Can you make the diagnosis?

What can our fingernails tell us about our health?  Doctors and nurses will often check a patient’s fingernails for clues about different health conditions.

Club nails:

clubbing

Club nails can be caused by conditions that cause low blood oxygen, such as congenital heart disease, or severe lung disease.

 

Spoon nails:

spoon nails.jpg

Spoon nails can be caused by iron deficiency anemia.

 

Indented lines across the nail:

beaus lines

“Beau’s lines” are indentations that run across the nail, and can be caused when growth under the cuticle is interrupted by injury or severe illness:

 

White lines across the nail:

leukonychia.jpg

“Leukonychia” are white spots, and are typically caused by minor trauma in healthy individuals:

 

Purplish horizontal lines across the nail:

mees lines

“Mees Lines” are transverse lines caused by arsenic poisoning:

 

Thickened yellow nails:

fungal.jpg

Thickened yellow nails can be the result of a fungal infection.

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