Diseases and Conditions

What’s Up With My Finger Nails?


Fingernails are one body part that tend to get little attention, unless you are the type who goes for weekly manicures at your local nail salon and follows nail art accounts on instagram. What you might not know is that our fingernails can actually tell us a lot about what is going on with our bodies and can help clue us in to different medical conditions.

You might think of them as being dead but like your hair, your nails are made up of living cells and they can act as a window to what is going on internally in our bodies. For example, certain ridges on the surface of the nail can be caused by skin conditions like eczema or dry skin or can be due to a lack of certain vitamins or proteins like zinc, calcium, and vitamin A.

Change In Color

If you happen to notice an odd and sudden change of colour in your finger or toenails, you should schedule a visit with your family doctor. They will be able to do a proper examination and may have an answer to why the discoloration took place. If not, they can inform you of what next steps to take, such as which tests should be conducted. Some possible explanations include nutritional deficiencies, diabetes or kidney disease, all of which can usually be diagnosed with a simple blood or urine test. Other possible explanations include melanoma, a type of skin cancer, or endocarditis, an infection of the endocardium, the inner lining of your heart chambers and heart valves. If tests come back inconclusive, your doctor might refer you to a dermatologist in order to determine if the issue is some sort of skin condition.

Keep reading to learn more about what may be going on with your finger nails.