10 Nail Problems That Can Say Something About Your Health

Your nails might not be the first place you look to for signs that you’re killing it at this life thing, but surprisingly, you can tell a lot about your health from your nails.

What do healthy nails look like, though? First, “normal” fingernails should have white tips with a smooth finish and subtle shine, Dana Stern, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical School, tells SELF. Your nail beds should be flesh-colored, meaning they skew pink, tan, or brownish. “Cuticles are intact and well moisturized,” Dr. Stern adds. “Hangnails are absent.”

If your nail color, shape, or structure starts to look a bit odd for reasons beyond normal wear—say, you spent all weekend deep cleaning the house or you’re really due for a manicure—then it’s possible your fingernail health may indicate a deeper issue with your overall health, Dr. Stern says. Here are the most common nail problems that potentially signal something that’s more than skin-deep, according to dermatologists.