Need you're opinions, Terry nails? - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Need you're opinions, Terry nails?

Gwendolyn041696 profile image

Ive noticed my nails have a red line at the top and the middle is white? I catch my self looking at other people nails and i havent seen anyone with nails like this. I looked this up online and i read cihrohsis of the liver can cause this so im kinda worried. Im only 22 but have binge drank and partied alot. I bit my nails down but when they grow out the red line at the top is more prominent. Could this be normal? I know you're not doctors but any feedback would be well appreciated. Pictures don't really do justice

15 Replies

Hi, they look OK to me.

Drs don't use this kind of thing to diagnose cirrhosis anyway.

Having said that, given what you've said about your drinking it might be worth seeing a Dr just to touch base regarding your general health.

Cirrhosis takes a decade or two of drinking well over recommended limits so I'm sure you are fine.

But try and get a handle on the drinking, as a couple of decades can soon fly by!


Ocean_ovna profile image
Ocean_ovna in reply to Garyvh

To form an alcoholic liver disease, it is enough to regularly drink in moderate amounts for several years. Everything is very individual. In decades, there will be a terminal stage of liver disease. I intentionally do not write cirrhosis, as other liver diseases due to alcohol are also described. They all end with liver failure.

Hey Gwendolyn,

We do get a lot of new members come on to ask about things like this and it's totally understandable to worry about something that you notice on yourself that seems out of keeping with others around you.

Firstly if you Google cirrhosis and pretty much almost anything you'll find a connection online. Kinda the same way googling any word and cancer together works. Google sneezing and it will tell you that you may have a cold or you may have a myriad of respiratory cancers. This is why people say dont Google symptoms. Secondly nail markings can be genetic or they can be signs of a huge plethora of different things some serious some not. On their own they aren't conclusive or diagnostic of anything. If its bothering you see a doctor. As far as cirrhosis is concerned believe me in that if you only had one symptom it wouldnt be your nails.

Check with your doctor and stay away from googling symptoms before you end up with some heavy case of health anxiety! 🙃😊

Do they look like terry nails? & thank you for the replys!

in reply to Gwendolyn041696

No they dont look like Terry Nails. Now I cant tell you they aren't as I'm not a doctor. But again no they dont in my opinion.

Definitely not 👍

Your lunula (crescent moon) is visible which it wouldn't be with Terry's Nails.

Terry's nails is a physical condition in which a person's fingernails or toenails appear white with a characteristic "ground glass" appearance without any lunula.

Trust1 profile image


Hi and welcome...

Unfortunately no one on the forum is medically qualified to assess your nails. We appreciate how worried you may be, but would suggest you discuss your concerns with your own doctors who can assess you and has access to your full medical history.

Best wishes


I noticed the same thing recently on all my finger nails and even toes! Are your toenails like that as well? Did u end up going to the Dr? I’m thinking it could be thyroid related ..

Kevshell profile image
Kevshell in reply to Janet2018

Hello, did you ever get a diagnosis? If so was your nails normal? Tia

Janet2018 profile image
Janet2018 in reply to Kevshell

No diagnosis, I’ve shown my doctor and dermatologist but they haven’t said a thing

Your nails look like Terry's nails, with the refinements that were described by Holzberg - the pale pink color of the nail plate, the lunula may not be visible. Terry's nails are characteristic of alcoholic liver disease. This can be not only cirrhosis, but also non-cirrhotic fibrosis of the liver or nodular regenerative hyperplasia. In any case, you need to carefully treat the liver and stop drinking. There are no safe doses of alcohol with regular use.

Hello, I was just wondering if you ever got a diagnosis? If so was it Terry nails?

El10 profile image
El10 in reply to Kevshell

Hi, I have exactly the same nails as in her picture. I have also many symptoms- unexplained weight loss, severe hair loss(hundreds of hairs falling each day), memory problems, vision problems, tingling in hands and feet, insomnia, fatigue and white smooth coating on the tongue- I did so many blood tests and everything is good besides my b12 was borderline with 300. I got many b12 shots and now taking high doses of b12 sublingually. My lanula are starting to come back. I do not drink at all and don’t use any drugs. My liver enzymes are very good so this isn’t the cause for the nails. I think its b12 deficiency. please let me know hows your b12. It can be also thyroid related although mine is very good(TSH, T3 and T4 are optimal. no antibodies against TPO). I’m 26 y.o guy btw. I’m about to take the MMA test and homocysteine to know for sure if I have B12 absorption problem.

Did you ever find out what this was? My nails look similar and I’m slightly worried.

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