FINGERNAIL
DISORDERS:

Beau line - a disorder in the fingernail

Beau's lines - fingernail disorders

Beau lines

 

What are Beau lines?

Beau’s lines are horizontal grooves in the nail plate that represent an arrest or slow-down in the growth of the fingernail (more specific: the nail matrix).

The depth and width of the Beau line reveals the abruptness and duration of the causal event, and Beau lines move distally with the growth of the nail plate.

This finger nail condition was named by a French physician, Joseph Honoré Simon Beau (1806–1865), who first described the condition in 1846.

What causes Beau lines?

Beau’s lines are usually caused by:

• a sever medical event;
• allergic reaction to medication;
• infection in the nail fold;
• skin disease;
• systemic disease;
• or a serious trauma.

MORE ABOUT THIS FINGERNAIL DISORDER:
Beau line – a fingernail disorder

PHOTO: Beau lines in various fingernails:

Beau lines in various fingernails

SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING:
Fingernail disorders in the hands of children!
Fingernail disorders in elderly patients!
Michael Jackson had abnormal fingernails!
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At atlas of diseases of the nail!

At atlas of diseases of the nail!

Fingernail disorders in the hands of elderly!

Fingernail disorders in the hands of the elderly are actually quite normal. One could say that Elderly people carry the last 6 months of their medical record on the approximately 10 square centimeters of keratin comprising the fingernails!

Abnormalities of the nail are often caused by skin disease and fungal infection. But fingernail disorders may also indicate more general medical conditions.

When examing the nails it is useful to follow a sequence including these steps:

• Check the nail shape;
• Examine the nail color;
• Survey processes around the nails;
• Compare hands;
• and note skin conditions.

A few of the most common fingernails disorders in the elderly related to the fingernail shape & nail surface are: clubbed fingernails, koilonychia, Beau lines, brittle nails, onychorrhexis, nail pitting, median nail dystrophy, nail beading, rough nail surface, nail thickening, onycholysis, and severe nail curvature.

A few of the most common fingernails disorders in the elderly related to the finger nail color are: absent lunula, pyramidal lunula, lunula with red discoloration, transverse white lines, leukonychia striae, longitudinal brown lines, splinter hemorrhages, Terry’s half and half nails, white nails, pink or red nails, brown/gray nails, yellow nails, and green or black nails.

More details about these nail disorders (and many others) will be revealed in later contributions.

Examples of nail disorders: nail psoriasis, nail pitting & onycholysis.

Fingernail disorders in the hands of children!

Fingernail disorders in the hands of children!

Fingernail disorders in the hands of children!

Many people consider fingernail disorders merely as a ‘cosmetic problem’, nevertheless fingernails provide important signs related to your health. Let’s take a look at the fingernails of children!

The long version of this article describes the normal development of fingernails during childhood, including some ‘normal’ nail disorders (which are usually harmless) + an overview of the ‘serious’ nail problems in infants & children.

The following nail problems are relatively normal fingernail disorders in the hands of children (usually these are ‘harmless’): (1) Beau’s lines, (2) fragile nails, (3) pits of the nail plate, (4) koilonychia, (5) v-ridging (chevron nails), (6) punctate leukonychia, and (7) periungual pigmentation.

You can read more about the ‘harmless’ nail disorders in children, at:
Normal fingernail disorders in the hands of children

However, many other nail disorders are often related to various congenital, familial or acquired disorders. Examples of these ‘worrisome’ fingernail disorders in the hands of children are: (A) anonychia, (B) micronychia, (C) polyonychia, (D) epidermolysis bullosa, (E) pachyonychia congenita, (F) ectodermal dysplasias, (G) veillonella infection, (H) ingrowing toenail in infancy, (I) racket nails, and (J) the nail-patella syndrome.

You can read more about the ‘worrisome’ nail disorders in children, at:
Worrisome fingernail disorders in the hands of children

fingernails-child-hand

White spots on the fingernails belong to the most common ‘nail abnormalities’. Many people associate these whith spots with a calcium deficiency. However, the truth is that usually they do not relate to any’ health’ problem at all! A white spot is usually caused by a minor finger-related trauma!

In medical sciences a white spot on a fingernail is known as ‘leukonychia punctata’ – this name relates to the availability of nucleated keratinocytes.

NOTICE: A narrow white line in the nail – a.k.a. ‘transverse leukonychia’ – is another type of nail disorder.

White spots are typically caused by random minor trauma – including: pushing nail cuticles, or ‘nervous’ cuticle picking! This explains why white spots in nails are often seen in the hands of children!


White spots & zinc deficiency?

Despite that white spots are usually the result of a minor physical trauma, studies have shown that sometimes white spots can be the result of a zinc deficiency – so that should not be confused with the unfounded folklore tail that white spots in a fingernail might indicate a calcium deficiency! (See for example: Fingernail white spots: possible zinc deficiency)

Interestingly, in this perspective there even appears to be a connection between zinc definciency & trauma: stress! And in the field of palm reading professional palm readers have observed that white spots typically manifest in the fingernails when people experience a higher amount of stress than they usually do.

But in general, one should not expect to find a zinc deficiency when a person has only a few white spots. Because actually, a number of conditions can arise from a lack of zinc. One of the most important, which also lead to its discovery, was the stunting of growth and the lack of sexual development in adolescent boys; adding zinc to the diet brought about a rapid improvement. Skin complaints such as dermatitis and a condition called acrodermatitis in babies may result from deficiency, and there may be slow healing of burns and wounds. So zinc deficiency may show up as white spots or bands on fingernails, but probably only when other conditions manifest as well!

More details are discussed in the following topic at the Modern Hand Reading Forum:
http://www.modernhandreadingforum.com/t201p15-white-spots-on-nails-leukonychia


White spots & calcium deficiency?

This part of the ‘folklore’ is not true. The Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports:

“There is no evidence to support a relationship between the white flecks and calcium or any other nutritional deficiency. Of course it is possible that people who have white flecks in their fingernails may coincidentally be deficient in calcium. White spots in fingernails may result from minor damage caused by bumping the nails into hard surfaces like bench tops or machinery. These white flecks are different from the white bands that are observed in nails of some undernourished children in developing countries, and in people who have low blood protein levels for various reasons.”

Conclusion: white spots do NOT indicate a calcium deficiency!


SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:

What are the most common nail disorders?
Fingernail disorders & medical hand analysis!

Visibility of the nailfold blood vessels plexus has been known for a long time as a biological marker in schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia became known for a high occurence of minor physical anomalies (MPA’s). Interestingly, one of the typical MPA’s in schizoprenia concerns visibility of the blood vessels in the proximal nailfold – a.k.a. ‘nailfold plexus visibility’ (NPV – which requires the use of a microscope for proper assessment). It concerns a minor developmental abnormality that has been studied as a hand marker for schizophrenia, but which lies outside the scope of the traditional MPA construct. Because nail fold plexus is commonly seen in the hands of young children, but not in adults. The statistics show that a high level of nailfold plexus visibility is relatively rare in the general population (occurring in 3-7% of healthy adults) while the rate of high NPV ranges from 20-70% in populations with schizophrenia (Curtis et al., 1999).

Interestingly, over the years studies have suggested this hand characteristic is specificly related to the so-called ‘negative symptoms’ in schizophrenia (which are associated with deficits of normal emotional responses or of other thought processes). And EEG studies have revealed that this nail fold blood vessel condition may mark a process associated with abnormal brain development leading to schizophrenia – including: an inverse relationship between plexus visibility and lateral ventricle size in the brain. The PVS is reliably determined and stable over time. Interrater reliabilities for PVS reportedly range from .83 to .99 (Buchanan and Jones 1969; Maricq 1966).

Taken together, researchers have concluded that findings on MPAs indicate that these minor anomalies appear to be part of some schizophrenia syndromes, representing a stable systemic or physical set of manifestations of the underlying neurodevelopmental processes that lead to the illness. This might explain why in the DSM-V the term ‘schizophrenia’ may be get replaced by the name ‘psychosis risk syndrome‘.

BLOOD SUPPLY IN THE SKIN:

The skin has a profuse blood supply, which is important in temperature regulation. The subcutaneous arteries form a network in the subcutaneous tissue, and from this is derived a subpapillary plexus in the dermis. Capillary loops in the dermal papillae arise from the subpapillary plexus, and from these loops the avascular epidermis is bathed in tissue fluid. A subpapillary plexus of venules gives the skin its pink color: the vessels become dilated when the skin is heated, and thereby make it look red.


