Our nails tell it all!

If we think that only our eyes and face reflect the status of our health, then we are not entirely right. Our nails provide important clues about several ailments. The colour of our nails, shape, the ridges, the grooves, cracks etc point to several health conditions.

Dr Satish Kanojia

Normal nails are shiny, glistening, consistently milky white appendage of the skin.

Some examples of nail aberrations:

  • Pale nails help diagnose anemia
  • Flat nails (platynychia) or spoon shaped nails (koilonychia) indicate severe form of iron deficiency anemia.
  • White nails with rims being dark may point to liver troubles.
  • Clubbing of nails (drum stick like appearance) points to some chronic lung/ heart disorder
  • Yellow nails will indicate that one has jaundice.
  • Dark lines under nails raises the suspicion of melanoma which is a type of skin cancer.
  • Swollen skin around the nails, points to an auto-immune disorder viz. lupus or some connective tissue ailments.
  • Hypothyroidism leads to dry and brittle nails.
  • Cracked nails with yellow discolouration points to fungal infection of the nails.
  • Pitting of nails is almost diagnostic of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis disease.
  • Bald nails (too much of nail biting) points to anxious personality of that person.
  • Blue nails (cyanosed) indicate some defect in oxygenation of blood; commonest being congenital heart disease
  • White lines may indicate calcium deficiency


This list is not exhaustive. If you find any kind of abnormality, please visit your family doctor. & please go without nail paint/ nail art! 🙂

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