Fingernail Problems

A Quick Guide to Fingernail Problems & Causes

Fingernail problems can be the result of bacteria or fungus, but these problems can also be due to an underlying health issue. The fungi infections are basically microscopic plants that grow on the skin or in areas where there are dead tissues of the nails or hair. Other health conditions can also cause problems on the fingernails, such as brittle nails, white spots, etc.

There are a number of different causes for fingernail problems. These problems can be very benign and easy to treat, or they can indicate a serious health condition.

The most common problems with fingernail include:

Brittle nails


White spots

Black nails


Some of the most frequent causes for these nail problems include:

Improper nail care


Bad hygiene


To treat simple fingernail problems, it is possible to use home remedies, but if the nail problem indicates an underlying health condition that could potentially be very serious, it is important that you see your doctor as soon as possible.

Fingernail Infection

Some common fingernail problems are caused by a fungus or infection, such as a change in the shape of the nail, as well as a change in the nail’s color or texture. If the nail tissue is infected, it could be red and painful to touch.

Viral Warts

Another common problem is viral warts, which can also cause the nail to change in shape.

Brittle Nails

An injury to the fingernail can cause deformity, and if you use fingernail polish on a frequent basis, this can lead to having brittle nails.

Other Medical Conditions

Medical conditions can also lead to fingernail problems. For example:

If you have horizontal lines or ridges on the nail this can indicate that you are anemic or that you suffer from malnutrition.

If the fingernails are clubbed, this is a sign that there are heart or lung problems as this indicates a low level of oxygen in the blood.

If you find that your nails are brittle, even though you are taking good care of them, this could indicate thyroid disease.

When the nails tend to split vertically, this can indicate that there is a lack of calcium.

Horizontal white lines can also indicate heart disease, Hodgkin’s disease, or kidney disease.

Those who have blue nails could have a problem with emphysema or asthma. For those that have blue fingernails and are unaware of a health problem, it is important that you see your doctor. Blue nails indicate that you are not getting the oxygen that you need.

If you have white spots on your nails, then you lack zinc.

For those who have nails that tend to have a yellow cast to them, this can indicate a problem with the liver or diabetes.

Preventing Fingernail Problems

To avoid fingernail problems and ensure that your nails are beautiful, the best thing you could do is pay attention to your overall health and nutrition, and if necessary take vitamin supplements.


Protect your nails and avoid injury to them as much as possible. Also, it is important to not use chemicals on your fingernails, as this can lead to dry, brittle nails.

If you do have any of the fingernail problems that might indicate a serious health problem, you will want to be evaluated by your healthcare provider to get a diagnosis. Paying attention to your nails is one way of spotting a health problem a lot sooner than you might otherwise.