Discoloration or Reddish areas under your fingernails tend to appear when there is an infection somewhere in your body. Any infection within your body, it appears, is reflected in your fingernails. Pictures on this page show reddish areas under my fingernails when I knew I had an infection.
Note: Changes in your fingernails are gradual, as the pictures below indicate. If you keep an eye on your fingernails it can help you stay healthy.
12/21/06 – I expect the reddish area above my moon to fade and the moon to become more clear as I have vitamin B12 shots and vitamin C. The long bit of reddish color (taupe?) that goes to the top of my finger was much darker when I had a blood infection related to having tetanus.
12/22/06 – This picture shows my moon already improved by yesterday’s and today’s B12 shots and the vitamin C I took yesterday and today. The moon is more complete, clear and defined. I feel much better today.
12/23/06 a.m. – I took this picture before I had vitamin C or a B12 shot. My toes are stiff; my dental infection caused by old dental implants feels as if it’s on the rise. The reddish area is darker. The top of the moon is no longer distinct and intact. (The differences are subtle. That’s why you have to get used to watching your fingernails for signs of health changes.) I’m having dental surgery in a month.
12/23/06 p.m. – It’s going to be hard to show how vitamin B12 changes the moon until after I have the dental surgery, because this way the moon is constantly affected by redness. (I bought this camera because the review at dpreview showed clear, detailed pictures. But it wasn’t as good at the color red as the Minolta… now I can see how it would be good to have the Minolta to show the redness and reddish line.)
12/24/06 p.m. – This picture was taken 24 hours after the one above, that’s a B12 shot and lots of vitamin C later. The reddish area is less dark and smaller but it’s still affecting the moon. The periodontist said bumps on the left side of my neck are from infection. Nothing but a thin “scale” remains of the first one (vitamin C is working) and none of them are very large any more. If they went away, then I think the reddish area would go away, too.
12/24/06 p.m. This shows moons on the fingers of my right hand reappearing. The moon on my index finger looks larger. There wasn’t much stress yesterday and I don’t feel feverish from the infection today.
12/25/06 – The moon is less transparent. The reddish area is lighter and narrower toward the top: it almost disappears in the very light area.In fact I feel better. The bumps on my neck (the Periodontist said they indicate infection in my jaw) are less pronounced. My toes are stiff but my feet don’t feel as spongy. Still, I nearly fell when I suddenly had a slipping feeling. It’s my nerves playing tricks, which is a common problem with low vitamin B12.
12/26/06 p.m. – I never noticed the “water spots on my middle finger nails before. They aren’t as visible on my fingers as in the photo. I’m curious about what the spots could reflect. They aren’t as visible in the photo now that it’s been recopied repeatedly.
12/27/06 a.m. I’ve quickly taken a picture of my thumbnail this morning because I had a pressure type toothache during the night and I wanted to see if there was any indication on my thumb nail that the infection was worse. So, yes. The reddish bit is obscuring the moon a bit, making it look as if it has holes in it. Also, the reddish bit goes to the top of my thumb. Yesterday a whitish band went across the top. I’ve taken 15 of the 500mg vitamin C and hope to see and feel a change.
12/28/06 p.m. This picture of my right thumbnail shows quite a lot of reddish streaking in the bottom half and a bit up at the top. It’s subtle, but I think you can see it. (The light areas look lightened as if from pressure.)Despite the reddish area I feel better today, possibly because I’m less stressed now that I’ve had to accept that I may have to ask for an extension in the Appeal I’m doing.
12/29/06 late p.m. This picture of my right thumbnail clearly shows the ridges. (These ridges are vastly reduced from having had 9 years of B12 replacement therapy.)I took this picture because there is a red spotat the top of the reddish line but the picture doesn’t show the color very well. A similar red spot was prominent before the last course of Metronidazol, early 2005. At that time it was about the size of a lentil and intensely colored.
12/30/06 p.m. This picture was taken after significant help from dpreview forum. The color still isn’t what I see when I look at my real thumbnail. But this shot shows how ridges look as they disappear. Look at the top of my thumbnail: see the thick line next to a long line going all the way down my nail. That thick line used to go all the way down, too. It is growing out. I’ve watched my fingernails grow smoother over ten years. If you have ridges, get Methylcobalamin, use it and watch the results ~~ not just on your fingernails but in relation to the symptoms of low vitamin B12.
