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The whites of my fingernails are progressing down my nail bed.
I have what look like stripes of color to my nails:
The base of my nails look normal (to me), then a strip of darker pink or red intermixed with the white invading, then the white of my nail.
It is on all nails of both hands.
I’ve went to the doctor who said he didn’t know why that would happen and told me to wear nail polish if it bothers me.

I'll be 52 this year, and I have several medical problems (I have no idea if that makes any difference) and take various drugs.
I’ll list everything I have since I don’t know if anything would contribute:
Hypothyroid Synthroid 137MCG
Sarcoidosis Piroxicam 20MG
Irregular heartbeat Metprolol Tartrate 50MG (But all tests say I don’t have anything wrong)
Slight incontinence Detrol LA 4MG
Rosacea MetroGel .75% & Finacia 15% Gel 50GM
Migraines Maxalt 5mg
Eczema in my ears Elidel 1% cream 30GM
Occasionally serious pain in my back right side that progresses to the front.
No menstrual cycle since November 18, 2006 (but tests say my hormones are normal)
One ovary removed about 20 years ago
I used to get cramps in my legs and feet and was taking potassium and has made life better, but the Dr said to quit because my potassium levels are good.
I also take a multi vitamin.

I don’t use my nails as tools because they are too flimsy and bend easily.
My pinky is getting to be almost half lifted and this just isn't normal.

I only took pictures of my left hand because that was easiest.


How long has it been since you've had your thyroid checked? I'm no doctor but have heard this can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. Maybe your medication needs to be adjusted? I have hypothyroidism myself and am treated with Synthroid.


Hi Deb
Im, just wondering if you got to the bottom of this as your symptoms of yours nails i am experiencing myself and dont know what it is at all, i also have been experiencing lower back pain, doctor has done blood test and all has come back fine? im female 26



I have the same problem with one finger (sometimes a second one but not at the moment). I'm also hypothyroid. Hmmm...

I have finally asked my doctor about it and he's sending me for an x-ray. He wonders if it has to do with the bone underneath. I'm skeptical.

I have used melaluca (tea tree oil) on it suspecting there was a fungus. I guess it helped? It's been a while but I have had it fix itself--both fingers perhaps thanks to the melaluc....but now it's back in one of them. I haven't tried the melaluca yet this time. thought I'd go to the doctor.

I'll try to write what results from the xray.




My xrays haven't come in yet. Not sure if they've been lost in the system??? So no news there yet. However, my finger seems to be healing itself. I haven't put anything on it.

Oh, and I just had blood work done and my thyroid is doing fine with the amount of synthroid I use.

We did start taking calcium with magnesium and I think it also has vit c and zinc. No idea if this is making the difference. I doubt it's the vit C as I have taken doses of this by itself and not seen any difference also occuring with my finger.

Still a mystery.


Hi All,
I just noticed this week that my nails are coming loose from my fingers, and doing it fast. They were fine last week. No discoloration at all in my nails. They are just coming loose and the white is coming down to about 1/2 of the nail on some fingers and just starting on others.
But, I have had surgery 3 times in 3 months and going to surgery again in 3 weeks. :'( All for the same thing. I will certainly be glad when I get treated correctly. 4th surgery, 4th surgeon. I had a mesh implant during the first surgery and started rejecting it within 2 weeks. So trying to get it all out, which has to be done in sections, and each surgeon says they got all they could so moving on for this last surgery to what I hope is the best in the country. Traveling over 1000 miles.
I am a registered nurse so I am thinking it might be the anesthesia since none of my meds have changed or the surgery is just taking away from other parts of my body to heal itself, or the rejection itself. My body sees it as a forgein object and wants it out.
Any opinions on that? Oh, I have been on 600 mg of Ibuprophen every 6 hrs for inflammation also. Does anyone know it that might be the culprit. ? I cant really find any answers online. And my doctors are not the least bit interested in my nails.


