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What Are Nail Symptoms Of Vitamin Deficiency? Identifying Signs!

Nails are one of the most important entities and indicators of sound health. It is no secret that nail symptoms can help medical professionals predict ...

by Sarah Waldorf

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Nails are one of the most important entities and indicators of sound health. It is no secret that nail symptoms can help medical professionals predict the underlying health issues in a person. It can also be seen as an attempt made by the body to provide us with early warnings of diseases. It is estimated that around 20-30% of the US population suffer from one or the other nail problems.

Having said that, it is also true that not all nail problems are symptoms of vitamin deficiency. It is important to have a definite understanding of this so that we will be able to distinguish between nail problems that require urgent attention from those which are not serious. 

In this article, we will talk about some common nail symptoms that derive from vitamin deficiency. Before we begin, it would not be fair without referring to the signs of a healthy nail. So, let’s get into the details without wasting any time.   

The Common Signs Of Healthy Nails

It is very easy to cite a healthy fingernail that will have a smooth texture without any pits or grooves. Besides, it will also be free of any discoloration or spots. However, in certain cases, damages can occur to nails due to accidents or collisions, and these should not be taken as parameters to judge a nail’s health. 

Common Signs Of Healthy Nails

Vitamin deficiency and nail symptoms

In this section, we will discuss the ten most common nail symptoms that give us hints of various vitamin deficiencies. Read carefully through the content.

Brittle nails

Brittle nails can be of two variants and the first one seems to be dry and brittle with too little moisture. The other variant is mostly soft and brittle and contains too much moisture. Brittle nail occurs due to a deficiency of biotin (vitamin B7), zinc, and iron. 

Nail clubbing

Nail clubbing is the process where the tip of the fingers enlarges and the nails become curved from front to back. It typically occurs due to vitamins A and D deficiency. Also, this condition can be a pointer towards serious underlying health conditions such as heart or lung problems.


A hangnail is a small torn piece of skin next to the nails mostly caused due to dryness in the skin. However, it has been noticed that taking iron, potassium, vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids and an adequate amount of calcium can improve the symptoms.

Ingrown toenail

An ingrown toenail occurs when the corner of the toenail makes inroads into the soft flesh. It can lead to inflamed skin, swelling, and infection. It is believed that a lack of vitamin C and folic acid can be responsible for this condition.

Yellow discolored nails

The yellow discolored nails are a classic sign of vitamin deficiency and can be very easy to recognize. Low proportions of vitamin E, vitamin B12, and zinc can be responsible for this condition. Rarely, it can also be indicative of lung diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.

Beau’s lines

Beau’s lines are a kind of grooves that run across the nail surface that can be due to diabetes or other infections. However, studies have found that a deficiency in zinc and iron can also contribute to this condition.


Onycholysis is a condition in which the nail toe from one of your fingers separates from the skin. Mainly, iron deficiency causes this nail condition through taking supplements of vitamins C, E, and B6 has been seen to improve the symptoms. 


Paronychia is an infection that occurs on top of the finger or toenails. Zinc deficiency can cause this problem. Taking foods that contain vitamin B12 has proven to be beneficial.

Nail psoriasis

Nail psoriasis is the discoloration of nails caused by autoimmune diseases. People with vitamin D deficiency are prone to this condition. 


Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that causes disfigurement of nails. Biotin deficiency has been termed as the main cause of this fungal infection.


As mentioned earlier, nails give us prior warnings of our health and have to be taken seriously. We had a good overview of ten of the most common nail symptoms that occur due to vitamin deficiency. It is recommended to make a habit of watching for these signs so that we can take action before it gets too late.

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