Health and Nails – How They Impact Each Other

June 22, 2010 by calicoaster  
Published in Beauty

Most of us, spend plenty much of time and energy in beautifying our nails. Having clean, well groomed and properly manicured nails can assist a lot in impacting a good impression. Apart from being just a hygiene indicator, nails can be quite indicative about an individual’s personality as well. Also, add their importance as an identifier of good health and the most important factor in warding off many diseases.

Nails can actually give us an idea about any disease that can occur in our bodies. In addition to indicating the state of your present health, nails can also depict your past history about your health, illnesses, trauma etc. For example, one can know about a random injury or hurt on the nail bed through white spots or white lines. Similarly the Beau’s lines, which are basically the horizontal lines, can tell about your past illnesses.

There are certain diseases, which can be identified from the color and texture of nails, in addition to the ones that can get created because of unhygienic and carelessly kept nails. Nails basically are made up of dead tissues, but the areas around and under the cuticle are as much alive as our skin. These areas are the ones that pose any threat of infection or other related damages to the nails, inviting the diseases to settle and manifest in them.

Nails can work as a window to a person’s overall health condition, the reason why doctors or dermatologists always examine their patient’s nails too, while examining an ailment. If your nails are smooth, full of natural pink color and healthy with perfect texture, round curved surface and shape, then your body is probably healthy as well.

Possible Reasons behind Nail discoloration or Disfiguration: 

Nail discoloration or disfiguration can be caused due to many reasons, which can be related to your body system or because of some outside nail infection. Many times the yellowing of nails can be a result of extensive use of nail polishes or nail hardeners and other related chemicals. Yellowing of nails can also indicate jaundice. Apart from this, nails also have a tendency to absorb several substances from outside atmosphere. For an instance, a person who smokes regularly, can be seen with slight discoloration in his nails. Similarly, a person regularly dealing with some specific chemicals may have his nails getting the shade of the chemical’s color like some pinkish or bluish range.

Change in the tone and texture of your nails should be given an instant attention.

Below are certain facts that your nails can denote about your health:

1) Brittle nails indicate the deficiency of iron. They can also denote biotin deficiency, circulation problems, thyroid problems and kidney disorders.

2) Circulation problems can be analyzed from the thickening of nails.

3) Nails that are concave or bent inwards indicate iron deficiency or lack of Vitamin B12. B12 deficiency can also cause slight blackening of nails.

4) Nails that are split or become frayed indicate the deficiency of Vitamin C. Another thing such nails can indicate is the lack of proteins and folic acid, or diseas like psoriasis.

5) Clubbing of nails can be caused by the deficiency of oxygen in the body because of the liver, heart and lung problems. 

6) Nails with ridges also indicate diseases. Vertical ridges mainly get caused due to arthritis. Horizontal ridges are caused because of over-stress. 

7) Pale nails can be caused as a result of anemia or liver/kidney problems. Yellow nail beds may indicate liver disorders, diabetes, lymphatic diseases or chronic bronchitis. 

8) Blue nail beds may be caused due to lack of oxygen in the blood. Such cases may happen in asthma or other lung and heart diseases. 

9) Red nails may be caused due to certain heart related problems. 

10) Grey nail beds may indicate the onset of diseases like glaucoma, arthritis, malnutrition or other cardio diseases. 


Most of the times, especially amongst females, any discoloration or disfiguration is being well taken care off by the manicure and nail-painting process, thereby avoiding and ignoring any signs which may be signaling the onset of some health related issues. Nails really hold a significant position in our lives and our health as well, so it is indeed important to take well care of your nails and pay attention to any of the symptoms, if they occur.

Regardless of these symptoms and precautions, certain “nail” related symptoms may also show up in otherwise healthy individuals. No need to panic, if this happens. Even though nails do tend to change in color, texture and shape, owing to the change in your surroundings, atmosphere, temperature and humidity; you just need to see if the symptoms are not long lasting. The best thing to do is to visit your doctor regularly, and contact immediately for assistance, in case you notice some abnormal behavior in the way your nails change or grow.

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2 Responses to “Health and Nails – How They Impact Each Other”
  1. Jimmy Shilaho Says:

    A great article, and I do agree with you.

  2. calicoaster Says:

    Thanks for liking it Shilaho! :)

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