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What are some fingernail disorders that show vitamin deficiency?

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Quick Answer

Fingernails that are very soft or flake apart easily could indicate a lack of the protein keratin, which is typically caused by a sudden nutritional change that deprives the body of essential vitamins and nutrients. Ridges on nails may indicate malnourishment or a lack of iron, says Everyday Health.

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What are some fingernail disorders that show vitamin deficiency?
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Full Answer

Fingernail disorders are defined as problems with the texture, shape, thickness or color of the nails. Just as an examination of the skin can tell a lot about an individual's general health, so can a close examination of fingernails, says MedlinePlus.

Certain abnormalities are clear indicators of a nutritional deficiency. Thin fingernails that curve inward and have raised ridges are referred to as koilonychia, which is a warning sign of anemia, states MedlinePlus.

These types of fingernail disorders are generally resolved easily. Koilonychia can be cleared up by eating an iron-rich diet, and problems and blemishes caused by a keratin insufficiency are treated by following a diet rich in protein. Daily supplements of biotin, a B vitamin, should also help, according to Everyday Health.

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