Fingernail Tattletales: The Six Things Your Fingernails Say About You


Fingernails have long been considered to be a sign of beauty. Centuries ago, Chinese women began to grow out their fingernails as a status symbol to show that they were not required to do manual labor like commoners. In the 1800s, nutshells were all the rage as European women would wear them as the first artificial fingernails. But it wasn’t until 1954 that Fred Slack, a dentist, invented the artificial nail as we know it after breaking his at work. After going on to perfect the artificial fingernail, he and his brother started the Patti Nails company and false fingernails have been growing in popularity ever since.

Humans tend to find beauty in typical signs of healthiness. Shiny hair, bright eyes, and a curvaceous body are all signs of feminine beauty which can prove a woman’s health. Fingernails are no exception. You can tell a lot about a person by their fingernails. Here are some of the things your fingernails can tell you about your own health:

Thyroid disorders

While most thyroid disorders are diagnosed because of weight loss or gain, physicians also look at fingernails to help uncover thyroid problems. Hyperthyroidism is frequently associated with Plummer’s nail, the condition where a fingernail or toenail separates from the nail bed. Hypothyroidism frequently results in spoon nails, which are concave and appear scooped away from the finger.

Heart disease

Splinter hemorrhages, which appear like red or brownish lines under the nails are actually lines of blood and can be a sign of vasculitis or heart valve infection.

Anxiety disorder

Nail biting is a common behavior of those who are carrying around too much stress or dealing with anxiety issues.


Yellow nails can be a sign that you just removed your nail polish, but if it continues for days after your polish was taken off, or if you don’t wear any, you may have diabetes. If you’re experiencing yellow nails with increased thirst or urination, contact your doctor immediately.

Pulmonary problems

Blue nails, especially when combined with blue lips can indicate pulmonary issues including COPD, Emphysema, and asthma.


The deadliest kind of skin cancer, melanoma, frequently shows up under fingernails. Known as acral lentiginous melanoma, the kind that’s found underneath fingernails is the only type of skin cancer that’s more common in Asian and African Americans than Caucasians in the United States. It usually appears as dark lines underneath the fingernail, so if you see these, contact your primary care physician quickly, as it spreads quickly.

While there are a variety of physical clues that the body can give you about your health, the fingernails are a great messenger of physical wellbeing. If you notice any changes in your fingernails, particularly ones that come on quickly, contact your chiropractor or doctor. It could be a warning sign of health problems to come.

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