Can Fingernails Predict Health Troubles?

Fingernails can predict health troubles as changes in the shape, color, or texture of nails can be indicators of a variety of conditions. For example, one of the signs of lung disease is nail clubbing, a variation in the shape of the fingernails, in which they gradually begin to curve around the fingertips. Yellowing of the fingernails is often a sign of respiratory health troubles, such as chronic bronchitis, while a blue tint to the nails may be due to reduced oxygen flow. Spooned nails, in which there is a visible indentation similar to a scoop, can indicate liver disease or heart disease.

More about fingernails:

  • Fingernails are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up the hair.
  • Psoriasis, a skin condition that causes skin cells to accumulate into dry, scaly patches instead of shedding, first shows signs in the fingernails approximately 10% of the time.
  • Fingernails grow nearly twice as fast as toenails, at around 0.14 inches (3.5 mm) per month on average for fingers versus 0.62 inches (1.6 mm) for toenails—it can take around three to six months to grow an entire new nail.

Discussion Comments


What about ridged finger nails that split? Does it have to do with a medical condition?


@Krunchyman - I agree with you about some of the issues regarding cutting your fingernails and toenails. We don't think about it that often, and while we don't enjoy dong it, it's definitely something that needs to be taken care of on a routine basis.

Also, I like how you mentioned that severely untrimmed toenails can ruin one's socks, as I had this problem many years ago. When I was a kid, I would often forget to cut my toenails, and due to this, it would leave small holes in my socks.

Since then, I always make it a habit to cut my toenails every few weeks, and that issue is usually avoided.


When some of us don't have health problems during our lifetime, it's very easy to ignore this article and it's tidbits, myself included. However, it still provides some great information regardless, especially if you're a smoker.

It spreads some insight into how when one doesn't take care of their body, they're not just harming their insides, but their outsides as well, as we can clearly see here.

However, one thing that seems really interesting about fingernails is how they function for many different reasons. In other words, I feel that sometimes, we simply see them as a nuisance that we have to cut every once in a while, and be done with.

However, there's definitely much more than that. Considering, the article, our fingernails can also be a good indication of where our health stands. In fact, perhaps we (as people) should start checking our fingernails more often, and see if any problems have arisen. This is a very informative article.


Wow, I had no idea that fingernails were made up of the same substance as hair. That interests me because it really shows how generally speaking, a lot of our body parts have more similarities than at first glance. The first bullet point is a pretty good example.

On another note, I'm sure this is something that we can all agree on, but in reference to the third bullet point, it's quite true that fingernails grow back a lot faster than toenails, at least based on my experience.

I find myself having to cut my toenails only once a month, if even that sometimes. However, I find myself cutting my fingernails around every two weeks or so. It's always a good idea to keep up with both of them though.

Long toenails can ruin your socks, and long fingernails could cause you to accidentally scratch someone.

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