Who would have thought toenails could tell you something about your health? Not me! When Lincoln was born his toenails still had a lot of skin over them {almost like an ingrown toenail}, but over time it went away. The last few months I noticed Lincoln’s big toe toenails were kind of indented… think spoon, lower in the middle and higher on the sides. Weird, I know. Honestly though I didn’t think anything of it. Then Wesley and I celebrated our one year anniversary and my mom watched Lincoln for the weekend. My mom, being the anatomy teacher that she is, silently thinks she’s qualified to be a doctor. So naturally a couple of days after picking him up she asked about his toenails. I brushed her off and told her I didn’t think it was a big deal, but something resonated with what she said: “I’ve always heard that nails can tell a lot about a person’s health.”

Great. Thanks, mom. Now that’s all I can think about! I started google-ing indented toenails and an array of scary disorders and problems came up.

  • Anaemia: Lack of iron in the body
  • Lupus: Disease where your immune system attacks itself
  • Haemochromatosis: Too much iron in the body
  • Raynaud’s Disease: Disease where the body doesn’t provide enough blood flow to the fingers and toes

Or I thought to myself I could just be dealing with a kid with strange toenails. Either way, I decided google was enough to freak me out and make an appointment with my son’s pediatrician pronto.

During our appointment the doc decided she wanted to do a full run of his blood, nutritional as well as an iron check. This testing wasn’t something they could do at the office so we were sent to a lab, a lab that doesn’t deal with children on a day in and day out basis and a lab that was less than friendly. I don’t know if many of you mamas have had to endure extensive blood testing on your kiddo, but it was horrific. The first time I’ve almost cried over a needle in my kid. I had to literally wrap my legs and arms around my son, hold his wrist and tiny little arm out completely straight, while they took 2 vials of blood from Lincoln. Lincoln sat there inches from the needle just screaming bloody murder with ginormous tears streaming down his beat red face as the nurse kept saying “look, it’s your blood.” Ummm lady, that’s not helping or comforting him. Anywho, I know she was just doing her job, but it was clearly a traumatic experience.

I sweated bullets for the next day waiting to hear the results, because I was thinking the absolute worst! So I got the results back and it turns out my last theory was correct… Lincoln just has funky toenails. So all the testing was kind of for nothing, but at least I know he doesn’t have Lupus, Raynaud’s disease, or any other scary sounding things going on with him or his toenails.

I found it quite interesting all the things you can learn about what your finger and toenails tell you. Here are just a few.

  • Brittle or Crumbly Nails: psoriasis of the nails, over or under-active thyroid, fungal nail infection, or a skin condition called lichen planus.
  • Discolored Nails: jaundice, tuberculosis, sinusitis, bronchiectasis, or simply too much nail polish.
  • White Nails: diabetes, liver cirrhosis, liver, kidney, or heart failure, overactive thyroid.
  • Loose Nails: warts, fungal nail infection, overactive thyroid, poor circulation, and amyloidosis {protein builds up in the organs}.
  • Groove’s Across the Fingernails: chemotherapy, exposure to cold temperatures, an illness that started a few months ago, or simply a previous injury.

These are just a few of the nail “issues” that people across the world suffer from, but I’ll spare you from some of the more grotesque ones. I even thought about providing pics, but seriously, I think the one above is enough of the nail pictures. You get the point and if you don’t just follow the link above in blue 🙂 Point is, I will be paying A LOT more attention to my kiddo’s nails from here on out!

What other crazy things on and in our body can tell us something interesting about our health? I never in a million and one years would have thought nails!


  1. Having blood draws are horrible.  Hudson has had them annually since he was a baby.  🙁  And nails…they’re just weird.  My kid’s kind of curl under a little bit, which is strange.  Now I’m wondering what it means!  🙂

  2. You are on the right track! It can be fixed.. just keep researching. Read the Book Detoxify or Die. It will explain EXACTLY why and how to treat it thru vitamins and minerals NO MEDS 🙂 Good luck! 

  3. My son also has spoon slightly indented nails. We had a scare and have done a ridiculous amount of blood draws for him only being 3. At least like 15. So yes it’s traumatic. I totally understand and I hate it so much. Also nothing was found. He wa just anemic at 9months which was all due to iron.


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