6. Split Fingernails
Unexplained split fingernails are often a cause of alarm. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology defines onychoschizia as split, brittle, soft or thin nails. This condition is more commonly seen in women than in men. Split fingernails are not generally triggered by an underlying medical condition, although they can be triggered by a vitamin D deficiency. To protect your nails and prevent them from splitting, pull on a pair of cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes or performing household chores. Avoid the overuse of nail polishes and polish removers, and consume a diet rich in eggs, fish, and vitamin D-fortified cereals.
5. Yellow Nails
Fingernails can turn a yellowish hue when nail polishes have been worn for a long period of time. Your nails can also turn yellow if you are a chronic smoker. Sometimes yellow fingernails can indicate an underlying medical problem. A fungal infection of the nail bed can often present as thick, hardened, yellowing nails. A lack of oxygen created by chronic bronchial infection may also cause fingernails to turn yellow. Liver or kidney disease can also result in the yellowing of fingernails. If you do not use nail polish and have noticed a sudden change in the color of your nails, it may be wise to consult your physician to see if this change is caused by a medical condition.
4. Other Color Changes to Fingernails
The American Academy of Dermatology provides a chart of color changes to the nail plate or nail bed that may indicate disease. Blue nails can signal a lack of oxygen in your blood supply. White nails can be a sign of liver disease or diabetes. Pale nails may be attributed to an iron deficiency. Nails that are half white and half pink may be a sign of kidney disease. Dusky red half moons at the base of the fingernail can be a warning sign for several conditions. These include lupus, heart disease, arthritis, alopecia areata, and dermatomyositis (inflammation of the skin and connective tissue). Poisoning may show up in your fingernails as blue half moons.