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    Mayo Clinic Minute: Fingernails are clues to your health

Take a peek at your fingernails. Do they have ridges or chips, or are they discolored? Dr. Rachel Miest, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist, says the condition of your fingernails may be clues to your overall health.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Many people develop lines or ridges from the cuticle to the tip. Dr. Miest says that the ridges are actually completely fine and just a part of normal aging. But there are other nail changes you should not ignore that may indicate liver  or problems, nutritional deficiencies and other issues.

Here are six examples:

  1. Pitting
    This could be a sign of psoriasis.
  2. Clubbing
    Clubbing happens when your oxygen is low and could be a sign of lung issues.
  3. Spooning
    It can happen if you have iron-deficient anemia or liver disease.
  4. "A Beau’s line"
    It’s a horizontal line that indicates a previous injury or infection.
  5. Nail separation
    This may happen as a result of injury, infection or a medication.
  6. Yellowing of the nails
    This may be the result of chronic bronchitis.

"The fingernails are absolutely a wonderful reflection of a person’s overall health," says Dr. Miest.