Changes in thickness and colour could signal a range of health issues.

Your finger and toenails are fun to paint, but they can also clue you in to undiagnosed medical problems. Just like with your skin, changes in the nails can reveal health issues ranging from nutrients lacking in your diet to early stages of more serious problems, such as cardiovascular disease. In fact, examining the nails and the nail beds is a standard part of a visit to the dermatologist.

“What you look at is the shape of the nails, the surface of the nails, and their colour,” says dermatologist Dr Ella Toombs. Discolouration and thickening could reveal deeper issues such as liver and kidney disease, anemia or diabetes.

Here are eight things your nails may say about your health. Remember: If you're worried about any changes you've noticed, schedule an appointment with your doctor.