COVID-19 resources and vaccine information at St. Clair can be found here.
Home / Our Services / Mayo Clinic Health Information / Articles

Slide show: 7 fingernail problems not to ignore

See photos of fingernail conditions that warrant medical attention.

  • Nail pitting
  • Nail clubbing
  • Spoon nails
  • Terry's nails
  • Beau's lines
  • Nail separation
  • Yellow nail syndrome
  • Nail pitting

    Did you know that your fingernails can provide clues to your overall health?

    For example, ice pick-like depressions in the nails (nail pitting) are common in people who have psoriasis — a condition characterized by scaly patches on the skin. Nail pitting can also be related to connective tissue disorders, such as Reiter's syndrome, and alopecia areata — an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.

  • Nail clubbing

    Nail clubbing occurs when the tips of the fingers enlarge and the nails curve around the fingertips, usually over the course of years.

    Nail clubbing is sometimes the result of low oxygen in the blood and could be a sign of various types of lung disease. Nail clubbing is also associated with inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and AIDS.

  • Spoon nails

    Spoon nails (koilonychia) are soft nails that look scooped out. The depression usually is large enough to hold a drop of liquid.

    Often, spoon nails are a sign of iron deficiency anemia or a liver condition known as hemochromatosis, in which your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat. Spoon nails can also be associated with heart disease and hypothyroidism.