What’s Wrong With Your Fingernails?

I’ll be honest and admit that fingernails have never held a lot of interest for me. I’ve tried my hand (so to speak) at different fads over the years and have grown them out or applied acrylic to them to make them look pretty. However, I’ve never been a big fingernail fan. I typically don’t notice them until they’re too long for me to type and then I hack them off without much thought. I guess I’m just not very ladylike.

While long fingernails aren’t currently in vogue in my circles, there’s still a brisk business being done in nail salons around the country. Manicured ladies and gents get buffed, polished and creamed to keep their hands looking their best, but do any of them stop to pay attention to what their nails are saying to them? You can learn a lot about a person’s health by peeking at their fingernails. Here are a few fingernail warning signs to look out for and what they could be saying about your health.

  • Pale fingernails- If your nails are whiter than average it could be the result of an illness like liver disease, anemia or congestive heart failure. This serious sign is one that should be discussed with your personal care physician.
  • A close up of a hand.Yellow fingernails- After taking off my acrylics in the 80s, I noticed my nails had turned an alarming shade of neon yellow because of a fungus I’d picked up. Yellow nails can also be a sign of lung disease or diabetes.
  • Blue fingernails- EMTs know that blue nails are a clear sign that the body’s not getting enough oxygen. Pneumonia is a frequent culprit, but lung infection or even heart problems can also give your nails a bluish hue.
  • Rippled fingernails- If your nails are wavy or pitted, it could be a sign of either psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis, especially if your fingernails are also discolored. Seek medical treatment for this problem.
  • Split or cracked nails- This painful condition can be a sign that you’re suffering from some sort of thyroid disease and need to see your doctor right away. If your nail is also yellow, you may be fighting off a fungal infection.
  • Inflamed cuticles- If the area around your fingernail is red, swollen and puffy then you know that you’re dealing with inflammation. This can be caused by many different sources, including infection or autoimmune disorders.

If you want to learn more about how to keep your body healthy and strong, talk to your chiropractic team. Your doctor of chiropractic is able to assist you in many different areas of wellness and can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions. Talk to your chiropractic team today to uncover your wellness potential simply and beautifully.


Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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Photo credit: Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Daniel Oines

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.