My fingernails always seem to be blue and I have Beau's lines on them. What does this mean?
Blue fingernails may be an indication of hypoxia (reduced circulation and oxygen) delivery to the extremities or a high level of hemoglobin in the blood. The color of the skin is due to the circulating blood beneath the skin, if the color of the skin changes, people with a bluish tinge to their skin often have underlying low blood oxygen levels.
Other symptoms you may be currently experiencing are light headedness, dizzyness, blue sclera, cold hands and feet, tingling or pins and needles in the hands and feet, blue lips or mouth area (cyanosis). If the area is gently massaged and the colour returns then the problem is probably associated with circulation insufficiencies.
Causes of pale fingernails
- Anaemia or Iron deficiency
- Asthma or breathing problems, emphysema, acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Lung conditions, shortness of breath, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis
- Circulation or cardiac insufficiencies
- Raynauds disease
- Neurological complaints
Beau's linesBeau's lines or deep groves which typically run across the fingernail (horizontally) rather than vertically. They are ridges which can be easily seen on the surface of the fingernail and are caused by temporary halt in the growth of the nail. This may be due to nutritional deficiencies, infection, injury, trauma, malnutrition, poor Calcium intake in the diet, exposure to cold temperatures (circulatory insufficiency, Raynauds disease), psoriasis, diabetes, side effect of pharmaceutical medications or other chronic underlying illness which are placing a strain on the body.
Due to the slow growth of the nails it is possible to determine when the problem occured because the nails grow at a rate of approximately 0.1mm each day. The nails are therefore a time line and by analysing the position of the Beau line on the nail gives you the approximate time when the injury/ problem occured. For example trauma or hypocalcamia (calcium deficiency) may have occured about 2 months ago if the lines appear in the centre of your fingernail and may have been rectified if the nail continues to grow smoothly after that area on the nail.