What do cream-colored nails indicate?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What do cream-colored nails indicate?” and provide information on what nail discolorations indicate, what are Terry’s and Lindsay’s nails, what is Leukonychia as well as how to care for nails.

What do cream-colored nails indicate?

Cream-colored nails indicate infections. Cream-colored nails can commonly occur because infections by fungi can affect the nails. 

White spotting on nails can indicate zinc or iron deficiency. Nail injury, blood poisoning, and arthritis can be some causes of cream colored nails too. Sometimes, cream colored nails can be an indicator of aging or any genetic anomalies.

What does nail discoloration indicate?

  • Yellowing of nails can occur because of lymphedema. Lung diseases might also cause the yellowing of nails. Accumulation of liquids can cause nail discoloration as well.

Yellow Nail Syndrome (YNS) can be commonly observed when an individual suffers from respiratory issues or smokers. Tobacco use can also cause yellow discoloration.

  • Infection by Pseudomonas can cause the nails to be green in color.
  • Bruising under nails (black, pink, or red colored nails) can indicate hematoma.
  • Bluish colored nails are a sign of cyanosis or reduced oxygen levels in blood. People suffering from bronchitis, asthma, and pulmonary disease can suffer from blue-colored discoloration in their nails. HIV infection can be a cause too.
  • Grey nails can commonly occur because of acute or severe bacterial infections. Emphysema or allergy can be another cause for greyish discoloration too.

What are Terry’s nails?

Terry’s nails occurs when the bottom portion of the nails appear creamish in color whereas the top portion of the nails can have a red or brown band. It can affect only one fingernail or multiple ones. In some cases, this can be observed in toenails too.

Terry’s nails occurs when there are lesser connective tissues and blood vessels. Some of the diseases associated with Terry’s nails are Type-2 diabetes, HIV, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney failure, skin issues, or hepatitis. 

However, it can also be commonly observed in older people and is not necessarily a sign of a significant health issue.

Are Lindsay’s nails similar to Terry’s nails?

No, both are different conditions. In Lindsay’s nails there is a creamish or white color in the bottom whereas the tip of the nails can have a brownish-red color. This discoloration is often associated with anemia.

What is Leukonychia?

Leukonychia refers to  creamish white dots or spots on nails. The spots can often be non-uniform. It can be a sign of poor immunity or nutritional problems.

Some of the other factors that can cause Leukonychia can be infectious or metabolic issues. Certain drugs can also cause nails to develop such a color. However in healthy populace, it is not an issue.

What is Oncholysis?

Separation of nail plate from nail bed can result in a creamish white color of the nail. This condition is called onycholysis. Some of the causes of this condition are trauma, psoriasis, infections, and thyroid disease.

What are some texture changes that can affect nails?

Nails can break easily or become extremely soft especially if you use nail polish removers excessively. Reduced zinc, calcium, iron, or B vitamin levels can also commonly affect nails.

Nails can also crack when your nails are in constant contact with water. For instance, bathing, washing dishes/ clothes, swimming, bathing kids or pets, etc.

Excessive cracking of nails can be a sign of thyroid disease too. Your nails can sometimes start peeling if you have damaged them in an accident. 

Nails can also get damaged if your nails have come into contact with old nail polishes or scraped them. Nails can resemble a spoon in case of iron deficiency.

How can you care for your nails?

Some tips to care for your nails are given below:

  • Use nail cutters to cut your nails and make sure to trim them. Trimming is recommended after the nails become a bit softer which can occur if you dip your hands in water. Water can soften the rough nails.
  • Use manicure scissors to shape your nails.
  • If your nail breaks constantly, it is better to cut them and avoid growing them too long. You can apply moisturizer or lotion to the nails after cutting them. This can prevent them from being too dry.
  • Do not excessively use nail polish or nail polish removers.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What do cream-colored nails indicate?” and provided information on what nail discolorations indicate, what are Terry’s and Lindsay’s nails, what is Leukonychia as well as how to care for nails.