Dark Rims Around Nails? Find Out Why


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Are you bothered by the development of dark rims round nails? They certainly do not look aesthetic however, could this also be the sign of an underlying disease? Read on to know all about it.

Nutritional Deficiency

Generally, lack of nutrients exhibits itself with dark rims around nails or nail discolouration. People who are not fastidious with their diets or consume too much junk or fast foods are likely to see these darkish rims. Usually not consuming enough vitamin B12 causes the development of brown or darkish patches around the fingernails or under the nails. Another way you can tell if you have a vitamin deficiency is if your nails are thin and brittle.  

What should you do?

Firstly, you must cut down on your consumption of fast foods. Instead, opt for plenty of these foods that are rich in vitamins especially vitamin B12-

  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Fish Milk
  • and milk products

Since vegetarians usually avoid many of these products, they are more likely to undergo vitamin B 12 deficiency. They, as well as lactose intolerant people, can consume fortified soymilk and breakfast cereals.


Chemicals are everywhere and our exposure to them can trigger different forms of ailments. Sometimes our body’s reaction to them manifests in the form of dark rims round nails. It could be the soap, hand wash or cleaning agent you have been using. If you consistently wear nail paint and remover, you could see discolouration around the nails. These chemicals react with your skin and trigger dark splotches or even irritation of the tender skin. People who have to wear latex gloves may also experience this issue.

What is to be done?

  • Use nail polish as little as possible
  • Use cleaning agents that contain the fewest number of chemicals
  • Use herbal or baby soaps and body washes
  • People who have to use latex gloves can apply aloe vera to their hands to minimize the allergic reaction.


If your body is losing fluids (through sweating and urination) and you are not drinking enough fluids to replenish your water reserve, then you can get dehydrated. And sometimes the earliest sign of dehydration is the development of dark rims around fingers. Sometimes if you wash your hands too much, it upsets your skin's delicate pH balance and these dark rims appear.

What you can do is drink plenty of water and non-sugared fruit juices, coconut juice etc. Do not wash your hands unless it is necessary. What else can you do to remove any marks around your nails?

Here are a few other remedies-

  • Grind oats and mix the powder in milk. And then scrub your fingers with them. Milk is an excellent moisturizer and efficiently removes marks. The oats will scrub away the dead cells and make way for cleaner and fresher cells to develop.
  • Squeeze out half a lemon, dilute it in water and apply it to the dark rims of your nails. Lemon contains citric acid and vitamin C that lighten dark skin. Wash off after 15 minutes.
  • Make a paste with calamine, buttermilk and sandal powder and smear it onto your fingers. As soon as the paste dried, wash it off.
  • Aloe vera is another natural remedy that efficiently removes all dark marks. Simply apply some cooling aloe vera gel to your finger in the morning and evening.
  • Dip your fingers in a cup containing apple cider vinegar and soak them for 5 minutes.
  • Liquorice extracts can be used with rose water to remove dark rims around nails because liquorice can even out a person’s skin tone.
  • Turmeric contains curcumin that inhibits the development of hyperpigmentation and removes existing marks. So you can make a paste of turmeric and milk and apply it to your fingers.

If you want to know if you need medicines for dark rims around your fingernails, you can talk to a doctor online on DocsApp.


Dark rims around fingernails can be a cause of concern for some, as it could escalate and trigger serious health problems especially if they result from nutritional deficiency or dehydration.