Black Lines in Fingernails & Heart Disease


Black lines in fingernails often result from splinter hemorrhages--bleeding under the nails. Splinter hemorrhages, which occur because of blood vessel swelling or capillary damage, may signal heart disease or other heart conditions.

Black lines in fingernails may indicate heart disease or nail trauma.
(Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Lines in fingernails--called splinter or fingernail hemorrhages--can appear in shades of black, red or brown. The term “splinter” refers to the appearance of small vertical lines under the nail bed.

Splinter hemorrhages generally appear in the later stages of endocarditis, a rare heart valve infection prevalent in those with underlying heart disease that causes inflammation of the heart’s inner lining. Another condition, vasculitis, can cause these lines through an extreme allergic reaction that damages skin blood vessels.

Model of the human heart
Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Endocarditis results from germs that enter through other areas of the body, such as the mouth and infect the heart. This rare condition emerges most often in people with existing heart disease that undergo heart or dental surgeries. People suffering from vasculitis often develop painful skin lesions, such as sores, blisters or hives in different areas of the body.

Endocarditis emerges most often in people with existing heart disease that undergo heart or dental surgeries
Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

If a heart condition exists, other serious symptoms appear that cause concern and likely result in health monitoring before splinter hemorrhages materialize. The National Institutes of Health indicate that physical trauma to the nail as well as drug use through injections can also cause splinter hemorrhages.

Cricket player's broken finger
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

If recent nail trauma has not occurred, people with dark lines in fingernails should visit a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment of any underlying conditions and causes.

An appointment with your doctor may be warranted
Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Related Searches


Promoted By Zergnet



Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!