Nutrition And Health Issues

How to Diagnose Black Streaks in your Fingernails

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"How to Diagnose Black Streaks in your Fingernails"
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The color and texture of our nails can say a lot about our health. As part of the skin layer, nails are from the protein, keratin, and proper circulation gives nails that healthy pink color. When there's a vitamin deficiency or a health problem, it can show in the nails.


Thin, flimsy nails may be caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vertical ridges could be the results of inadequate vitamin and nutrient absorbency, or even kidney problems. But vertical ridges are very typical of poor circulation in disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Horizontal ridges point to high levels of stress.

Nutrition is very important and our nails can give us a clue as to whether or not we're getting all of our necessary nutrition, especially protein and calcium.


Lung disorders such as asthma, or emphysema can cause the nails to take on a bluish color, while a blue streak suggests skin cancer. Brownish blotches could be a sign of folic acid deficiency. Liver, and other internal organ problems, can turn nails a dark cream color.

Zinc or iron deficiencies can cause white streaks in nails. A light green or turquoise colored nails are typically a symptom of a simpler problem like an allergy or stress. White lines, running across the nail, are usually caused by a protein deficiency.

However, the most feared signs of nail discoloration, the ones that should move you to seek medical advice, are black streaks, because they are indicative of heart problems or malignant melanoma. Black streaks, more common in darker skinned persons than lighter skinned persons, usually appear around the top of the nail near the nail bed and are typically very small.

Trauma can also cause black streaks that tend to run the length of the nail, rather than around the top of the nail bed. A vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause black streaks in the nails. There are a number of people who don't realize just how important vitamin B12 is to our allover health.

In order to keep our nails healthy, we have to maintain our bodily health. A healthy diet that includes the daily recommended amount of protein, vegetables, fruits, and grains, is the best way to achieve good health and strong nails.

The color and texture of our nails can help us monitor our health so examine them often for color and texture changes. If black streaks begin to develop, it could be due to something as simple as a vitamin deficiency. But to be on the safe side, it would be wise to bring it to your doctor's attention.

More about this author: Pat Lunsford

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