Years ago when I was taking care of my mother, I notice a couple of her finger nails were coming loose. When her hopice nurse came I ask her what the problem was. She said that mother wasn't taking deep breaths and was only doing shallow breathing, She also said that the oxygen wasn't getting to her brain. When they put her on oxygen, the nails cleared up. Just a week ago my little finger started doing the same thing. So I started breathing better. I inhale real deep threw my noise and hold then blow out with the mouth. When inhaling I make my stomach pooch out, by taking deeper breaths. I have been making it a pratice to do this different times of the day. And it is working for me too.

I didn't realize I was doing shallow breathing too.

Hope this helps you too.


hi I too do shallow breathing and my nails have started to seperate as well.  I have to be put on a c-pap machine because I don't breath deep enough in the night time.  I have had some very serious medical problems in the last 2 years and my internal doctor checks my fingernails everytime I go see him.  I won't see him again until July, I will give this a try and see if it helps me.  Thanks for the advice happy I found this postings...




Spotted this thread and thought I'd share as well. I started to see the white spots spreading from the tip of my fingernails towards the base, and soon realized it's the nail actually lifting off of the nail bed, in the places where it looks "white".

I am a woman in my late 40's and also have hypothyroidism, like others on this thread. I've been on Synthroid (originally various generics, and now on the branded product at 25 mcg dose) for maybe 6 months or so when this started, and have now been on meds for about 2 years. My doctor says my levels are currently normal when I have my labs done. I've had a lifelong tendency towards dry skin, dry scalp, and constipation, but didn't have any idea I had hypothyroidism, until it showed up in labs done for a routine physical. I have no other medical issues, currently; no breathing or sleep problems.

I wear nail polish all the time, and am a nail polish collector. I posted about the nail lifting problem on a nail polish forum, and got a suggestion to use a moisturizing treatment basecoat to try to help the nails heal from someone who had also experienced this. I did, and my nails gradually improved, until the white spots were gone. I can't verify that this was cause and effect, it could have been a coincidence, etc. but I would suggest others give it a try. Every now and then, I start to see the beginning of some lifting, and it does go away when I go back to the moisturizing basecoat routine. I use "Nailtiques Formula 3". Another manufacturer makes a similar product: "Nail Tek III Protection Plus".  You can find these online (Transdesign is a reliable company for mailorder, and sells these at a discount price) or in the US: in beauty product shops like Sally Beauty and occasionally in a drug store like CVS. They look like a clear coat of polish on the nail. I also keep my cuticles moisturized, using lots of hand creams and oils.

Although I haven't had any lifting/white spots in months, I did bump a fingernail hard just a few days ago on a door handle, and that nail lifted so much it actually caused some bleeding. Maybe the dry skin that is part of hypothyroidism is also connected to dry nails, or sensitive nail beds, and therefore a tendency for the fingernails to lift. (I've never seen any lifting of my toenails. I wear polish on them almost all the time too, for the record.)

I find it helps to keep my nails short. Although the (limited) medical advice I found in journal searches on nail lifting will advise against wearing nail polish, this advice wasn't based on any actual evidence, and since my nails got better and I did wear polish, I'm not giving it up.  In fact, I believe that nail polish protects the nails, especially if your hands are in water a lot. (Try to wear gloves washing dishes, doing chores, etc. and keep your hands out of water as much as possible.) Nail polish remover can be drying though, and I would suggest a brand that is not 100%  acetone, which is the most drying. Completely non-acetone removers don't work as well, although they are fine for occasional use. If you wear polish a lot, I suggest Zoya Remove, which you can buy online, and is usually the highest rated remover on expert forums.



I've had this exact same problem... Been for numerous bloods, xrays etc, found nothing. It started on my fingernails and then progressed to my toes... I constantly wore nail varnish and acrylic nails, it turns out it's because of them. Anything you put on your nails starves them of oxygen, causing the cells to die. Since giving up the nail varnish and acrylics, my nails have started to grow back woohoo! I've found filing them one way and not 'see-sawing' the nails and rubbing a moisturising lip balm in to them every might, as well as cleaning them with acetone free nail varnish remover once a week helps keep them clean and healthy. Don't even put a nail hardener on. Another trick I've found is to eat lots of green vegetables, and one cube of jelly straight from the packet a day really helps (and tastes really nice!) gelatine in the jelly helps nails grow stronger and stops them from splitting. I tried this, and slowly but surely theyre growing back. You could try using a hypoallergenic nail polish if you really can't live without it, but just give your nails a break from it!


