Is red discoloration under fingernails serious?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Red discoloration under your fingernails can be caused by a number of conditions, some of which could be serious. Talk with your doctor or dermatologist about what may be causing the redness. Some conditions that can lead to a red or brown discoloration under your nails include the following:
  • A splinter hemorrhage. This vertical red or brown line under the nail can be caused by an injury, fungal infection, or nail psoriasis, or can be a sign of a heart condition.
  • Heart failure. This can cause redness in the white half moon at the bottom of your nail.
  • Kidney disease. This can cause the nails to have a reddish appearance beneath the surface.

Continue Learning about Nail Disorders

Nail Disorders

Nail Disorders

A fungal infection, typically on the toenails, is the most common nail disorder. People with diabetes, those who wear tight-fitting shoes and those who get a lot of manicures or pedicures are most susceptible. An infected nail wil...

l be painful and discolored, with a brownish-black band. The nail also might show scars, pits, ridges or lesions. Anti-fungal medication can treat the nail. To avoid infection, keep toenails short, discard old footwear and don't go barefoot around public showers and pools.

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.