White nails

If most of the nail has turned white and it isn't because it has become detached from the nail bed, it's likely to be either a fungal nail infection or a sign of decreased blood supply to the nail bed,which causes something known as "Terry's nails".

Terry's nails are typically white with reddened or dark tips and can be asign ofa wide range of medical conditions, including:

  • liver cirrhosis (scarring and damage to the liver) about 80% of people with cirrhosis have Terry's nails
  • liver, kidney or heart failure
  • diabetes
  • iron-deficiency anaemia where a lack of iron in the body leads to a reduction in the number of red blood cells
  • chemotherapy
  • an overactive thyroid where the thyroid gland produces too many hormones
  • malnutrition
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018