Did You Know | Health

7 Common Nail Problems That Are Actually Symptoms Of Something Bigger

Pixabay - Hans

A lot of people like to start off the new year with a resolution to take better care of themselves. They will opt to eat healthier, exercise more, but very few people realize that they should be looking at their nails to judge their health.

While you may not think it, your nails can reveal a lot about your health as long as you know what to look for. Here are some of the symptoms that you may not have noticed before.

Brittle Nails

If your nails seem to break easily, that's a bad sign. While you can buy a bunch of products and polishes that'll strengthen the visible portion of your nail, but it may actually be your body trying to show you that you are lacking nutrients.

It is common for people with anemia or thyroid diseases to suffer from brittle nails, as well as those who do not eat a healthy and balanced diet.

The other option is that the nails are growing in strong, but exposure to certain chemicals is wearing them down. Be cautious of the chemicals you are using on your hands and nails to make sure you give them a fighting chance.


A vertical ridge isn't always something to be overly concerned about, as it's fairly common as people get older. If you think of them like a wrinkle in your nail, it makes a bit more sense. It doesn't make them any more appealing, but at least it's not that scary.

However, a horizontal ridge in your nail is indicative of some kind of stress that occurred. It could be anything from a fever to an accident, but the horizontal line will indicate a period of stress.

If they keep happening and you haven't been having any stressful incidents, check with your doctor.

Experts also suggest that buffing out the ridges isn't the best option. While it'll give you a smoother nail, it'll thin out the remaining nail significantly. Use a ridge-filler instead, you'll get the same smooth appearance without damaging the nail underneath.

Sensitive Cuticles

If you are constantly getting hangnails and infections in the sensitive skin around your nail, changes are it's because you're causing these problem yourself.

If you are someone who is constantly pushing back or cutting your cuticles, you're going to become susceptible to getting infections. You need that cuticle surrounding your nail to be properly adhered to your nail, so do not cut them.

The best way to deal with your cuticles is by avoiding sharp tools on your nails as much as possible, and only rubbing off the excess skin after it's been soaked in warm water for a while.

Brown Stripe

A brown or dark stripe on your nail is definitely something you should take seriously. It's often an indication of melanoma, aka a form of skin cancer.

As soon as you see one of these lines, it's important that you seek medical attention. There are some cases where one of these lines is caused by specific medications or hormone changes, but it's still best to check with your doctor to be sure.

Pale Nails

White or pale nails are usually present if you are suffering from anemia, heart issues, malnutrition, or liver disease.

Talk to your doctor and keep an eye on it, especially if the fingers start to turn a bit yellow. That is a clear sign that you are having severe liver problems.

Yellow Nails

Having your nails change color is never really a good sign, but if they start to get a yellow tint to them, the most likely source is a fungal infection.

It's also potentially related to your thyroid, lungs, or could even indicate that you have diabetes.

Blue Nails

If you nails look like they have a bit of a blue tint to them, it's possible that your body isn't getting as much oxygen as it should.

Your lungs or heart could be the culprit in this case, so you should make sure you get a doctor's opinion soon.

Source - WebMD / Healthline / Health.com / Today

No matter what the problem is, if you notice sudden changes in your body - even your nails - make sure you talk to your doctor.