Q:

What do flat fingernails mean?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Dr. Standley, flat nails can indicate Raynaud's Disease, a condition characterized by cold fingers and toes. Flat nails can also be caused by an iron, protein or vitamin B12 deficiency, psoriasis or diabetes.

Continue Reading
What do flat fingernails mean?
Credit: lucianvenutian CC-BY-SA 2.0

Full Answer

Nails change for a variety of reasons. According to WebMD, the most common cause of changes in texture or color is fingernail fungus, which can also cause nails to crack and peel. Irregular growth, pitting, dark brown streaks or warts may all indicate a more serious condition. Changes in the nail typically result from nutritional deficiencies or specific diseases. However, WebMD challenges the belief that these changes are early indicators of disease, with the American College of Physicians pointing out that other symptoms are more likely to manifest first. In addition, not all patients are equally likely to show changes in their nails. According to Huffington Post, while minor and occasional changes are not cause for concern, persistent abnormalities and defects that keep occurring as the nail forms indicate an ongoing problem that is more likely to stem from a disease.

To improve nail appearance, WebMD advises moisturizing the nails and cuticles frequently and avoiding trimming the cuticles too closely, minimizing the risk of infection.

Learn more about Nail Care

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Who has the longest fingernails?

    A:

    As of 2014, Guinness World Records reports that the woman with the record for longest nails is Lee Redmond. The man with the longest recorded nails is Melvin Boothe. Both record holders hail from the United States.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you get stronger fingernails?

    A:

    To grow stronger, healthier nails, you must maintain a well-balanced diet, avoid using your nails as tools, and care for them frequently. Keeping nails trimmed, painted and avoiding picking of the cuticle, nail bed or nail allows nails to reach their full, strong potential.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes wavy fingernails?

    A:

    Fingernails and toenails marked by horizontal waves or ridges are typically the result of the medical condition known as Beau's lines, according to Skinsight. An abrupt interruption of nail keratin synthesis causes the waves. As the nail grows, the lines tend to vanish.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do ridges on the fingernails indicate?

    A:

    Vertical, or longitudinal, ridges on the nails are normal and do not indicate a health problem. Ridges that run horizontally along the fingernails usually indicate an overall health issue. These lines may be referred to as Beau's lines, although Mees’ lines and Muehrcke’s lines are also diagnosed.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore