Are my nails healthy? It is probably not a question you ask very often, but nevertheless, it is an important one.
Keeping your nails in good condition not only makes sure they are looking good but can also help you to identify other health concerns within your body.
Your nails can be a good indicator of your overall health and wellbeing, so knowing how to tell if they are healthy can really matter. Read on to spot the signs of good nail health.
1. There no ridges on your nails
Are your nails smooth and flat or are they starting to sport some ridges?
This may seem like something that only affects the look of your nail polish, but it actually says a lot about your nail condition.
First of all, you need to establish whether your ridges are vertical or horizontal, as this makes a difference to what it tells you.
Vertical ridges can be a sign of vitamin deficiency. The lines run from the tip to the cuticle causing them to split or break more easily.
This is often due to a lack of iron, protein, calcium, zinc or even vitamin A or can sometimes indicate a digestive disorder.1
Horizontal ridges are often called Beau’s Lines and are very significant. These tend to be deeper than the vertical versions and there are usually several of them.
For more information, read our article ‘What causes ridges in nails?’
2. Your nails are a lovely length
As a general rule, long nails are strong nails.
If your nails are able to maintain their length without cracking, breaking or splitting, then it is likely that your nails are strong and healthy.
These require good care to maintain their condition and keep them free of problems.
3. Your nails are the right colour
The colour of your nails is important for a number of reasons.
You might think they are all pink, but changes in colour can indicate several different nail problems.
If your nails are a soft pale pink, then things are looking good. Put them to the test by pressing down on them and seeing how quicky the colour floods back to test the blood flow beneath them.
If your nails are looking pale or even white, then you should speak to your doctor about whether you have an issue with anaemia.
4. Spot free nails
You might think that your face is the only place that you get spots, but have you noticed any on your nails too?
White spots can also appear as a result of a recent nail injury.
5. Your nails are as straight as a die
Your nails will usually be quite straight if they are in good condition.
But if they start to look scooped out, then you may have koilonychia2 or spoon nails.
This is a really noticeable curve of the nail that could even hold a droplet of water so make sure you consult with a medical professional.
Keeping your nails strong and healthy
What are healthy nails? These points should help you to spot them and you may like to read more in our article ‘Find out what your nails could be saying about your health.’
‘How to strengthen nails and keep them healthy’ is another great article to show you how to keep them that way.
Last updated: 23 December 2020