By Gabrielle Traub

Lines and indentations:

Ridges can signify a possible infection such as the flu.
Beau's lines — Transverse depressions. Occurs when growth at the nail root (matrix) is interrupted by any severe acute illness e.g. heart attack, measles, pneumonia, or fever. These lines emerge from under the nail folds weeks later, and allow us to estimate when the patient was sick.
NAILS; corrugated; transversely: ars., med.

Mee's lines

Transverse white lines that run across the nail, following the shape of the nail moon. Uncommon. Causality: after acute/severe illness, Arsenic poisoning.
Thus homeopathic remedy= Ars alb

Vertical ridges

(Lengthwise grooves or ridges) - may indicate a kidney disorder (kidney failure); associated with ageing; iron deficiency (Anemia). May indicate a tendency to develop arthritis
NAILS; roughness fingernails; ridges, longitudinal: fl-ac.
NAILS; roughness fingernails; ribbed: thuj.
NAILS; corrugated: ars., calc., calc-f., fl-ac., med., ph-ac., sabad., sel., Sil., thuj.

Nail shape

Clubbing of the fingers — fingertips widen and become round. Nails curve around your fingertips, more convex. Proximal nail fold feels spongy. Caused by enlargement in connective tissue as compensation for a chronic lack of oxygen. e.g. severe emphysema Lung disease is present in 80 percent of people who have clubbed fingers. It may also appear in chronic infections especially abscesses, lung cancer, chronic lung (chronic bronchitis, emphysema) and heart disease, longstanding TB, congenital heart disease, cyanotic, primary biliary cirrhosis.
med., nit-ac., tub.
curved fingernails; consumption, in: med., tub.

Small pits or depressions. Most common nail problem seen in 25 percent to 50 percent of people with psoriasis.
Extremities; NAILS; holes in: ars.
Psoriasis- pitting, onycholysis, thickening, circumscribed yellowish tan discoloration “oil spot” lesion.

Spoon nails

Soft nails that look scooped out. Depression is usually large enough to hold a drop of liquid. Often indicates iron deficiency anemia.
Extremities; NAILS; complaints of; depressed: med.

Lifting of the nail from the nail bed. Causes: trauma, psoriasis, drug reactions, bacterial/fungal infection, contact dermatitis from using nail hardeners, thyroid disease, iron deficiency anemia or syphilis.
Looseness fingernails: apis., med., pyrog., ust.

Nail growth

Nail hypertrophy
Thickening of the nail. Either congenital (e.g. Mal de Meleda) or acquired - The nail becomes deformed with claw like appearance. Causes: Not cutting the nails, trauma, Leprosy, peripheral vascular disorders.
NAILS; hypertrophy: calc-f., fl-ac., graph., laur.
NAILS; thick: alum., anan., ant-c., ars., but-ac., calc., calc-f., calo., caust., falco-p., ferr., fl-ac., Graph., merc., pitu-a., pop-c., sabad., sec., sep., Sil., sulph., ust., x-ray

Nail atrophy:

The nail becomes thin, rudimentary and smaller size congenital or acquired. Causes: Lichen planus, Epidermolysis bullosa, Darrier‘s disease, vascular disturbances, Leprosy.
NAILS; atrophic: sil.
NAILS; grow, do not: ant-c., pitu-a., rad-br., sil.

Nail Patella Syndrome

a rare genetic disorder, occurs in 2.2 out of every 100,000 people
Causes abnormalities in the bones and nails
autosomal dominant
Carried by the ABO blood group
Nails present as small and concave, longitudinally grooved, abnormally split, pitted, softened, discolored, or brittle.
Remedies: Thuya, Graphites, Calc-flour, Syph.
H; Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; grow, nails, do not: ant-c., calc., sil.

Half-and-Half (Lindsay's nails) — Look for an arc of brownish discoloration. May occur in a small percentage of people who have kidney failure. Internal diseases and nutritional deficits can cause changes in the appearance of the nails.

Terry's nails

The nail looks opaque and white, but the nail tip has a dark pink to brown band. May accompany cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, adult-onset diabetes, cancer or ageing.

A bluish discoloration visible at the nail bases in select patient with severe hypoxemia or hypoperfusion. As with clubbing, it is not at all sensitive for either of these conditions.
H; Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; discoloration, nails; blueness (59) : acon., aesc., agar., apis, apoc., arg-n., arn., ars., asaf., aur., cact., camph., carbn-s., carb-v., chel., chin., chin-ar., chin-s., chlf., cic., cocc., colch., con., cupr., dig., dros., eup-pur., ferr., ferr-ar., ferr-p., gels., gins., graph., ip., manc., merc., merc-s., mez., mur-ac., nat-m., nit-ac., Nux-v., op., ox-ac., petr., ph-ac., phos., plb., rhus-t., sang., sars., sep., sil., sulph., sumb., tarent., thuj., Verat., verat-v.

Paronychia (felon)

Inflammation of the nail folds, which appear red, swollen and tender. The cuticle may not be visible. Causes: fungal infection, secondary bacterial infection, people who’s hands are often in water are more susceptible.
H; Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; panaritium, nails (53) : all-c., alum., Am-c., am-m., anac., Anthr., Apis, arn., asaf., bar-c., benz-ac., berb., bov., bufo, calc., caust., chin., cist., con., cur., Dios., eug., ferr., Fl-ac., gins., Hep., hyper., iod., iris, kali-c., kalm., lach., led., lyc., merc., Myris., nat-c., nat-h., nat-m., nat-s., Nit-ac., par., petr., phyt., plb., puls., rhus-t., sang., sep., Sil., sulph., Tarent-c., teucr.

NAILS; pulp, of; nails recede, leave raw surface: sec.
redness; fingernails: apis, ars., cortiso., crot-c., lepi., lith-c., ozone, upa., x-ray
inflammation, fingernails; around: con., hell., kola., nat-m., nat-s., ph-ac., sil.
H; Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; fungus, under (4) : ant-c., graph., petr., thuj.
H; Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; inflammation, fingernails (1) : kali-c.
H; Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; inflammation, fingernails; root of (2) : hep., stict.

Due to Candida


Splinter Haemorrhages

Looks like a splinter underneath the nail, virtually 100% diagnostic of Sub-acute Bacterial Endocarditis (SBE). A bacterial infection affecting the valves of the heart. Occasionally caused by Trichinosis, a parasitic infection caused by eating raw or undercooked Pork.

D; Diseases; ENDOCARDITIS, heart: abrot., acet-ac., Acon., Ars., ars-i., Aur., aur-m., bism., bry., cact., calc., cocc., coc-c., colch., dig., ferr., iod., kali-ar., kali-c., kali-i., Kalm., lach., led., nat-m., naja, ox-ac., phos., phyt., plat., plb., sep., Spig., spong., tarent., verat-v.
D; Diseases; TRICHINOSIS (3) : ars., bapt., cina

Absent "half moons" - Pituitary problems or poor circulation.
NAILS; lunula absent: lyc., puls., tub.

White hue at base of nails:
Liver disease: chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis.

Yellow nail syndrome

Yellow nail syndrome is characterized by yellow or green nails that lack a cuticle, grow slowly, and are loose or detached (onycholysis). May be associated with swelling of the hands and feet (lymphoedema), or a lung diseases e.g. chronic bronchitis. Yellow nails can indicate internal disorders long before other symptoms appear. Some of these are problems with the lymphatic system, respiratory disorders, diabetes, and liver disorders.
NAILS: discoloration; yellowish: am-c., ambr., ant-c., ars., aur., bell., bry., calc., canth., carb-v., caust., cham., chel., chin., Con., ferr., hep., ign., lyc., merc., nit-ac., nux-v., op., plb., puls., Sep., Sil., spig., sulph.

White spots (Leukonychia)

Caused by trauma to the nails, over vigorous/excessive manicuring.
alum., ars., nit-ac., ozone, sep., Sil., sulph., thal.

vertical pigmented bands or nail 'moles‘
a sudden change in the nail plate could indicate a malignant melanoma or lesion.
Commonly occur in dark-skinned people, and are normal.

Brittle nails

Hypothyroidism: brittle nails - which separate easily from the nail bed (Onycholysis) accompanied by dry, yellowish skin, fatigue, slow pulse, chilly, coarse hair that falls out.
Hyperthyroidism: brittle nails - which separate easily from the nail bed (Onycholysis) and are concave (spoon nails)
Brittle nails - may also suggest iron deficiency anemia, kidney and circulatory problems.
NAILS; brittle: alum., alum-sil., ambr., anan., ant-c., ars., but-ac., calc., calc-f., cast-eq., caust., clem., cupr., dios., fl-ac., Graph., hep., hydrog., lept., lyc., med., merc., morg., nat-m., nit-ac., ozone, phos., Psor., rad-br., ruta, sabad., sec., sel., senec., sep., sil., spig., squil., sulph., syc-co., thuj., tub., x-ray

Nails that chip, peel, crack, or break easily - suggest a nutritional deficiency, lacking hydrochloric acid, protein or minerals.
NAILS: cracked: ant-c., ars., lach., nat-m., sil.
Crumbling away of fingernails: but-ac.{Butyric acid: a volatile acid obtained from butter}
NAILS; scatter like powder when cut: sil.

Splitting nails

Peeling nails

Liver Diseases: White Nails
Kidney Diseases: Half of nail is pink, half is white
Heart Conditions: Nail bed is red
Lung Diseases: Yellowing and thickening of the nail, slowed growth rate
Anemia: Pale nail beds
Diabetes: Yellowish nails, with a slight blush at the base

Nutritional deficiencies

Vitamin A and calcium deficiencies - dry brittle nails.
Vitamin B deficiency - horizontal and vertical ridges, that break easily.
Vitamin B12 deficiency- dry, darkened nails with rounded and curved nail ends.
Protein deficiency- white bands

Ayurvedic analysis:

Ayurveda considers nails as the waste product of the bones.
Dry, crooked, rough nails that break easily indicates a predominance of the Vata constitution.
Soft, pink, tender nails that are easily bent are indication of a Pitta constitution.
Thick, strong, soft and shiny nails indicate a Kapha constitution.

Ayurvedic analysis:

Longitudinal lines: indicate inability of the digestive system to absorb food properly.
Transverse grooves: may indicate the presence of long-standing illness or malnutrition.
Yellow nails: alert us to liver problems or jaundice.
Blue nails: indicate a weak heart.
Redness: shows an excess of red blood cells.
for more information download this file and read:FINGERNAILS_AND_WHAT_THEY_REVEAL_1.ppt - 5.0 Mb

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  1. I have extremely brittle nails due to hypothyroidism. It can be broken easily. Some say bovine thyroid is good for low thyroid, so I tried it for almost 14 days. Now, my nails are tougher.

  2. thanks for sharing...u can also try homeopathy medicines...