Finger Nails Green Discoloration

Hands | Dermatology | Finger Nails Green Discoloration (Symptom)


Fingernails should be strong, shiny and translucent pink in colour. When the colour of the nails changes from pink to yellow or yellowish-green, it is an indicator of bad health. It could also indicate some nutritional deficiency or some other underlying disorder.


In about 50 percent of cases, discoloured nails are a result of infections with common fungi that can be found in the air, dust, and soil. There are many species of fungi that can affect nails. By far the most common, however, is called Trichophyton rubrum. This type of fungus has a tendency to infect the skin and is therefore known as a dermatophyte and they might emit an unpleasant odour. Pseudomonas is a type of bacteria that infects the nail bed and result in a greenish colour to the nails.

Red or black nails may result from a hematoma (a collection of blood) under the nail as a result of trauma (including ingrown toenails). Chronic medical conditions also can affect the appearance of the nails. Specific colour changes in the nails can be suggestive of diabetes or of liver, kidney, heart, or lung conditions.

Other, rare causes of discoloured nails include the yellow nail syndrome, an inherited condition that results in slow-growing, discoloured nails and is associated with lymphedema (swelling of tissues due to the accumulation of fluid) and lung diseases. Nails may also appear lightened to a whitish-yellow colour if there has been separation of the nail from the nail bed, termed onycholysis.