice, psoriasis or a thyroid condition.

Symptom: Weak and/or brittle nails
Cause: You may need to up your vitamin intake. Opt for vitamin A, C and or B12, which will strengthen your nails. Biotin is also a great option to strengthen and optimize nail growth.

Symptom: Clouded Nail Beds
Cause: If your nails are ridden with white spots, it's usually a sign of trauma or high stress. Try relaxing a bit. As for your nails, don't worry, it isn't permanent; once they grow out, the spots will go with them.

Perfect Prescription for Your Damaged Nails

Symptom: Indented Nails
Cause: Ridges or indentations across the nail bed are referred to as "Beau's lines." They generally result from an injury to the nail, but can also be the result of a zinc deficiency or an illness such as diabetes or pneumonia.

Symptom: Dimpled Nail Bed
Cause: If you find that the surface of your nail is uneven, this could be an early sign of inflammatory arthritis.

Symptom: Dark Streak on the Nail Bed
Cause: Check this out as soon as possible as it could be a sign of melanoma (skin cancer).

Symptom: Scooped Nails
Cause: If your nails assume a hollow shape and take on the shape of a spoon, you may have an iron deficiency. This could also be a sign of heart disease or hypothyroidism. Either way, it's best to go see a doctor.


Take some time in between nail appointments to let your nails rest. It's important to be able to identify changes in all parts of your body, but especially those that are often covered by cosmetic products such as nail lacquers and wraps.

When was the last time you checked the the state of your nails?

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Filed under: Beauty, Nails