Do Fingernails Reveal Your Health?

Man stares at fingernails.

Photo by derneuemann on Pixabay.

Your fingernails can say a lot about you. And no, I’m not talking about the color or length. Instead, any white splotches, ripples, and bumps can signal that something is wrong. Diseases throughout the body may sometimes manifest themselves as imperfections in your fingernails. Follow along as we discover what health issues your fingernails can reveal.

Fingernail Changes

Your nails can look different as time goes on. That is normal. However, there are some changes that should set off alarms that something might be wrong with your body.


If your nails turn completely white, this can indicate liver disease or hepatitis. I can also mean kidney disease and sometimes, very rarely, heart failure.

On the other hand, yellow nails are a sign of fungal infection, bronchitis, and rarely diabetes, liver disease, or thyroid disease.

Should your nails turn blue, your body is warning you that your body has oxygen deficiency. It may also be a symptom of Wilson’s disease, too much copper in your system.

Marks on Nails

Injuring your nail can cause spots and discoloration. However, you must not confuse trauma with serious health issues. For example, red streaks may be a sign of trauma, but they can also be a sign of psoriasis, fungal infections, inflamed blood vessels, or heart valve infection.

Dark lines under the nail can indicate melanoma, a form of skin cancer. Seek treatment as soon as possible. A few less serious reasons for dark spots and lines can be moles and side effects of medicine. Individuals with darker skin are more susceptible to these dark lines and spots.

Nail Shape

Skin disorders, psoriasis, eczema, and arthritis may cause your fingernails to develop ripples or a pitted shape.

A drastic change that may occur with your fingernails is nail clubbing. Nail clubbing is when the nail curves under the tip of the finger. Nail clubbing could mean heart disease, bowel disease, lung disease, liver disease, thyroid disease, or HIV/AIDS.

Moving Forward

It is important to understand that while your fingernails can give you a sign that something is wrong, that is not the whole story. Avoid assuming the worst-case scenario. Instead seek medical attention for a definitive diagnosis.

Have Health Insurance Questions?

We hope that this information on what your fingernails mean for your health is helpful for you.

Insurance is oftentimes overwhelming and we want to shed light on the industry by answering your questions. Comment below and your question may be the topic of our next post!

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About Kayla Gonzalez

Kayla is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the Empower Brokerage marketing team in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile

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