White, yellow or discoloured – what the colour of YOUR nails could say about health

Experts have said fingernail or toenail abnormalities can reveal a lot about health, as they are often a sign of a fungal nail infection or injury.

Fingernail or toenail abnormalities can tell you a lot about your health.

They’re often a sign of a fungal nail infection or injury, but can sometimes indicate a more serious underlying condition.

Discoloured Nails

The most common causes of a yellow nail are fungal nail infections or psoriasis.

Anyone can get a fungal nail infection, with figures revealing one in ten people suffer from the condition.

However, older people can be more susceptible to getting a fungal nail infection due to factors such as a weaker immune system. Another risk factor of getting a fungal nail infection is the symptoms of the menopause.

Dina Gohill, podiatrist, said: “Fungal nail isn’t caused by menopause but can come as a result of other problems linked to menopause.

“If menopausal women suffer from hyperhidrosis this could include potential sweating of the feet, where the excessive moisture creates a warm and friendly environment where fungal nail can develop.

“If you suffer from brittle nails you may also experience nail traumas which can cause discomfort, and if your nails are not strong, it can be easy for fungal nail to easily set in.”

Discoloured nails could also point to lymphoedema – a long-term condition which causes swelling of the skin, permanent damage to the airways caused by bronchiectasis, sinusitis, tuberculosis or jaundice.

Green or black nails

Experts suggest this condition could be caused by growing bacteria called pseudomonas, which occurs mainly under loos nails.

NHS Choices said: “It can be treated by applying antibiotic eye drops underneath the nails or soaking the affected nails in an antiseptic solution or vinegar.

Grey nails

Grey nails could be caused by medications, including antimalarials – used to prevent and treat malaria.

Brown nails

This discolouration could be caused by thyroid disease, a medical condition that affects the function of the thyroid gland, an organ found at the front of the neck. However, they can also be caused by pregnancy, malnutrition and frequent use of nail varnish.

Red or yellow nails

NHS Choices said if the discolouration looks like a drop of oil under the nail, or is the colour of salmon, you may have psoriasis of the nails.

Nail discolouration: Red or yellow nails could be caused by psoriasis


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