What Your Fingernails Say About Your Health

Don't be surprised on your next doctor's visit if she wants to examine your nails. And it has nothing to do with your pretty new nail polish. Your fingernails contain a wealth of information about your health. The color and texture can actually reveal if you have any number of illnesses, from hepatitis to heart disease. Here are 10 possible signs of serious conditions manifested in your fingernails:

  1. White nails: Liver diseases, such as hepatitis
  2. Yellowish, thickened, slow-growing nails: Lung diseases, such as emphysema
  3. Yellowish nails with a slight blush at the base: Diabetes
  4. Half-white, half-pink nails: Kidney disease
  5. Red nail beds: Heart disease
  6. Pale or white nail beds: Anemia
  7. Pitting or rippling of the nail surface: Psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis
  8. Clubbing, a painless increase in tissue around the ends of the fingers, or inversion of the nail: Lung diseases
  9. Irregular red lines at the base of the nail fold: Lupus or connective tissue disease
  10. Dark lines beneath the nail: Melanoma

Note: Changes in the nails are rarely the first symptom of serious diseases. Instead, you'll feel other symptoms before nail abnormalities are present.