Ever looked at a chipped, brittle, or black-lined nail and wondered why it looks that way? Well, it turns out that nail health is closely associated with how well your body is functioning in other areas.
“For the general population, nail health is most often an indicator of poor nutritional intake or poor digestion,” explains Dr. Sara Norris, a naturopathic doctor based in Los Angeles. “Brittle, weak, and peeling nails are the most common concerns I see in my practice and these symptoms are more often the result of a poor diet than of the systemic disease.”
Dr. Mark Benor, clinical assistant professor of family medicine at Keck School of Medicine, agrees: “My job is reassuring people that their nail issues usually don’t bespeak a serious underlying illness,” he explains. “The family medicine clinic is full of patients with nail findings of no significance outside of the anxiety they create.”
Healthy nails are considered to be smooth with no discoloration, but if there’s something amiss with the texture and color of yours, this guide can help you find a fix. Plus, we’ll tell you which symptoms might warrant a talk with a healthcare professional.
Here, we have listed 10 nail signs and symptoms and what they can reveal about your health: