What Causes Green, Blue, Black, Yellow Fingernails?
Green, blue, black, yellow fingernails can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose green, blue, black, yellow fingernails, we could:
- Research the topic
- Find a doctor with the time
- Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.
Step 1: List all Possible Causes
We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "green, blue, black, yellow fingernails" as a symptom. Here are eight of many possibilities (more below
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Wilson's Disease
- Chemotherapy Side-Effects
- Ochronosis / Alkaptonuria
- Raynaud's Phenomenon
- Fungal Infection
Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist
We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
having a high fever
dark urine color
chest pain when breathing
recent dry cough
recent productive cough
recent chemotherapy use
... and so on
Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause
A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of green, blue, black, yellow fingernails:
|Ochronosis / Alkaptonuria
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process
Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis
is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.
Are (parts of) your fingernails any unusual color other than white?
→ No / another color (add a note) / don't know
→ Green / greenish
→ Blue / bluish
→ Black / somewhat brown
→ Yellow / yellowish
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate green/greenish fingernails, blue/bluish fingernails, black/brown fingernails or yellow/yellowish fingernails, The Analyst™
will consider possibilities such as:
|Black line(s) across the nails are common in dark-skinned persons but may also be the result of injury or chemotherapy.|Fungal Skin / Nail Infection
|Green nails are generally due to a Pseudomonas pyocyanea infection. One of the most common causes of yellow nails is a fungal infection. Black nails are a possible indication of bacterial or fungal infection.|HIV/AIDS
|Black nails are sometimes seen in people infected with AIDS.|Melanoma
|A longitudinal brown-black streak (which may take up the whole nail and may "spill over" into the proximal nail fold) is a sign of melanoma, and possibly Hutchinson's.|Pneumonia
|Nails with a bluish tint can mean the body isn't getting enough oxygen. This could indicate an infection in the lungs, such as pneumonia.|