A healthy fingernails on a white towel. The image is the ideal picture of what a healthy nail should look like.
Beautiful female hands and nails on white towel.

On ‘borrowing brain’ and the mystery behind your nail colour

You know that feeling you get when you’re about to be tested in one way or the other? The angel on your right shoulder says, ‘everything is gonna be fine.’ While the demon on the other side whispers, ‘it won’t go well; just walk out now and save yourself from the trauma of getting a fail mark.’ That was precisely how I felt sitting in the examination hall, waiting for the examiner to bring in our questions. It was a mathematics exam, and need I say, it hasn’t been my favorite subject for a very long time. I had tried to study, but it’s not like every other subject where you could just read and pass; you need to work it – and to work, there has to be an expert to put you through.

Random thought kept coming to my head. If I could borrow a brain now, whose brain would it be? Probably my big brother’s brain – that guy is so good; he doesn’t need a textbook. Or my runaway mathematics teacher? Man, I would be relaxed by now. Or I can make do with S’s; man does not need studying maths; he’s practically the mathematics guru. The last option is more like it; he literally begged to be a part of me; I guess he needs to prove it. Haha. I decided to ease my thoughts and focus. I looked sideways at the person sitting next to me – he was praying with hands held up in front of him. Then, I stopped. I stopped doing whatever it was I was doing when I noticed his nails.

I know it might seem like an overreaction, but It wasn’t. I haven’t seen a fingernail so black and thick. I stared hard at the nails, thinking the boy probably used a ‘Lali’ or something, but no, that was his nail’s colour. The mystery of the black, thick nails got my spirits up for research. My findings are highlighted in the paragraphs below.

What the colour of your nails tells about your overall health

The nail color should generally be a colour pink, with the healthy nail plate being pink and the tip being white as it grows off. The change in the colour of the nails could be an indication to a severe health complication.

As I delved into the research, I noticed other nail colour that I would have found weirder than the colour black had I seen them. The nail colours are blue, green, pale, yellow, red, brown/copper, gray, white, and purple. Each colour symbolizes different ailments – these ailments/conditions are addressed one after the other.

Black Nails
Black nails could indicate underlying health conditions such as bacterial infections, vitamin B-12 deficiency, chronic kidney disease, trauma, liver diseases, cancer, or silver deposits.

Green Nails
Green nails could be caused by cleaning agents, allergies, fungal infections, bacterial infections, and chronic Emphysema.

Yellow Nails
Yellow nails may indicate: diabetes, the nicotine from cigarette addiction, chronic bronchitis, swollen hands can also cause yellow nails, respiratory disorders, which might indicate problems with the lymphatic system.

Red Nails
This color indicates high blood pressure, lung disease, stroke, heart disease, carbon monoxide poisoning, and brain hemorrhage.

Purple Nails
This colour might be indicative of congenital difficulty, deprivation of oxygen, circulatory problems.

Blue Nails
Blue Nails are medically termed as cyanosis. Sometimes blue nails could be caused by cold or constrictions; if the standard colour doesn’t return after warming, it might be due to a severe underlying illness. Blue Nails indicate a variety of medical conditions such as:
* Lung and breathing challenges include asthma, long-term bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other respiratory malfunctions.
* Raynaud’s disease: The finger and toenails whiten, then turn blue. It may alternately benumb and painful once exposed to cold.
* Wilson’s disease – Hepatolenticular degeneration.
* May point out to an unusual elevated form of hemoglobin in the circulation.
* Septicemia: This often occurs when there’s a bacteria infection in the bloodstream.
* Argyria: This is caused by exposure to some chemical compounds.

Pale/white Nails
Pale/white may be indicative of anemia, kidney, or liver disease. White line bands across the nails may also be a pointer to protein deficiency.
White spots on the nails can also be an indication of iron and zinc deficiency.

Gray Nails
Gray nail indicates glaucoma, Emphysema, lung disorders, edema, malnutrition, and cardio-pulmonary disease.

Nail darkening on the sides
Darkening of the nails on the sides could be a pointer to kidney disease.

Brown spots under the nails
Brown spots under the nails could be an indication of psoriasis. Also, reddish-brown spots on the fingernails can be an indication of folic acid deficiency.

Final thoughts
The article didn’t start like I was going to be discussing the underlying health issues of our nails. But it is sometimes funny that we get to learn new things and find inspiration in the oddest days/ways.

I hope you check your nails like I did mine severally while writing this post. If you notice any abnormalities or signs, please do the needful by seeing a medical expert ASAP.

About the author


Mariam Olajide, mostly called by friends as 'Mori,' is passionate about reading and writing. She is a graduate of English at the Lagos State University and a postgraduate student at the University of Ibadan.
She isn't just passionate about reading and writing.

She's passionate about a world that is peaceful and free from judgementalism. As a plus, she believes in YOU - she thinks you can get lost in her blogs and be transformed for the better. *Smiles*

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