1/31/07 – I wasn’t going to take a picture because my nails look bad; let me explain: Snow was so high up the water heater vent pipe that as it melted it leaked in around the pipe. In catching the water I bumped a pipe and it sprang a pinhole leak, but I thought the water was still from the roof. Finally I shut the water off. This picture shows the reddish line, a bit to the right of center. I’ve been sick the last few days with an abscess feeling on the roof of my mouth by my left eye tooth. My eyes burn and I feel feverish.
January 31, 2007 – I was supposed to have had surgery today to remove part of the bone where infection is around my old dental implants, but (it’s so stressful that writing about it is making the abscess feeling worse) there was a hearing scheduled in another case for Monday. I didn’t think the judge would give me a continuance, so I postponed surgery. But then I got so worried that I “excused” him. Now the case was given to Judge Hall who was the first judge to refuse to accommodate my disability; plus, he wouldn’t let me produce evidence at a Rule 56 hearing, which is exactly wrong. When I saw his name as the new judge I felt sick, the infection got much worse and I had the intense pain in my thoracic diaphragm that I’ve had only after having tetanus. Things are never simple. (I keep reminding myself that even air is not simple, it isn’t just oxygen, it’s a mixture, like water is H2O.)
The good thing is that from taking these pictures I became aware of an infection affecting nails, and I’ve been taking extra vitamin C (a little over 20 grams a day) and it’s got the infection almost back under control. Though my thumb doesn’t look as good as it could, in terms of the reddish line.
3/3/2017 ~ I’m redoing this bit so it displays properly on mobile devices.
February 1, 2007 – I chose this picture out of two dozen. You can see that the ridge from December 30th is gone.The reddish blotch at the top relates to my infection. If you have reddish coloring like this on your nails, and especially if you’re having hair fall out, you may have an infection somewhere in your body. If you are feeling tired, that’s another sign. You might try vitamin C.
February 1, 2007 – I reduced the amount of vitamin C I was taking because I got quite puffy under my eyes. I don’t know if it was from the C or one of the other vitamins. I reduced all of the vitamins I was taking by about half (except for the B12) and I reduced the vitamin C by about 90%. I’ve only been taking about 4 to 6 grams a day. And, I’ve been feeling the beginning of a toothache most days. (But stress has increased due to legal things. Jill Tiedemann’s lawyer tried to set a hearing date before I had a chance to answer his motion. The foreclosure lawyer used to do that, and it was devastatingly stressful. So even now while I’m writing this my tooth is beginning to throb from the stress.) I’m beginning a new page on stress in relation to Michael Marmot’s newish book, The Status Syndrome, about status and its impact on life expectancy.
April 18, 2007 – They turned off my power on April 4, 2007, so I don’t have heat or lights. It’s getting to be warmer weather now,and I’m going to get solar because that will be less stressful and therefore more healthy. (I asked them for two days so I could transfer money, but no. I didn’t even have phone when they turned off the electric. And the guy laughed. So by the time Easter was over, I was pretty determined not to go back to PNM given that they shut me off just to be mean. They would have had their money on the 6th, if what they wanted was their money. I’m not going to encourage them to treat people like this by paying them any more.)
4/18/07 – Today I see that my thumb nail has a sort of chasm in the moon. I’ve never seen this before. It’s worrying. I’ve been so stressed by trying to stay warm and the days are so short without electricity that I’ve not taken regular photos.And, I have all the court stuff to hand write without my printer. (Never a dull moment.)I’ve handwritten notes in my Time Line. I wish I could use my computer with the portable solar thing I got, but it doesn’t give me an hour a day, and by the time I turn on, the email loads, the schedule alarms go off… my time is nearly over. Frustrating.
6/20/07 – Sorry about the dirt under my nail. My solar is just a bit of wiring away from working and I’ve been preoccupied. I heatwater in the sun, but there’s been so muchgoing on. Anyway, sorry.I’ve worked really hard at having a lot of B12 to get my moon made whole again, and that’sbeen successful. But the reddish streak is forming into rather distinct lines, and that’s not good.
When I had tetanus I had red lines under my nails, but they were fine lines that looked as if they could have been drawn by a pen with the finest point possible. My camera wasn’t good enough to capture them, partially because it didn’t have a Macro lens and my arms weren’t long enough to get the camera far enough away to focus. I wish I could show you those lines.I’m going to have to drink a lot more water and take more vitamin C. It’sbeen hard to remember to do that with the solar going in and people here all the time. I have been feeling not that well. I was really sick one day and didn’t want them to know. It will be good when the solar is finished so Ican concentrate on the things I’m supposed to do every day in order to stay well if not get better. This way I forget. When I had electric I used my computer to remind me.
July 10, 2007 – I cut my nail at the point where a hang nail was. The red lines are distinct and I’m a bit worried. I’m happymy moon is strong. That’s a result of consistent B12 shots after I became worried due to the chasm that appeared in the middle of my moon. I must have not been taking Vitamin C and drinking enough water, and now the infection is really showing up on my nails.
But… not to panic. (Did you ever read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? See, that reminds me, Douglas Adams died really young ~~ I bet he had major ridges on his nails. I bet that if he’d known about B12 he could have lived to write more novels. What I want to say, is that the girl he dedicated Hitchhiker’s Guide to used to sell my silver bangles for me at Camden Passage in Islington. She showed them for me, is more accurate, since I don’t think one ever sold. She was really nice. I don’t remember how I met her, except that Douglas Adams lived quite near my son and me. Hitchhiker’s Guide was popular with a young crowd in England after it was read on the wireless… yes, that’s what they called the radio.) In any case, “Do not panic,” was the central advice is the very entertaining novel.
September 21, 2009 – This image of my Right Thumb nail looks short and fat because in order to get the red line to show up I had to tilt my thumb.The red/taupe line tends to appear when I have symptoms of an infection. Last night Iwas up very late trying to get my internet to work properly, and this morning my eyes burn, I’ve had several strands of hair fall out, and there’s the line. (I wanted to take a picture before I took vitamin C, because I’m counting on the vitamin C to make the line/infection go away. I should mention that an underlying stress is the foreclosure action on my home: there’s a hearing set for October 19, 2009.)
September 22, 2009 – I had thought the vitamin C would get rid of the red line yesterday but it didn’t. It took until today. The length of time may have been influenced by how extremely tired I was yesterday even after I got a 45 minute nap.I’m tired today, but not in the thoroughly exhausted way that I was yesterday. I’m September 22, 2009 – I had thought the vitamin C would get rid of the red line yesterday but it didn’t. It took until today. The length of time may have been influenced by how extremely tired I was yesterday even after I got a 45 minute nap.I’m tired today, but not in the thoroughly exhausted way that I was yesterday.
January 30, 2010 – I was too optimistic. Yes, the line went away directly after I took the vitamin C, but it has not gone completely away for good. For a long time I had bumps on my neck that the periodontist said were associated with a dental infection. After brushing my teeth vigorously in hope of scrubbing away any lose, offending infection, my gum felt as if the infection were worse, as though it had broken through.the area of the infection.When I looked in the mirror I saw that my gum has a bit of ragged metal sticking out from the implant. The implants were expensive and from a recommended dental surgeon here in Santa Fe, so it was very distressing to see that what I had paid for was so crude. My distress made the infection worse in subsequent days. But then I began to remind myself that people can have a bullet stuck in them and live happily, or metal from an accident. Once I was not feeling so extremely distressed the bumps went away. Whew!!! But, the red line did not resolve. My problem is that there are so many things, especially court related things, pushing down on me that I forget to make coffee or tea enough times in a day to make a difference (taking vitamin C with the liquid).
