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What do your fingernails have to say?



While harmless changes in fingernails such as vertical ridges that run the length of the nail are not concerning, other changes may indicate certain common medical conditions or severe diseases. For instance, indentations that run across the nail’s width, called “Beau’s lines,” can appear when the growth of the cuticle is interrupted by severe illness (such as uncontrolled diabetes) or serious infections (such as pneumonia). Random depressions or pits in the nails are often seen among those who have psoriasis. Pitting also may occur due to certain autoimmune or inflammatory diseases. “Onycholysis,” separation of the nail from the nail bed, may result from injury, fungal infection, or reaction to a medication or consumer product (such as nail hardeners and adhesives). If you are concerned about a nail condition, make an appointment on


P.S. “Nail clubbing” (broadening and rounding of the fingers and toes accompanied by curving of the nail) may be a sign of chronic lack of oxygen in the blood. “Spoon nails” may develop in association with coronary artery disease and hypothyroidism.


Dr. Michael Freeman

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