Nail Abnormalities and What They Mean

No matter our profession, we use our hands extensively when it comes to day to day activities and interactions. Sometimes we offer our hand in companionship or to greet someone, during exercise, grocery shopping, to eat, drink, help our families and for many other purposes. Our hands take a lot of wear and tear and are often on display. It’s safe to say that our hands tell a lot about us and our nails are no exception to this rule. It’s important to understand the changes that could occur in your nails as you age. Some changes tell a bigger picture and may alert you to underlying health issues.

As we age, our nails go through some harmless changes such as the development of bumps and ridges. Nails may become more brittle and break easily or be more susceptible to injury spots. Outside factors such as medication side effects or chemotherapy could affect the condition of your nails as well. Some changes in your nails could alert you to serious health issues such as melanoma, autoimmune disorders like lupus, arthritis, psoriasis, fungal infections, lung disease and more. Knowing the types of nail abnormalities to look for could help you understand when it may be time to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or dermatologist to discuss their meaning.

Various Types of Nail Abnormalities

  • Dark Streaks in the nail
  • Nails that lift and separate from the nail bed
  • Curling or clubbing of nails
  • Swelling, bleeding or redness around the nail bed
  • Pitted or deeply grooved nails
  • Discoloration in or under the nails
  • Gaps in the nail

Not all abnormalities in the nail definitively mean that there is some underlying health care issue, however, your nails can tell you a lot of about not just your skin health, but your overall health and it’s important to listen to their message. If you would like to learn more about what your nails are telling you or if you are concerned about any existing abnormalities in your nails, visit our website to schedule an appointment today.

We care about the health of our community and our team. If you are practicing social distancing or staying at home completely, schedule a Televisit with one of our providers so we can offer you treatment in the comfort of your own home. It's safe and easy! Patients can access their Televisit through the following:



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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD

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