The Moons on Your Nails Can Warn You About These 13 Problems

nail health
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By Abbey Ryan

Everyone, especially women, love having a good manicure every now and then. Having well groomed nails even used to be a sign of status. But, what most people don’t know is your fingernails can indicate way more than just your social standing or your grooming habits. 

Have you ever paid special attention to your fingernails and noticed the lighter crescents at your nail beds? Do you even know what those little white moons are called? They’re called lunula and can actually tell you a lot about your health. Our bodies have hundreds of magnificent indicators to help us understand our health, including the color of our skin, the amount of hair that falls out, the speed of healing wounds, acne, and more (1). The lunula is no exception.

What are my fingernails saying?

While you may know that additional white flecks in your nails are bruises or air bubbles that appear after an unkind impact, you may not know exactly what the white moons at the base of your fingernails has to do with your overall health (2). Here are 13 things your fingernails might be trying to tell you:

1) The lunula on your pinky is connected to your kidneys, small intestine, and heart (3). It should be unnoticeable or completely absent. If it’s not, it could be indicating a health problem or infection.

2) The lunula on your ring finger is connected to your reproductive and lymphatic system (3). If you are unable to see this lunula, then you could possibly have a digestion issue.

3) Your middle finger’s lunula is connected with brain work and the cardiovascular system (3). Lacking a visible lunula here could indicate vascular issues or high blood pressure.

4) If the lunula on your index finger is very small or not visible, this could be indicating issues with your intestines or pancreas (3).

5) Your thumb’s lunula should not take up any more than 25% of your entire fingernail since it reflects the work of the lungs and spleen (3). Usually this lunula is much smaller among smokers and is considered “large” when it takes up more than a third of your fingernail.

6) Lunulas can speak to issues with your cardiovascular system, heartbeat disruption, or low blood pressure (3). Additionally, athletes and people who are highly active tend to have visible or large lunula (2).

7) If all of your lunula are small or are not visible, this could indicate low blood pressure, a circulatory disorder, or a weak immune system (3).

8) If your lunula is separated or separating from the remainder of the nail, this tends to be a sign of irregular blood sugar levels which is often a sign of developing diabetes (3).

9) Discolored lunula tell different things. Gray lunula indicate of a lack of sleep, digestion issues, or not absorbing proper nutrients (3).

10) White lunula indicate overall general health. (3).

11) Purple lunula indicate poor blood circulation, lack of oxygen to organs, and lack of oxygen to tissues (3).

12) Pinkish-red lunula indicate a lack of physical activity or lung issues (3).

13) Black lunula indicate heavy metal poisoning, which is incredibly dangerous and extremely rare (3).


Can’t see any of your lunula? Don’t panic. Research clearly shows that there are many people who can’t see any of their lunula and that is due to their nail structure, not a potential health issue (4). If you are accustomed to seeing your lunula, however, and notice them changing size or color, then perhaps you should make an appointment with a doctor. Taking care of your body overall through good nutrition, regular exercise, enough water and necessary vitamins will also help keep your nails strong and healthy. 

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