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Health Signs from Fingernail Colour

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Palmistry is not just looking at the lines on the palm, it is about analysing the whole hand, including the fingernails. When looking for health signs from fingernail colour, we apply the same principles as for the hands, which is to find something unusual. We also check the quality of the nail.

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A delicate textured hand should have matching smooth looking nails. If the nails are coarse on a smooth hand, the healthy balance is out of proportion. The coarse nail is usually short dry and dense, more commonly seen on a big hand with rough skin.

A nail usually takes six months to grow from the root to tip so some markings can be timed based on where it is on the nail. As an example, a horizontal ridge halfway along the nail would suggest a change around three months ago.

A typical healthy nail is pliable; it has a smooth texture; average thickness and the colour of the nail is typically light pink. The moons should be milky white, and usually only visible on the thumb. (Text continues below)

WORD OF WARNING – Please don’t make the mistake of diagnosing health signs from fingernail colour, palms or lines alone, because many of these indicators are frequently changing according to the individuals.


Bluish tinge within the nail bed can be due to circulatory or respiratory problems. Sometimes this is temporary due to cold weather or cold hands. It is normal for a woman to have bluish nails during the early teens and again at menopause when there are changes in the body hormones.


A white-looking nail bed can suggest iron deficiency, low vitality or liver dysfunction. A pale, white or greyish tinge under the nails can indicate selfish leanings or lack of warmth. Depending on the quality of the nail, if it appears to be lifting off the quick, clouded, brittle and dry, it could indicate a fungal disease.

When the nail itself is white and clouded on the top section and yellow at its base, it can signify the onset of possible kidney disease.


Yellow colour in the nail beds or a brownish discolouration, splotches or stains in the skin directly under the nail, can indicate jaundice, liver or gallbladder conditions. These marks can also occur when there is a high level of bilirubin in the blood due to the body producing too much or not get rid of it fast enough. Other conditions can also cause yellowing, such as fungal infection or regular contact with heavy-duty chemicals on the nails.


Red fingernails mainly show a predisposition to poor circulation. Very red nails can be due to high blood pressure, bad temper or cardiovascular disease.


White flecks or spots can show a vulnerable nervous system or weak constitution. They are usually the first sign of delicate nerves and can appear during times of stress or when the body lacks a mineral such as calcium, zinc or magnesium. White lines across the nail can indicate acute fever or coronary disease.


Several long, thin black specks or lines underneath the nail, is associated with a bacterial infection of the heart valves. If the line or speck is very close to the tip, it may be just a splinter or injury. Red lines or specks can be due to long-term high blood pressure, or if at the tip, also injury.

Health from the fingernail quality


The concave nail is opposite of the humped nail and appears dished and sunken in, like a spoon. It can be a sign of a lack of energy, a nervous disorder or physical stress. There may be nutritional deficiencies or exposure to a lot of water or chemicals which soften the nail. The concave nail can be a warning of a more severe oncoming illness.


The humped nail, commonly associated with weak lungs, respiratory disorders such as emphysema, bronchitis or pneumonia. Long-term smokers often have nails that grow over the tip of the finger, appearing curved or humped (suggesting inadequate oxygenation). A severely humped nail, where the tip of the finger also appears swollen, indicates a more severe condition. A claw-like nail is frequent in the hands of older people who may have a problematic or dominant attitude. If there are no respiratory or age-related issues, these people are tenacious, but with a pompous attitude.


Horizontal ridges (grooves) on all the nails can suggest a change or interruptions in the individual’s health possibly due to severe dieting, long-term stress, acute infections, injury or trauma. Vertical grooves can occur with old age, but on a young person, they can show a delicate constitution, nervousness, stress, hormonal changes or poor nutrition. If all the nails have ridges, it could also be due to rheumatoid arthritis or overuse of nail polish removers.


The cause of flaky nails can be a mineral imbalance, poor diet or an underactive thyroid gland. Using bare hands for work such as gardening and overuse of chemicals on the nails can also cause brittle and weak nails. Long-term stress shows as dry skin on the palms, which would also affect the nail.

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4 thoughts on “Health Signs from Fingernail Colour

  1. […] health warnings at a quick glimpse of the […]

  2. […] A small nail begins closer to the tip of the finger instead of halfway along the first phalange; they are narrow, with a lot of flesh on either side of it. People with small nails have a curious or enquiring nature; they have a sharp mind and often witty. A tiny nail, however, can depict emotional immaturity and low resistance to illness. They have a delicate constitution. […]

  3. […] A small nail begins closer to the tip of the finger instead of halfway along the first phalange; they are narrow, with a lot of flesh on either side. People with small nails have a curious or inquiring nature; they have a sharp minds and are often witty. A tiny nail, however, can depict emotional immaturity and low resistance to illness. They have a delicate constitution. […]

  4. […] may be a temporary inflammation present and the body is trying to fight it. Always look at the colour of the nails and skin. Also, look for anything unusual, like dry skin, warts or patches of grille […]

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