Fingernail Abnormalities

Important things you should know about fingernail abnormalities


There are many different reasons you may have fingernail abnormalities, and you can actually learn a lot about your health by simply looking at your nails.  Fingernail abnormalities can indicate whether you’ve been sick or if you are malnourished.  They can also be an indication of serious health problems in some cases.  


If your nails are very brittle, then this is usually a sign of aging.  However, they can also indicate a wide variety of diseases or conditions.  Brittle nails are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fingernail abnormalities. 


If you notice depressions running across your fingernail, they are known as beau’s lines.  These types of fingernail abnormalities are very common after various illnesses or injuries to the nail.  However, one important thing you should note about beau’s lines is that they can also be an indication that you are malnourished.  You should check your diet immediately if you notice beau’s lines in your nails and you haven’t been sick. 


Another common fingernail abnormality is koilonychia.  This is a subtle abnormality that affects the shape of the fingernail.  It causes raised ridges on the nail.  People with this condition also have very thin nails that curve inward.  If you notice this type of problem with your nails, then you’re probably iron deficient.  You should get checked out by a doctor right away because iron deficiency anemia can be very serious.


Pitting can be described as nails that have small depressions on the nail surface.  The nail may also begin to crumble and sometimes even fall off. 


There are many different help conditions that can cause these fingernail abnormalities, and you should always see a doctor immediately if you also have other symptoms.  Understanding these fingernail abnormalities is also a good way to spot things in your health that you might have missed until too late in other cases.


For example, nails that are frequently damaged all the time may be a sign of kidney disease.  Liver disease also damages the fingernails, and thyroid problems can cause brittle nails or onycholysis, a condition in which the nail bed splits from the nail plate.  People who suffer from psoriasis may also experience pitting and splitting of the nails. 


Many people may not think to contact a doctor if they notice fingernail abnormalities, but you should always call a doctor in a handful of cases.  For example, if your fingernails turn blue, then your fingers probably aren’t getting the oxygen you need.  This requires an immediate visit to the doctor.  Pale nails or nails with white lines can indicate serious health problems, so you should get those checked out as soon as possible. 


In some cases, infections can also cause fingernail abnormalities.  Bacterial or fungal infections also cause fingernail problems, and these can usually be solved with a simple prescription.  Not all fingernail abnormalities are a sign of a serious health problem, but you should always err on the side of caution and see a doctor if you’re not sure.