How Your Nail Can Help To Diagnose A Disease

This article isn’t about fancy nail art or anything. Our nails are meant for way more than nail polishes, they also help us to diagnose certain diseases.

There could be a change in shape or color or there could be a few spots or lines on the nails, depending on the disease.



It is also known as spooning of nails. The edges curve upwards giving the nails a spoon shape. It usually happens in iron deficiency anemia (decreased hemoglobin), hemochromatosis ( a condition in which the liver absorbs too much iron from the food), hypothyroidism.



Tiny depressions on the nail caused by psoriasis(a skin condition), alopecia areata ( Spot baldness/ patchy hair loss).



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Pseudomonas ( a type of bacteria) infection.


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Cyanosis (decreased oxygen in the body), or it can color due to side effects of certain drugs.


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Jaundice and also frequent use of nail polishes can cause yellow nails. Give your nails a chance to breathe!

Half White Half Brown

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Kidney failure.

Pale Nails

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Due to anaemia ( decreased hameoglobin).

Terry’s Nails


Dark pink arch at the tip of the nails mainly due to aging but can also occur in liver/kidney/heart failure and diabetes.

Beau’s Lines


Depressions or indentations on the nails caused due to any disease that affects the growth of the nails.

Mees’ Lines


Arsenic poisoning causes tranverse white lines on the nails.

Loose Nails

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Due to injury or fungal infections.



Thickening of the nail bed. It occurs because of decreased oxygen leading to the increased blood supply.



Inflammation of the nail caused by infection or inflammation.

In the world of modern technology lots and lots of tests are available. Hence, to diagnose diseases on the basis of mere clinical examination is an art which every medical student should learn.

Read also – Important Health Facts Every Diabetic Must Know 

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