February 14, 2010 – I’ve already taken vitamin C today, so the line has been affected, else I would take a picture to illustrate how it’s changing: overall it’s getting worse and is now going down into my moon, much the way it did on April 18, 2007. Because it did this once before and then “healed” I’m hoping that if I can just get my distress over court things under control, that my body will be able to effectively combat the infection with the help of vitamin C. (During the last two status conferences in my bankruptcy adversary proceedings the defendants sounded jubilant, so I felt they must have heard there would be no judgment against them. That made me feel uneasy and distressed, since the tenants had broken their lease and caused my hot water heater to burn out, with the result I no longer had an income… long story, and so SO distressing.) I received a copy of the Order and Memorandum on Saturday, and yes, they got off. But today I’m thinking that it could be because I failed to properly bring them before the bankruptcy court — that would be understandable and not something that makes me feel as if the court is against me the way I felt it was in the foreclosure of my condo that was done without due process and then the judge was reported to have said there was “no way” I would get it back. He said that in a telephone conversation to reassure the broker of the real estate agent who bought my condo and he said it before there was a hearing. What he said trumped due process.)
March 2, 2010 – My camera does not show the color red very well. When I bought it there was another camera that showed red much better, but its lens wasn’t as good as the Leica lens in this camera, so I bought this one for overall better quality. At times like these I wish I had the ability to show red better.Nevertheless, I think you can see where there’s a line ofcoloration running from the top of my thumb’s fingernail (where it touches flesh) to the top of its moon.
On my real nail there’s a blotch at the top that’s darker red. I took nearly two dozen photos in an attempt to show that, but none made it as clear as it is on my actual thumb. When I had tetanus there was a reddish blotch there also. It was about the size of a lentil and very dark, but the camera I had then didn’t take macro shots, and I couldn’t get my finger far enough from the camera to get a clear image using the regular lens.
I really want to show this because the line of coloration is related to an infection in my body: the line goes away when I consistently take vitamin C (in quantities meant to kill an infection) and it comes back when stress is high. I have the word of my dentist that I have a dental infection in my jaw around the old type of implants that I have. The periodontist my dentist sent me to said that the bumps I periodically get on my neck are from the infection. In fact a question about bumps on ones neck was on his intake papers. As soon as I get my social security tomorrow I’m going to arrange a ride to Wal*Mart so I can get some crackers and some pre-packaged cheddar so that I have something to eat with vitamin c so that I can take it every quarter hour for 8 hours. That will be 32 grams. I think that if I can just get the infection under control that my body will be able to keep it under control as long as I don’t get too stressed. I know that in the past I’ve been able to completely get rid of the line, so I hope I can do that again.I’m going to duplicate this on my vitamin C page with an explanation of why vitamin C can do what it does.
April 20, 2010 – It’s taking a lot longer to get rid of the deeply reddish line that is linked to infection than I had anticipated.I was sitting in the sun thismorning when I noticed that the line was showing up a bit defined from the rest of the reddness. So I took a photograph. Sunlight is so different from the light in my living room! In sunlight in real life, the line goes only about half way up now. The problem in showing this is that the line beneath myfingernail corresponds to a ridge in my fingernail, so the raised-nessof it makes it look as if the reddness beneath goes further than in the sunlight it appears to actually go. I bought some inexpensive Kiwi-Strawberry punch from Wal*Mart to use between cups of coffee, so that I could take the vitamin C more regularly. I’m trying to take 250 mg every half hour to 15 minutes, but often forget for an hour or more. Still, the punch makes it easy to take vitamin C. And, I eat peanuts so it’s not on an empty stomach.
BAD IDEA ~~ I gained over 10 pounds while I was drinking the punch instead of making coffee or tea.
NOTE: My primary focus is on how our fingernails reflect our vitamin B12 health. The reason for this narrow focus is that low vitamin B12 severely impacted my life. While watching my fingernails I discovered that they reflect infections, as well. There are several things related to health that fingernails can tell you, so it is a good idea to keep an eye on them. Mainly you want to see them remain smooth and retain their natural moons. When I was living in the hydrogen sulfide from the privy pit, I had horizontal valleys in my nails, especially the thumb. These were quite large dips in the nails. One very serious thing is if your nails begin to curve over the top ofyour finger… I learned that was a sign of heart disease, some say lung disease. This is what it looks like:
Pictures of Fingernails showing other health signs