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Nail Color and Health


Discussions on "Nail Color and Health" in "Hand, Foot & Nail Care" forum.


  1. #1
    chitrakumar's Avatar
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    Nail Color and Health

    When healthy fingernails begin to change color or texture, one of the most common underlying causes is nail fungus, which can cause the nails to crack, peel, and change color and texture. Common disorders like thyroid disease can also cause abnormalities in the toenail and fingernail beds, often producing dry brittle nails that crack and split easily.

    Nail condition and color changes are rarely the first clue of serious illness. In most instances, patients will manifest other signs or symptoms of disease before nail changes become evident.

    Nail color can be grouped into black, blue, brown/copper, green, blue-green, grey, yellow, pale, purple or red groups, and each color means something different.

    Blue nails

    May be indicative of pulmonary obstruction, emphysema or lung disease. Blue fingernails may represent a type of cyanosis caused by a lower level of lack of circulating oxygen in the red blood cells. It may also represent a high level of an abnormal form of hemoglobin in the circulation. If normal color returns upon warming and/or massage, the cause is due to the body part not getting enough blood supply due to cold, constriction (of the tissues or the blood vessels that supply the tissues) or some other reason. If the fingernails remain blue, then there may be an underlying disease or structural abnormality interfering with the body’s ability to deliver oxygenated red blood to the body.

    Black nails

    Black fingernails can indicate signs of Anemia, B-12 deficiency, bacterial infection, chronic kidney disease, adrenal gland problems, liver disease, cancer or melanomas, silver deposits (heavy metals), trauma.

    White fingernails

    May be indicative of kidney or liver disorders or anemia. White lined bands across the nail beds can signal a protein deficiency.

    White spots on nails

    In most cases this is due to a zinc deficiency or injuries to the nail bed. It can however also be indicative of certain internal problems such as arthritis, or from poisoning. Although it has been noted that white lines can be symptoms of a serious disorder, their presence is more than likely a result of iron or zinc deficiency.

    White areas under nails

    When there are white areas visible under the nail, normally at the tip of the nail where it joins the nail bed, this normally indicates a fungal infection and must be treated medically. Half white nails, with dark spots, especially on the tip, may be indicative of kidney diseases.

    Grey nails

    Can suggest arthritis problems, edema, malnutrition, post-operative effects, glaucoma, lung problems, emphysema, cardio-pulmonary disease.

    Green nails

    Can be caused by allergies to cleaning agents, Bacterial infection such as Bacillus infection, localized fungal infection, and serious emphysema.

    Yellow nails

    Can be indicative of problems with the lymphatic system, respiratory disorders, diabetes or liver. Yellow discoloration in your fingernails may result from a respiratory condition, such as chronic bronchitis, or from swelling of your hands (lymphedema). In yellow nail syndrome, nails thicken and new growth slows, resulting in discoloration. Nails affected with this condition may lack a cuticle and may detach from the nail bed in places.

    Purple nails

    Oxygen deprivation, circulatory problems, congenital problems.

    Red fingernails

    Possible Brain hemorrhage, heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease, stroke, carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Darkening of nails (on the sides)

    This may be indicative of kidney disease.

    Lines (red or brown)

    Splinter hemorrhage shows up as red or brown lines along the long axis of the nail and may be caused by endocarditis (an inflammation of the heart membranes) or trichinosis (a parasitic infection from undercooked pork). A simple dark blue line in the fingernail can be a sign of skin cancer. Tiny black streaks can indicate a possible heart problem, and thin black lines on the nail often indicate a heart disease.

    Brown spots under nails

    Pitted brown spots in fingernails may indicate a skin and joint disorder called psoriasis. Reddish-brown spots can indicate a deficiency of folic acid, protein or vitamin C.

    Color bands

    In Caucasian people, color bands under the nail may indicate cancer, while in non-Caucasian people it is usually a normal occurrence.

    Tips to maintain healthy fingernails, avoid infections, and improve nail appearance:

    * Keep your nails clean and dry.

    * Avoid nail-biting or picking.

    * Avoid nail polish removers that contain acetone or formaldehyde.

    * Bring your own instruments if you get frequent manicures.

    * File your nails in one direction and round the tip slightly, rather than filing to a point.

    * Don't remove the cuticles or clean too deeply under your nails, which can lead to infection.

    * If you have artificial nails, check regularly for green discoloration (a sign of bacterial infection).

    * Eat a balanced diet and take vitamins containing biotin.

    * Apply moisturizer to your nails and cuticles every day. Creams with urea, phospholipids, or lactic acid can help prevent cracking.

    * Don't dig out ingrown toenails. See a dermatologist if they become bothersome.

    Dermatologists are well-trained in deciphering between innocuous and serious nail conditions, as well as determining when a nail color change requires further testing.

    Please note - this information regarding your nail color mirroring your general health, is provided for information purposes only, and should NOT be used to diagnose or treat any illness. If in doubt regarding your health, please consult your doctor.

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    Very nice informations. Nails are the health indicators of our body. Please don't put nail polish, and also don use nail polish remover frequently.


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    Yeah agreeing with you. Have to avoid this for healthy life. The following are the ingredints found in the nail polish and their hazardrous side effects.

    Acetone - may cause central nervous system depression.
    Ethyl methacrylate - linked to eye, skin and respiratory tract irritation.
    Benzene - has been associated with an increased risk for developing AML leukemia.
    Formalin (since removed by many international brands) - may cause asthma-like respiratory problems and cancer in high or prolonged doses.
    Toluene (since removed by many international brands) - a solvent with the potential to cause dizziness, headaches and liver and kidney damage.
    Dibutyl phthalate (since removed by many international brands) - linked to eye and upper respiratory system irritation and may be toxic to the reproductive system.
    Methylene chloride - breathing in large amounts can cause feelings of unsteadiness, dizziness, nausea. Skin contact with methylene chloride causes burning and redness.

    Chitra Kumar

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    Well, very useful informations. Nail polish and nail remove may cause some problems for health. If you like to use nail polish then try to use standard brands of nails polish like Lakme. But I would advice you to avoid using nail polish and nail remove for better health.


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    White716 is offline Newbie
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    you have give so nice information about nail care
    Nail also take place important role throughout our body


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    Re: Nail Color and Health

    Darkening of the nails or the appearance of brown sections, particularly along the sides, could be attributed to liver or kidney disease.Another great thing to do would be let your feet breathe often. Many fungi occur in moist dark areas like your toenails. Letting them breathe can be a great way to speed up the curing of the nail.


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