Viven Williams: Your fingernails are clues to your overall health. Many people develop lines or ridges from the cuticle to the tip.

Rachel Miest, M.D.: Those are actually completely fine and just a part of normal aging.

Viven Williams: But Dr. Rachel Miest says there are other nail changes you should not ignore that may indicate …

Rachel Miest, M.D.: … liver problems, kidney problems, nutritional deficiencies ...

Viven Williams: … and other issues. Here are six examples: No. 1 is pitting. This could be a sign of psoriasis. Two is clubbing. Clubbing happens when your oxygen is low and could be a sign of lung issues. Three is spooning. It can happen if you have iron-deficient anemia or liver disease. Four is called "a Beau's line." It's a horizontal line that indicates a previous injury or infection. Five is nail separation. This may happen as a result of injury, infection or a medication. And six is yellowing of the nails, which may be the result of chronic bronchitis.

For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Vivien Williams.

Get the latest health information from Mayo Clinic’s experts.

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Oct. 12, 2019