Your Nail Colour Can Indicate Health Problems — Here’s How To Tell

Spot nutrient deficiencies – and even cancer – by just looking at your nails.


Georgie Lane-Godfrey |

Go beneath the varnish and pay your nails some attention – they’re guaranteed to need it. The key to healthy fingertips is all in the detail and they could be showing you signs worth taking note of… Yup, your nail colour can actually clue you in to underlying health issues. It’s time you knew what your nail colour (sans varnish obvs) says about you…

READ MORE: 7 Ways To Finally Stop Biting Your Nails For Good

No colour/very pale

Nutrient deficiencies are one of the most common reasons cited when things go wrong with nails. “Anaemia can show itself in pale nails that lack colour,” says dermatologist Dr Adam Friedmann. Look familiar? It may be time to boost your iron intake.

READ MORE: 5 Signs You Might Have A Scary Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Black lines

If you have a black stripe and it doesn’t change width, it’s likely to be a benign mole under the nail bed. But noticed it changed shape or grew? “See a dermatologist urgently as it may be a melanoma, a form of skin cancer,” says Dr Tim Clayton, consultant dermatologist and lecturer at the University of Manchester.

READ MORE: 5 Signs Of Breast Cancer That Have Nothing To Do With Lumps

Yellow/green

Nails can reveal whether something’s a little off with your thyroid. “Things to look out for include discolouration of the nail plate,” says dermatologist Dr Anita Takwale. A yellow/green tinge can also indicate a fungal infection – either way, best to get it checked.

Nails lookin’ fine?

essie

Then back to colour! We’re all over Dis-Chem’s ranges of nail varnishes right now – plus: a bunch of them are on special. Shop the catalogue now.

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READ MORE ON: Health Health Advice