What causes brown discoloration of fingernails?

by Alexis Till

The brown discoloration is due to a condition called “melanonychia,” which occurs when the nail has excess melanin, a dark brown or black pigment that colors the hair, skin and iris of the eye.

What does discoloration of nails indicate?

Drugs, infections, and diseases can cause discoloration of the nails (chromonychia). For example, infection with Pseudomonas bacteria can cause a greenish discoloration (see Green Nail Syndrome). The doctor can often make the diagnosis of nail dystrophies caused by a fungus by examining the nails.

What vitamin deficiency causes brown lines in fingernails?

Nail color changes. Nail plate discoloration can result from several nutritional deficiencies. Research has shown vitamin B12 deficiency to cause brown-gray nail discoloration. White nails can be the result of anemia and pink or red nails may suggest malnutrition with several nutrient and vitamin deficiencies.

What do fingernails look like with liver disease?

Nails that are entirely white except for a small band of pink or brown at the tip are called Terry’s nails. They’re most often seen in people with severe liver disease. Nails that are half white and half dark are called Lindsay’s nails. They’re most often associated with kidney disease.

What causes brown discoloration of fingernails?

The brown discoloration is due to a condition called “melanonychia,” which occurs when the nail has excess melanin, a dark brown or black pigment that colors the hair, skin and iris of the eye.

Why do I have brown lines on my nails?

Melanonychia is caused when the pigment cells, called melanocytes, deposit melanin into the nail. Melanin is a brown colored pigment. These deposits are usually grouped together. As your nail grows, it causes the stripe of brown or black to appear on your nail.

How do you get rid of brown nails?

To use white vinegar to get rid of the stain, in one cup of warm water add one teaspoon to one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar. Soak your nails for about eight minutes and then rinse your hands under lukewarm water. After patting your hands with a clean towel apply a dollop of moisturizing cream or lotion.

Why do I have lines on my nails?

Ridges in the fingernails are often normal signs of aging. Slight vertical ridges commonly develop in older adults. In some cases, they may be a sign of health problems like vitamin deficiencies or diabetes. Deep horizontal ridges, called Beau’s lines, may indicate a serious condition.

Is Melanonychia serious?

Melanonychia, or melanin-derived brown-to-black nail pigmentation, is a diagnostic challenge for clinicians. The most serious disease of the nail unit, melanoma, primarily presents with melanonychia.

What diseases can you tell from your fingernails?

Nail health Possible cause
———— —————————————————————-
soft or weak overexposure to moisture or chemicals
yellow thyroid conditions, psoriasis, or diabetes
black lines psoriasis, endocarditis, nail melanoma
ridges iron deficiency anemia (vertical) or kidney disease (horizontal)

What causes nails to turn brown?

The most common causes of yellow or brown fingernails are the frequent use of nail polish and cigarette smoking. Taking a break on the polish or quitting smoking may allow the dark nail to grow out as the new nail comes in.

Can fingernails show signs of illness?

Did you know your nails can reveal clues to your overall health? A touch of white here, a rosy tinge there, or some rippling or bumps may be a sign of disease in the body. Problems in the liver, lungs, and heart can show up in your nails.

What do renal failure nails look like?

Half-and-half nails, absence of lunula, and splinter hemorrhage are the most frequent nail alterations in patients with chronic renal failure. Half-and-half nails, or Lindsay’s nails, are characterized by a red, pink, or brown discoloration of the distal nail bed occupying 20%-60% of the nail length.

Can B12 deficiency cause nails?

Both iron and B12 are necessary for keeping nails strong and healthy. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can result in entirely blue nails, bluish-black pigments with wavy longitudinal dark streaks and brownish pigmentation ( 5 , 6 ).

What do nails look like with anemia?

Anemia is a condition where your body lacks enough hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. While fatigue is the leading sign of anemia, this condition can also show itself through brittle or spoon-shaped nails — called koilonychia.

What do ridges in your fingernails say about your health?

Ridges in the fingernails are often normal signs of aging. Slight vertical ridges commonly develop in older adults. In some cases, they may be a sign of health problems like vitamin deficiencies or diabetes. Deep horizontal ridges, called Beau’s lines, may indicate a serious condition.

Does liver disease affect fingernails?

Fingernails: Possible problems Terry’s nails can sometimes be attributed to aging. In other cases, Terry’s nails can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, such as liver disease, congestive heart failure, kidney failure or diabetes.

What can a doctor tell by looking at your fingernails?

Did you know your nails can reveal clues to your overall health? A touch of white here, a rosy tinge there, or some rippling or bumps may be a sign of disease in the body. Problems in the liver, lungs, and heart can show up in your nails.

Does Low Iron affect your fingernails?

Fingernails: Possible problems 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.

What vitamin deficiency causes lines in nails?

If your body is low in protein, calcium, zinc, or vitamin A, a deficiency can sometimes be revealed by ridges in your fingernails.

Does low iron cause weak nails?

Anemia is a condition where your body lacks enough hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. While fatigue is the leading sign of anemia, this condition can also show itself through brittle or spoon-shaped nails — called koilonychia.

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