Koilonychia is an abnormal shape of the fingernail. The nail has raised ridges and is thin and curved inward. This disorder is associated with iron deficiency anemia. Leukonychia is white streaks or spots on the nails often due to drugs or disease.
The NHS says: “White spots or streaks are normal and nothing to worry about, but parallel white lines that extend all the way across the nails, known as Muehrcke's lines, are a sign of low levels of protein in the blood.”
Random white spots that appear on the nails are generally harmless and caused by an injury, such as striking the fingertip or repeated trauma to the nails from frequent manicures. Other potential causes include zinc deficiency, calcium deficiency, fungal infections or allergic reactions.
There is no treatment for just white spots on their own. Those that have been caused by trauma will naturally grow out over time. If they are being caused by something other than trauma, the doctor will need to identify the cause and treat it separately.
People with severe calcium deficiencies may develop symptoms that affect the nails first. For example, the nails can become weak, become brittle, and grow more slowly than usual. According to one 2010 paper , nearly all nutritional deficiencies can slow nail growth.
This condition, known as Terry's nails, is especially common in people with severe liver disease. Additionally, nails that are half white and half reddish brown are called Lindsay's nails, which is a condition that's often associated with kidney disease.
Healthy fingernails are smooth, without pits or grooves. They're uniform in color and consistency and free of spots or discoloration. Sometimes fingernails develop harmless vertical ridges that run from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Vertical ridges tend to become more prominent with age.
These are rough looking nails with ridges that are frequently spoon-shaped and concave. In the early stages of this condition, the nails may be brittle, chipping easily.
The half-moon shape at the base of your fingernail is known as a lunula. Lunulae cover the bottom of your nail, just above your cuticle. Lunulae are part of your nail matrix.
Zinc is an essential nutrient that can contribute to the health of a person's hair, skin, and nails. Zinc deficiency, which may be due to a lack of zinc in the diet or an underlying medical condition, can cause nail dystrophy. Nail dystrophy is the discoloration and distortion of a person's nails.
Fingernails: Possible problems
Often, spoon nails are a sign of iron deficiency anemia or a liver condition known as hemochromatosis, in which your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat. Spoon nails can also be associated with heart disease and hypothyroidism.
“It's a common misconception that the white spots are indicative of calcium deficiency. They could mean a lot of things, including an injury to the nails, a fungal infection and allergy to a particular food item or nail paints. It can even be genetic.
The serum transferrin receptor level rises (> 8.5 mg/L). During stage 3, anemia with normal-appearing RBCs and indices develops. During stage 4, microcytosis and then hypochromia develop. During stage 5, iron deficiency affects tissues, resulting in symptoms and signs.
Most vitamin deficiencies are due to either inadequate dietary intake or malabsorption. Vitamin D, which can be obtained through sun exposure, is one of the few exceptions. Lack of these nutrients may affect the nail, the nail bed, or both and may present on physical exam or with biopsy.
Thyroid dysfunction can also affect your nails, causing abnormality in nail shape, nail color, or attachment to the nail bed. Pay attention if you experience ongoing hangnails, ridges in your nails, splitting, peeling, or even dry cuticles.
Both iron and B12 are necessary for keeping nails strong and healthy. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can result in entirely blue nails, bluish-black pigments with wavy longitudinal dark streaks and brownish pigmentation ( 5 , 6 ).
The capillary nail refill test is a quick test done on the nail beds. It is used to monitor dehydration and the amount of blood flow to tissue.
Another condition that can affect the nails is hapalonychia, sometimes called “eggshell nails.” Hapalonychia causes your nails to be soft and thin. Nails affected by this condition tend to bend or break more easily than healthy nails, and often split or flake at the end. They may also take on a bluish tint.
Anemia. A condition in which the red blood cells decrease usually due to deficiency of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid is called anemia. Iron deficiency alone may be responsible for triggering skin problems. Associated effects can include brittle and fragile nails which may develop vertical ridges or lines.
Terry's nails are a type of apparent leukonychia, characterized by ground glass opacification of nearly the entire nail, obliteration of the lunula, and a narrow band of normal, pink nail bed at the distal border.
Your nails should generally appear to be a pale sort of pink or mauve. And it's not actually the nails themselves that are the color, it's the tissue underneath. "A nice healthy nail will have a pinkish or mauve hue as it reflects the color of the nail bed underneath," Dr.
Split nails are common. They can affect both fingernails and toenails and are usually the result of physical trauma, such as an object crushing them. However, wear and tear, as well as nutrient deficiencies, are also potential causes. In some cases, a person can take preventive measures to avoid splitting their nails.