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What Do Certain Nail Disorders Say About A Person’s Health?



Some paint them, some polish them, some decorate them, some keep them short while others keep them long. The “them” mentioned here are our nails. Even if we ignore the fact that nails have become quite a fashion statement, we cannot turn a blind eye to the statement that nails do make an impression, as our hands are visible to others.

However there are many disorders and conditions that may affect the nails of a person; and for them, the adage “in a bed of nails” fits appropriately. Some of these disorders affecting our nails help the doctors diagnose other underlying problems in other parts of our body, for example, certain skin conditions, nutrient deficiency, bacterial infection, etc.

Some people take the easy way out of covering their fingernails, but covering is not curing. In case you see any anomaly with your fingernail then it is advisable to first get an expert opinion and if there is nothing serious then it is always easy and frugal to resort to home remedies. Here we shall spell out most of the nail diseases and disorders that affect a human being.

List Of Disorders And Conditions Affecting The Nails:

Nail Pitting

Nail pitting is characterized by irregular depressions in the nail and is a typical symptom of people suffering from a skin condition called psoriasis or Reiter’s syndrome or even the hair loss disease known as alopecia areata.

Nail Clubbing

There are certain people whose fingertips enlarge and subsequently the nails curve across them. This condition is known as nail clubbing. Nail clubbing is a gradual process and is usually the result of poor oxygen supply and hence points to an underlying lung disorder or perhaps a liver or heart disorder.

Spoon Nails

Medically termed as koilonychia, spoon nails are scooped out soft nails which can even hold a drop of water in them. It occurs because the body soaks all of the iron from the food that we eat. The underlying factors behind a spoon nail can be anemia, liver disorders, or hypothyroidism.

Terry’s nails

This is a condition wherein the nail tips have a dark circle or a band. Although it points towards an underlying liver disease or diabetes, it largely occurs with growing age.

Beau’s Lines

Lines in the form of indentation across the nails are termed as Beau’s nails. This occurs when the development of the part under the cuticle is inhibited due to zinc deficiency, physical injury, mumps, or type-2 diabetes.

Nail Separation

In this case, the fingernails initially become lose and then detach. This occurs due to a problem known as onycholysis. There are multiple reasons for nail separation including infection, injury, reaction to certain medicines, etc.

Yellow Nail Syndrome

Along with yellow discoloration of the nails, the yellow nail syndrome also thickens the existing nails and slows the growth of new nails. Respiratory disorders like chronic bronchitis may be the cause of this nail disorder.


Paronychia is a nail fold infection brought on by bacteria, viruses, or fungus and its signs are swelling of nail folds, redness, and swelling. This highly infectious condition is the result of prolonged contact with water.


It impacts between the nail bed and the nail plate and is brought on by a bacteria. It thrives in moisture-laden areas where the bacteria as well as the infection propagate and is characterized by darkened nail plates

Nail Patella Syndrome

This is a genetic condition or a sporadic mutation of genes. This condition is however rare.


Physical injury or trauma directly to the nail plate brings about hematoma. Physical injuries like getting your nail caught between a door and a heavyweight falling on the nail are the likely causes.