Q:

What causes fingernails to curve down?

A:

Nails that curve downward, a condition known as nail clubbing, indicate that there could be an underlying health condition. Most often, these issues involve diseases of the lung and cardiovascular system. Nail clubbing may also indicate that the level of oxygen in the blood is low, according to Mayo Clinic.

Nail clubbing occurs in stages. First, the nail bed becomes soft. Then, the nail starts to gently curve under. As the condition progresses, the nail becomes thicker, especially at the end of the finger. Additionally, the nail may appear to have stripes or grooves. Since many nail diseases and disorders are caused by medical conditions, it's vital to seek medical attention for any nail changes.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What causes fingernails to grow down?

    A:

    Fingernails can grow downward as a result of a condition called nail clubbing in which the fingers grow larger, while the nails grow around and curve over the larger fingertips, explains Mayo Clinic. Health problems such as low blood oxygen, inflammatory bowel disease, AIDS and cardiovascular disease can cause clubbing.

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  • Q:

    What causes ridges in fingernails?

    A:

    According to Mayo Clinic, vertical ridges in fingernails are normal and have no specific cause; however, deeper ridges may occur as someone ages, possibly due to cell turnover. About.com says that less moisture from natural oils may also lead to more prominent ridges as someone ages.

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  • Q:

    What causes brittle fingernails with vertical ridges?

    A:

    Onychorrhexis is the medical diagnosis for brittle fingernails that feature vertical ridges, and the primary cause is unusual dryness within the nail. Other causes include malnutrition, endocrine disorders, skin conditions such as psoriasis, low levels of thyroid hormone and Raynaud's phenomenon, though these are far less common.

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  • Q:

    How can I whiten my fingernails?

    A:

    Lemon juice, whitening toothpaste, hydrogen peroxide with baking soda, denture cleaning tablets, and tea tree oil can whiten fingernails. There are many reasons why fingernails are not as white over time. Nail polish is the common reason for stained nails. Using a clear base coat before putting nail polish prevents your nails from staining over time. Smoking, chronic liver disease and fungal infection also affect your nail color.

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