Nail Abnormalities: A Comprehensive Guide to When Nails Speak

nail abnormalities

Nails are a surprisingly good indicator of your health. Any sort of nail abnormality could be an indicator of poor diet, poor health, disease, etc. Therefore, if you spot any nail abnormalities, it is important that you get to the bottom of why they are occurring and, hopefully, start to fix the issue, so you can start using the best nail clippers , you can read our Swissklip Review, once they are healthy again. 

Nail abnormalities can come in many different forms. For some, it may be a slight discoloration of the nail. For others, their nails may have become brittle, thickened, or may have an odd shape to them. Some people may even notice bleeding, pain, or the nail peeling up from the skin. Having either toe or fingernail abnormalities isn’t pleasant. Thankfully, most issues can be fixed. To know more about this or any other issues, check our articles on foot care in our website


Types of Nail Abnormalities 

As mentioned, nail abnormalities will come in a variety of different forms. You may notice the following:

  • Change in color of the nail. You may notice yellowing, blackening, and sometimes reddening of the nail.
  • The nail peels up from the nail bed.
  • Mishaped nails e.g. hook nails that dig into your skin.
  • Certain parts of your nail not growing as fast as others.
  • Swelling around the nails
  • Thickening of the nails
  • Pain around the nails
  • Blood around the nails

For the most part, it is easy to work out why your nail abnormalities are occurring. For example, if you have cut your fingernails poorly then this can lead to swelling in the corner of your nails (especially with fingernail abnormalities). If you have injured your nail in any way, this can lead to discoloration, pain, and poor nail growth, especially if you injured the nail matrix underneath the skin.

In most cases, you probably won’t need to head to the doctor to deal with a nail abnormality. Most of the time, you won’t have to go to the doctor if you have broken or injured your nail in any way. It will grow back. However, if you notice severe discoloration, nail loss, pain, infection, etc. then you should probably head to a doctor to discuss your nail problems.

Throughout the rest of this page, we want to give some of the more common reasons behind both toe and fingernail abnormalities. This way, you can decide whether it may be worth a trip to the doctor. 


Nail Injuries are Nail Abnormalities

If you have injured your nail, then it can result in a whole host of different issues, depending on the injury.

If you have dropped something on your foot, for instance, then you may notice bruising behind the nail. This can lead to a reddish hue, blackened nails, yellow, etc.

If you have damaged the nail matrix (the part below the skin where the nail cells form), then this could cause misshapen nails. In most cases, this damage will eventually heal itself. It may take a while, though. In rarer cases, the nail matrix is so damaged that you will never have the nail grow properly again. In that case, you may need to do a bit of fancy nail trimming to get them looking good. It may be worth looking into professional nail clippers or possibly an electric nail clippers to try and get your nails looking brilliant again. 

Another Nail Abnormalities: Toenail Fungus

nail abnormalities toenail fungus

Nail fungus is a common foot issue. It often results in several different nail abnormalities, so it can be easy to spot. This may be one of those cases where it is worth visiting a doctor. They can prescribe you medication that can help to eradicate the contagious nail fungus, but it will take a while. The symptoms of nail fungus include:

  • Discolored nails, generally yellow.
  • Thickened nails
  • Smell emitting from the nails that you can’t get rid of.
  • Brittles nails
  • Misshapen nails
  • Nail peeling up from the nail bed.

So, how do you get toenail fungus? Well, several ways. However, the most common method is contact with somebody that has toenail fungus. Read our guide on ‘is toenail fungus contagious‘ to find out more.


Poorly Trimmed Nails

Poorly trimmed nails can lead to all sorts of problems. This includes misshapen nails, damaged nail matrix, infection, swelling, bleeding, ingrown toenails, and more. In fact, most nail abnormalities will be down to poor cutting habits. Or, worse, no cutting at all. If you bite your nails instead, then you are much more likely to suffer from nail issues. 

If you want to cut your nails properly, then investing in a good set of nail clippers will do the trick. Read our Swissklip Toenail clippers Heavy Duty reviews to get started. After that, watch a few video guides on how to trim your nails properly and it is unlikely that you will run into issues related to poorly trimmed nails again.


Nail Clubbing

nail clubbing nail abnormalities

Nail clubbing is one of the rarer fingernail abnormalities, but one that you would really need to pay attention to. It could indicate serious health issues. Nail clubbing will often take years to develop.

When you have club nails, it means that the nails have started to thicken up around the base and then curve around the tip of your fingernails. A lot of the time, this means that you have issues with your blood supply, specifically issues with oxygen in the blood. A whole host of diseases can cause this including AIDs, heart disease, diabetes, etc. This is something where you really need to consult a doctor. You can’t fix it yourself. 

Nail Spooning

Spooning is when your nails curve up and take on an almost spoon-like shape. This is another one of the nail abnormalities that could indicate serious health issues. It is a sign of heart disease, iron deficiency, autoimmune diseases, liver issues, and more. 

Brittle Nails

As you age, your nails will get brittle. So, having brittle nails isn’t a major issue once you are 50+. If it is happening earlier in your life then it could indicate one of two things:

  • Poor diet
  • Damaged nail bed.

Generally speaking, brittle nails aren’t something that you need to head to the doctor for. You only need to go there if the signs match up with a few other symptoms, specifically nail fungus. If you are worried about brittle nails then you could keep them short. This helps to add a bit more strength to them. It will also stimulate blood flow in the nail matrix. Eventually, this can lead to stronger nails and the repair of any injuries. 

Severe White Discoloration On Your Nails

While spots on your nails generally aren’t something that most people need to worry about. It could be a side-effect of certain medications, for instance. However, if your nails turn completely white then this is normally a sign of either liver disease or diabetes. This means that you will need to talk to a doctor. 

Yellowing Nails

Yellow nails are common nail abnormalities. Although, it is more likely to occur on your toes than your fingers. If yellowing is one of the fingernail abnormalities that you are concerned about, then talk to a doctor.

There are tons of different reasons why yellowing nails may occur. Light yellowing may just be a symptom of age. However, yellowing nails could also indicate infection, foot fungus, poor diet, diabetes, heart disease, and more. You will need to look at any other symptoms to establish what it may be. 


Redness or swelling around the nail could indicate an infection. A lot of the time, this is down to poorly trimmed nails.

Infections elsewhere in your body could inhibit nail growth too. While your nails grow 24/7, albeit very slowly, your body will either stop or slow down this process if it is fighting off infection, presumably to ensure that your body has all the resources it needs to fight off that infection. So, if you have been dealing with regular infections, you may find that nail growth either slows down or develops abnormalities e.g. your nails not growing ‘straight’, yellow, pitting, etc. 

Nail Pitting

Nail pitting can be caused by a variety of different things, including poor diet. If you have psoriasis, then you are much more likely to experience nail pitting.

Nail pitting can also occur if you regularly scratch your cuticles. If this happens, you may notice that the putting will be slightly darker. In fact, the lines may appear black. This is a problem that can be fixed, but you will have to learn to stop jabbing your cuticles. 

Dark Streak On Your Nails

This is one of those toe and fingernail abnormalities that you must visit a doctor about. If you notice a dark, black or brown line through your nails then this could indicate skin cancer. It needs to be dealt with immediately. 


Final Thoughts 

Most nail abnormalities are nothing to worry about. It may be down to poor cutting, age, etc. However, if you notice a sudden change in color, regular infections, etc. then it is important that you talk with a doctor. Nails are always a good indicator of your health, and rapid changes in nail health could indicate severe problems elsewhere in your body. 



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