As anyone who has ever dealt with hormonal acne knows, what’s going on inside our bodies is often reflected on the outside. Clues to our health are written all over—if we know where to look. One of those places: our nails. Here’s what divots, color changes, and more can mean when they show up on our nails.

If you see: a new black streak

A new black streak in the nail could be a sign of melanoma. Melanoma is a potentially deadly form of skin cancer caused by an overgrowth of pigment-producing cells. In some cases it can actually grow under the nail. So if you see a new black blotch under the nail, visit your dermatologist for evaluation. The most common cause of a rapid-onset black blotch is trauma and a resulting bruise under the nail. But you should always make sure it’s not something else. If the cuticle is turning black, that is a worrisome sign.

If you see: pits or divots

If you have pits or divots in your nails, it may be a sign of an underlying autoimmune condition. Conditions like psoriasis and alopecia have been shown to be associated with nail changes. When there is inflammation in the nail matrix, which is the area just underneath your cuticle where the nail itself is produced, the nail doesn’t develop properly and can lead to pits.

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