The state of your nails can say a lot about your health. Dr. Oz revealed in 2008 how to assess the health of your fingernails, and he described 3 conditions your nails are trying to tip you off to: ‘spoon nails’, ‘pigmented bends’ and ‘nail beading’. 

If you have not heard of these problems before, then this could be very interesting!  Doctor Oz said that most people do not examine their nails, but the color, shape and texture of your nails could be major warning signs of medical issues.  First of all, you should feel the texture of your nail and look for a rounded shape.  Dr Oz said other healthy nail characteristics include a nail being rectangular in shape and having a Lunula, a white crescent shape towards the base of the nail (especially in the thumb nail).

NOTICE: Be aware that the nail conditions may not be always a reliable indicator for the medical problems mentioned – a thorough health assessment is always required to make a diagnosis.

Spoon nails: iron deficiency?

Dr Oz said that spoon nails (koilonychia) are where you can imagine scooping out the center portion of your nail with a spoon.  When water touches your nail, it sits on top and accumulates rather than rolling off.  Dr Oz said that Iron Deficiency can cause Spoon Nails.  When you have Spoon Nails, your blood supply cannot get to the center of your nail to make it grow strong.

Pigmented bands: melanoma?

Dr Oz said that healthy nails should be pink, but if you have dark vertical stripes on your nails (pigmented bands), especially if you are African American, this could be a sign of melanoma.  There are also non-cancerous bands, but you must have a doctor examine it to find out.

Nail beading: thyroid problems?

Dr Oz said that you can get nail beading, which looks somewhat like the texture that builds on the side of candle as it burns and drips the wax down the side.  After Dr Oz showed a picture of Nail Beading though, it looked more to me like have ridges in your nails, which I have… so I am a tad bit concerned now.  If you have Nail Beading, Dr Oz said it could be caused by Thyroid Problems, blood flow changes to your nails, hormonal problems or even Diabetes.

Doctor Oz said that if you have any of these nail conditions, go see a dermatologist or a general doctor. View the Dr Oz episode about fingernails HERE.


The Nail Tutor



Koilonychia is better known as a 'spoon nail'.

Koilonychia is a fingernail disorder.



What is koilonychia?

Koilonychia (a.k.a. ‘spoon nails’) occurs when the free edge of the nail is turned inside out (everted), resulting in a concave fingernail.

What causes koilonychia?

Two common causes of koilonychia are:

• thyroid abnormalities;
iron deficiency anemia.

But koilonychia can also be caused by direct trauma, excessive use of oils and soaps, or other more rare medical problems such as:

• impaired peripheral circulation;
• musculoskeletal conditions;
• systemic lupus erythematosus;
• hemochromatosis;
• renal disease;
• Nail Patella Syndrome;
• Raynaud’s Disease;
• Hypoplastic Patella.

One must also be aware that in the hands of children a ‘spoon nail’ may occur as a normal condition of the nail (not caused by a disease).

Koilonychia – also knows as a ‘spoon nail’

PHOTO – An example of ‘spoon nails’ (koilonychia):

Spoon nails (koilonychia)

Common disorders in the fingernail & toe nail!
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Koilonychia is a common nail disorder in the hands of children