NAILFOLD PLEXUS VISIBILITY & PSYCHOPATHOLOGY:

Just like is seen in the perspective of minor physical anomalies, nailfold plexia visibility is much more common in schizophrenia than in any other form of psychopathology. Studies have revealed that nailfold plexia visibility in schizophrenia is (much) more common than in other psychotic- & mood disorders – but these other disorders also show higher occurence than seen in the general population.

Studies have also shown that that patients with schizophrenia with a highly visible plexus have greater oculomotor dysfunction, negative symptoms, symptom severity, chronic course, and neuropsychological dysfunction. Furthermore, nailfold plexus visibility appears to be at least moderately heritable.


NAILFOLD PLEXUS & OTHER DISORDERS:

Other studies have revealed that nail fold plexus visibility has also been linked with hand markers in rheumatoid arthritis & hand markers in psoriasis. The pronounced subpapillary plexus visibility, greater number of vessels and their elongation are indicative of rheumatoid arthritis, while shorter, fewer capillaries and especially characteristic psoriatic capillaries, when present, suggest psoriatic arthritis.

Changes of nailfold capillary patterns have been described in certain patients with systemic sclerosis, dermatomyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, and Raynaud’s syndrome.

NOTICE: The nail tutor demonstrates how other nail fold characteristics can be associated with specific medical problems. More details about how to recognize various stages/variants of proximal nailfold blood vessels visibility in a palm reading, are presented in the picture below.


A phantom picture for the hand in schizophrenia is available here:

http://www.multiperspectivepalmreading.com/hands-schizophrenia-palm-reading.htm

Nailfold plexus examples.

Nailfold plexus changes are characterized by loss of (drop-out) nailfold capillary loops that surround the remaining, enlarged dilated capillaries. Upper left, A normal nailfold capillary pattern shows the uniform morphology and homogeneous disitribution of the small capillary loops just below the cuticle. Upper right, Capillaroscopy in a patient with systemic sclerosis illustrates dilatation of isolated capillary loops, with loss of surrounding loop structures. Lower right, The abnormal pattern is from a patient with childhood dermatomyositis. Dilated capillary loops are present, as well as areas of arborized clusters of capillary loops. Lower left, Distortion of the normal capillary loop architecture is seen in a patient with adult dermatomyositis. Note the loss of normal homogeneous distribution of the capillaries and the alterations in the morphology of the vessels, including the dilated and enlarged “giant” capillary loops.

Yellow nails

Your fingernails are not only a barometer of your general health state, sometimes they can also signal the presence of a medical problem! Why do nails turn yellow? And how to discriminate yellow nails from the ‘yellow nail syndrome’?

Yellow fingernails are often the result of behavior habits: such as smoking, nail polish, cooking with curry, nail fungus, or the use of certain types of medication (e.g. tetracycline).

YELLOW NAILS DUE TO A MEDICAL PROBLEM? 

But sometimes nails may take a yellowish teint which is not the result of behavior. Fingernails that are yellow can be an indication of a medical disorder in some cases. These include liver disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and nutritional deficiencies, most notably iron and zinc. Although most cases of yellow nails are not caused by an internal disorder, underlying medical problems should be ruled out if your nails have suddenly changed in color. Simple blood tests can generally rule out most causes of a yellow fingernail.

YELLOW NAIL SYNDROME?

The ‘yellow nail syndrome‘ is a rare nail disorder characterized by yellow to yellow-green, thickening, slowgrowing nail changes – with absent lunula and cuticle: see the picture below. The underlying pathological process if thought to be related to impaired lymphatic drainage.

THE NAIL TUTOR DESCRIBES THE MOST COMMON CAUSES
FOR YELLOWISH DISCOLORATION OF VARIOUS PARTS
OF THE NAIL UNIT:

YELLOW FREE EDGEYELLOW HYPONYCHIUM
YELLOW LATERAL FOLDYELLOW LUNULA

 Example of the yellow nail syndrome:
 

The state of your nails can say a lot about your health. Dr. Oz revealed in 2008 how to assess the health of your fingernails, and he described 3 conditions your nails are trying to tip you off to: ‘spoon nails’, ‘pigmented bends’ and ‘nail beading’. 

