Tag Archive | nail discolorations


Nutrients and Nail Health

The fingernails and toenails are made up of keratin, just like your hair.  Keratin is a protein, and healthy oils and fats are also needed to keep the skin, hair and nails moisturized and strong. A varied diet rich in vitamins, antioxidant fruits and veggies, protein and minerals is key for healthy skin, nails and hair.  Minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, sodium and zinc are particularly important for your nails. However, it’s not just these minerals that make a difference — other nutrients like biotin, folic acid and protein are just as important to nail health. 

If you’re deficient in certain nutrients or have ongoing health issues, you may see changes in your nails that include discoloration, ridges or lines in fingernails. Some lines in fingernails can signal serious health problems, while others are simply due to impact or injury. However, with the exception of zinc, folic acid, iron or protein deficiencies. nutrient deficiencies are unlikely to be the cause of your fingernail ridges.*

*See previous blog(s)


What are your nails saying about you? continues

Hands and feet do not have to match.

Hands and feet colors or designs do not have to match.

 Healthy nails are not . . .

Weak, brittle nails – “Ridges and weakness can be just dry nails,” Dr. Graf says. “The nail is made of keratin, so if you have rough and dry nails that break easily, that means they’re getting thinner.” Fortunately, treatment is easy: take 500 mcg of biotin daily.  Do not buff your nails, instead smooth with light block or smoothing file, this too will cause thinning and splits if not done correctly.  Polishing with nail strengthener (not hardener) will add to the overall appearance and health of your nails.  With that said, weakened nails are sometimes a sign of nutritional deficiencies. “Selenium, biotin, and other minerals are very important,” she continues. “If you have weak nails, get a checkup to rule out anemia or thyroid issues.”

Yellow, green, or white nails – Nail polish can cause a slight yellowing of the nails, which is temporary and largely harmless. But if your nails are yellow, green, or white, that may be a sign of a serious health issue. “Yellow or green nails can be indicative of lymphatic obstruction in the fingers,” Dr. Graf says, adding that significant color changes could also be a sign of liver or kidney disease.

This condition can also be due to overlays that have lifted, been on too long and/or moisture and dirt has gotten between the overlay and natural nail causing fungus which will lead to discoloration.  This can be dangerous to the future health of the nail and nailbed.

“Basically, if your nails look funky, you’ve got to get them checked out.”

The last of this three-part series will post next week.  If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Think About It:  The more things change, the more they stay the same. —Alphonse Karr