Fingernail Discoloration Causes

Fingernail Discoloration

I recall my dad coming in from the barn with dark purple, almost black nails. These discolored fingernails were almost always a result of an unlucky blow with a hammer or something that landed in just the wrong place, usually a big toe or a thumb. In this case, identifying the cause of fingernail discoloration was easy; blood and bruising trapped under the nail that would keep him out of sandals for a week or more. There are other colors that nails turn however, and the hue of the fingernail discoloration, much like my dad’s hammer injuries, can often help you identify the source.
Another very common cause of fingernail discoloration is fungus. Nobody likes fungus, but these invasive nasties seem to love nails on both your feet and hands. Yellow streaks and white marks are common indicators of fingernail fungus, and you may experience other symptoms as well like separation and brittleness.

A rather uncommon color for nails to turn is blue, and this calming hue is great for a family room, but can mean danger if it’s the shade of your fingernail discoloration. A lack of oxygen or lung trouble can cause your nose pickers to turn bluish. Half pink and half white are great colors for a unicorn, but can signal kidney disease if apparent on your fingernails. It’s important to remember that while nail health is an important indicator of health and can even help clue your physician in to what’s going on with your insides, they aren’t a diagnostic tool. However, pointing out unusual fingernail discoloration to your doctor is important, even if it’s nothing to worry about.

For general concerns with nail health and texture, dietary changes that correct nutritional deficiencies are often adequate. Vitamins for nail growth include B vitamins, Folic acid, calcium and Vitamin A. In addition, pairing less polish wear with the best nail strengthener you can find will also contribute to healthier nails. If you are battling color changes however, and you think that you might have an infection, or have symptoms alongside your fingernail discoloration that are cause for concern, speak to your health care provider to ensure that your back scratchers aren’t trying to signal you that something else is wrong.