I have been having the same problem for a little over 3 years now. I was prescribed Thymol (as a drying agent) to apply under the nails. I also wear gloves when ever my hands will be in contact with water except the shower. Barely hit one nail and it lifted about 1/16" . Havn't worn acrylics for 10+ years. Eat tons of fruits & veggies and deep breath while doing yoga & meditating. Aaahhhhhh would love to find out whats the problem.


I have the same problem. Normal looking at base, pink and then white.

Have always had dry scalp, skin, hand skin draws when without lotion. My doctor says my thyroid is okay but on the very low end of okay. Wonder if I should see a specialist on thyroidism?


Similar situation here with my nails and have been a reoccuring issue for many years now.  I went to a dermatologist and his explaination was no fungus and attributed my separating nails to trauma (only after I mentioned that I paly guitar as a hobby).  The doc didn't sound sure to me so I did soem research myself and came across articles and pics on the internet of a condition known as Onycholysis (  Here's the definition from the linked site:

Diseases and Conditions

"What Is It?

Onycholysis is the separation of a fingernail or toenail from its pink nail bed. The separation occurs gradually and is painless.

The most common cause of onycholysis is trauma. Even slight trauma can cause onycholysis when it happens repetitively – for example, the daily tapping of long fingernails on a keyboard or counter. Onycholysis also can be caused by manicure tools that are pushed beneath the nail to clear dirt or smooth the nail. Too much moisture also can cause the problem.

Some medical conditions can cause onycholysis, generally by changing the nail's shape or the contour of the soft tissue bed beneath it. In these situations, the nail cannot attach smoothly to the nail bed.

Fungal infections of the nails thicken the tissue immediately underneath the nail plate and cause the edgeof the nail to lift. The skin condition psoriasis is a common cause of onycholysis. After exposure to some medicines (notably medicines from the psoralen, tetracycline or fluoroquinolone groups) the nail can react to sun exposure by lifting away from its bed. An overactive thyroid gland can cause onycholysis.


A nail that has lifted from its bed at its end can have an irregular border between the pink portion of the nail and the white outside edge of the nail. A greater portion of the nail is opaque, either whitened or discolored to yellow or green. Depending on the cause of onycholysis, the nail may have collected thickened skin underneath the edge of its nail plate, and the nail plate may have a deformed shape with pits or indentations in the nail surface, a bent nail edge or coarse thickening of the nail. "

Hope this helps.



My fingernail started to lift off the bed a month or so ago and then stopped, but stayed changed. Just a few mins ago I realized that it's happening again. Same nail. Going farther down the nail. I have been blessed with great skin, neither dry nor oily. I run so my breathing is good. My thyroid is healthy and always has been. I don't polish my fingers, only my toes. And there has been no trauma to this nail. There is no connection to me and any of the posts on here. So why is this happening? If I can't fix it, is my nail going to fall off?


Hey all!


I have had the same thing going on for the past few months.  Mostly in my little fingers bilaterally, but a few other fingers have started to lift.  It is onycholysis - but that is just the term for the nail lifting off the nail bed. not the cause 

The main causes of it are 1. Autoimmune stuff - like Lupus, Psoriasis, Raynaud's etc..   2. anything that messes with circulation - like being a woman!, vasoconstricting agents, diabetes, and then there are a few drugs that cause it... some of the drugs that are used for autoimmune conditions cause it (go figure).    If you are able check out   its a pretty good resource.  I'm not sure what kind of access is granted to the general population, but I would be happy to get more info for you if you like.


I'm finishing up med school (started 10 yrs late -  after babies and hubby :)).  so I have a few journals I can access. 


i was so freaked out when my nails started doing this!