Nail signs decoded

Got brittle nails or white spots? Maybe your body is trying to tell you something...

Brittle nails, white spots, lumps and bumps... Are these signs that your body is trying to communicate to you through your nails? Interpret what your nails are trying to show you about your inner health.

Do you have brittle nails, white spots or lumps and bumps? Maybe your body is trying to communicate to you through your nails.

Interpret what your nails are trying to show you about your inner health.

  • Spoon nails:

Nails that appear scooped out or slightly spoon-shaped – dipped in at the middle and curved upwards towards the tip – may indicate an iron deficiency. Once the deficiency has been treated, however, nails are likely to return to their healthy shape – raised in the middle and curving down at the tip – upon new growth.

  • Brittle nails:

 Are your nails dry and quick to break or crack? According to experts, there are many reasons that may account for brittle nails. From an underactive thyroid to a low-iron diet, brittle nails can be the result of a range of deficiencies in the body. It’s important to narrow down the cause of brittle nails to treat them, but in the meantime, be sure to keep your fingertips well moisturised as wetting and drying hands can exacerbate nail brittleness.

  • White spots:

White spots generally indicate damage sustained by the nail matrix, but can also indicate that your diet may be low in zinc, which is found in seafood, poultry and whole grains.

  • Yellow nails:

A slight yellowing of the nails may be no reason to worry. In many instances, a yellowish hue to the nail can appear after wearing dark nail polish for long periods of time without using a protective base coat underneath it. According to experts, if the nails don’t return to their normal, pinkish shade when left unpolished for a while, it may be then that you begin to consider underlying causes such as respiratory illnesses or lymphedema (swelling of the hands), which can cause yellow nails.

  • Beau’s lines:

 Do you have line indentations running across your nails? While it may indicate that the nail has sustained an injury, it may also indicate malnutrition or illnesses including diabetes and circulatory diseases. To ensure you’re on the safe side, be sure to visit a doctor to have your health status checked.

  • Nail separation from nail bed:

Are your nails detaching from their nail beds? While common causes can be narrowed down to injuries sustained by the fingertips or infections, loose fingernails have been linked with thyroid disease as well as reactions to medication, which warrant a visit to your doctor. Nail detachments can also occur due to the use of acrylic nails or nail hardening products.

  • Nail pitting:

 Nail pitting, where small depressions in the nails appear in the form of dents, generally do not indicate underlying medical conditions related to inner health. Common among psoriasis sufferers, nail pitting is the result of the skin condition affecting the nails, but when treated, nails will return to normal when replaced with new growth.

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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Notice.