Q:

Why would someone's fingernails be dented?

A:

Quick Answer

Dented fingernails are usually caused by an underlying health conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, alopecia areata and Reiter Syndrome. These diseases affect the growth of the nail in the nail matrix or cause a loss of some cells.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Nail imperfections such as dents or pits can have a number of causes. However, the way the nail is damaged can help indicate the problem. Horizontal dents that appear at the base of the nail and grow outwards occur when something stops the nail growth. When the growth starts up again, the nail appears to have a horizontal dent. Possible causes include vitamin deficiency, trauma to the nail bed, psoriasis, alopecia areata, and Reiter Syndrome, as stated by MedGuidance .

Nail pitting often appears as small pin prick, or circular dents in the nail. There may only be one or two or a large number of these dents. The cause is a loss of parakeratotic cells in the nail plate, as stated by DermNet NZ. Health conditions indicative of this particular type of denting are psoriasis, eczema, reactive arthritis and alopecia areata.

Some health conditions can produce two or more types of nail imperfections, such as psoriasis. The appearance of minor imperfections is not usually something to worry about. However, more serious or chronic nail pitting and dents should be examined by a doctor.

Learn more about Nail Care

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What causes fingernails to curve down?

    A:

    Nails that curve downward, a condition known as nail clubbing, indicate that there could be an underlying health condition. Most often, these issues involve diseases of the lung and cardiovascular system. Nail clubbing may also indicate that the level of oxygen in the blood is low, according to Mayo Clinic.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes fingernails to separate?

    A:

    The causes of fingernail separation include trauma, fungal infection and skin conditions such as psoriasis. Additionally, exposure to medications such as tetracycline and fluoroquinolone make the nail react following exposure to sunlight. Additionally, fingernails can separate because of an overactive thyroid, according to Drugs.com.

    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 causes discolored fingernails?

    A:

    Discolored fingernails can be a symptom of a fungal infection. There are also a few disorders that can cause nail discoloration, as noted by MedicineNet.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore