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What are the main characteristics of poor nail health?

Poor nail health can be indicated by several factors. Nails that are not healthy may be dented or ridged; have spots; or be yellow, white, or lighter pink than normal. Swollen cuticles can also indicate a problem with your nail health. In addition, pain around your nails can signify poor nail health.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Poor nail health can cause a number of changes to your nails, from small white spots to dark, deep streaks. Some are symptoms of serious conditions, while others may be just a sign that you need to take better care of your nails. Nail changes that experts say could signal a more serious problem and warrant a call to your doctor include:
  • horizontal ridges
  • clubbing (the nail seems higher than the nail bed and may round out above the cuticle and curve downward toward the tip)
  • dark streaks
  • yellow or blue discoloration
  • white lines
  • white underneath the nail
  • pitting (holes or depressions)
  • white spots
  • curled nails
  • nails that are separating from the nail bed

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.