Dark Rims Around Nails? Find Out Why


Are you bothered by the development of dark rims and round nails? They certainly do not look aesthetic however, could this also be a 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 B12 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.


How can individuals differentiate between dark rims around nails caused by nutritional deficiencies and those caused by other factors such as exposure to chemicals or dehydration?

Distinguishing between dark rims around nails due to nutritional deficiencies and those resulting from other factors like chemical exposure or dehydration can be challenging.

While nutritional deficiencies, particularly of vitamin B12, may lead to dark patches around the fingernails, exposure to chemicals from soaps, nail polish, or cleaning agents can also cause discoloration.

Dehydration can further exacerbate the appearance of dark rims. To differentiate, individuals should observe their dietary habits, exposure to chemicals, and hydration levels, and consider consulting a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and guidance.

Are there any specific medical conditions or underlying health issues that might be associated with the development of dark rims around nails, beyond the factors mentioned in the article?

Beyond the factors discussed in the article, there may be underlying medical conditions associated with the development of dark rims around nails. Certain health issues such as liver disease, kidney problems, anemia, or thyroid disorders can manifest through changes in nail appearance, including dark discoloration.

Therefore, individuals experiencing persistent dark rims around their nails should consider seeking medical evaluation to rule out any underlying health concerns and receive appropriate treatment.

What are some long-term solutions or preventive measures individuals can adopt to minimize the recurrence of dark rims around nails, particularly if they suspect a nutritional deficiency or dehydration as the underlying cause?

Long-term solutions and preventive measures for minimizing the recurrence of dark rims around nails depend on addressing the underlying causes identified. For nutritional deficiencies, individuals should focus on consuming a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12 sources like eggs, chicken, fish, and fortified foods.

To reduce exposure to chemicals, opting for natural or herbal products and minimizing the use of nail polish and harsh cleaning agents can be beneficial. Additionally, maintaining adequate hydration by drinking plenty of water and avoiding excessive hand washing can help prevent dehydration-related discoloration.

Consulting a healthcare provider for personalized recommendations and monitoring is advisable for individuals experiencing persistent issues with dark rims around their nails.