Your Fingernail condition, shape, and color, can often alert you to underlying health problems. Common nail conditions include color changes, pitting, spoon nails, as well as vertical and horizontal fingernail ridges.
Small depressions in the nails are common in people with psoriasis - a skin condition that produces scaly patches. They may also result from nail injuries. Pitting may cause your nails to crumble. Pitting is also associated with conditions that can damage your nail's cuticle, such as chronic dermatitis of your fingers or alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.
Ridges can signify a possible infection such as the flu.
(Lengthwise grooves or ridges) - may indicate a kidney disorder (kidney failure); associated with aging; iron deficiency (Anemia). May indicate a tendency to develop arthritis.
Clubbing occurs when the tips of your fingers enlarge and your nails curve around your fingertips. This condition results from low oxygen levels in your blood and could be a sign of lung disease. Clubbing is also associated with inflammatory bowel disease and liver disease.
Inflammation of the nail folds, which appear red, swollen and tender. The cuticle may not be visible. Causes: fungal infection, secondary bacterial infection, people who's hands are often in water are more susceptible.
Spoon nails (koilonychia) are soft nails that look scooped out. The depression usually is large enough to hold a drop of liquid. Spoon nails may be a sign of iron deficiency anemia.
Transverse white lines that run across the nail, following the shape of the nail moon. Can occur after acute or severe illness, Arsenic poisoning.
White half moons missing or receding can indicate pituitary problems or poor circulation.
With the condition known as Terry's nails, your nails look opaque, but the tip has a dark band. Sometimes this can be attributed to aging. In other cases, it can be a sign of serious illness, such as; Congestive heart failure, Diabetes, Liver disease, and Malnutrition.
Beau's lines are indentations that run across your nails. They can appear when growth at the area under your cuticle is interrupted by injury or severe illness. Diseases or illnesses associated with Beau's lines include; Uncontrolled diabetes, Circulatory diseases, such as peripheral artery disease, Illness associated with a high fever, caused by pneumonia, scarlet fever, mumps or measles, and Malnutrition.
With a condition known as onycholysis, your fingernails become loose and can separate from the nail bed. If your nails show signs of detaching, this may be associated with: Injury or infection, Thyroid disease, Drug reactions, Reactions to nail hardeners or acrylic nails, and Psoriasis.