If you have not heard of these problems before, then this could be very interesting!  Doctor Oz said that most people do not examine their nails, but the color, shape and texture of your nails could be major warning signs of medical issues.  First of all, you should feel the texture of your nail and look for a rounded shape.  Dr Oz said other healthy nail characteristics include a nail being rectangular in shape and having a Lunula, a white crescent shape towards the base of the nail (especially in the thumb nail).

NOTICE: Be aware that the nail conditions may not be always a reliable indicator for the medical problems mentioned – a thorough health assessment is always required to make a diagnosis.

Spoon nails: iron deficiency?

Dr Oz said that spoon nails (koilonychia) are where you can imagine scooping out the center portion of your nail with a spoon.  When water touches your nail, it sits on top and accumulates rather than rolling off.  Dr Oz said that Iron Deficiency can cause Spoon Nails.  When you have Spoon Nails, your blood supply cannot get to the center of your nail to make it grow strong.

Pigmented bands: melanoma?

Dr Oz said that healthy nails should be pink, but if you have dark vertical stripes on your nails (pigmented bands), especially if you are African American, this could be a sign of melanoma.  There are also non-cancerous bands, but you must have a doctor examine it to find out.

Nail beading: thyroid problems?

Dr Oz said that you can get nail beading, which looks somewhat like the texture that builds on the side of candle as it burns and drips the wax down the side.  After Dr Oz showed a picture of Nail Beading though, it looked more to me like have ridges in your nails, which I have… so I am a tad bit concerned now.  If you have Nail Beading, Dr Oz said it could be caused by Thyroid Problems, blood flow changes to your nails, hormonal problems or even Diabetes.

Doctor Oz said that if you have any of these nail conditions, go see a dermatologist or a general doctor. View the Dr Oz episode about fingernails HERE.

DISCOVER YOUR NAIL DISORDER IN 3 STEPS WITH:

The Nail Tutor

  

White spots are probably the most common ‘abnormality’ that can be observed in fingernails. Many people associate them with calcium deficiency, but the truth is that usually they do not relate to any health problem at all!

In medical science white spots in fingernails are also known as ‘leukonychia punctata’ – which related to the presence of nucleated keratinocytes (contrary: narrow white lines in the nails are known as ‘transverse leukonychia’). Usually white spots are caused by random minor trauma – which also explains why they are relatively common in the hands of children!

Zinc deficiency? – Yep!

Sometimes white spots can indicate a zinc deficiency!

White spots can sometimes be associated with a zinc deficiency – this was e.g. pointed out in a 1974 study, titled: ‘Fingernail white spots: possible zinc deficiency‘.

But in general, one should not expect to find a zinc deficiency when a person has only a few white spots. Because actually, a number of conditions can arise from a lack of zinc. One of the most important, which also lead to its discovery, was the stunting of growth and the lack of sexual development in adolescent boys; adding zinc to the diet brought about a rapid improvement. Skin complaints such as dermatitis and a condition called acrodermatitis in babies may result from deficiency, and there may be slow healing of burns and wounds. So zinc deficiency may show up as white spots or bands on fingernails, but probably only when other conditions manifest as well!

Calcium deficiency? – Nope!

White spots do NOT indicate a calcium deficiency!

The Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports: “There is no evidence to support a relationship between the white flecks and calcium or any other nutritional deficiency. Of course it is possible that people who have white flecks in their fingernails may coincidentally be deficient in calcium. White spots in fingernails may result from minor damage caused by bumping the nails into hard surfaces like bench tops or machinery. These white flecks are different from the white bands that are observed in nails of some undernourished children in developing countries, and in people who have low blood protein levels for various reasons.”

 

NOTICE: Thin, brittle nails can be caused by calcium deficiency!

 

 

 

Iron deficiency? – Nope!

White spots do NOT indicate an iron deficiency!

NOTICE: Spoon-shaped nails (see photo below) may be a clue to a thyroid deficiency or iron deficiency anemia!

So, despite the many assocations – most of the stories about ‘white spots’ in fingernails are myths that are proably based on false anecdotal evidence!

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:
The clubbing nail: developments, treatment & prevention!
Hands on lung cancer: the clubbing fingernail!
Fingernail disorders & medical hand analysis!
What are the most common nail disorders?
Megan Fox has a ‘clubbed thumb’ – not to be confused with ‘fingernail clubbing’!

Emily Wang – beauty journalist in London – wrote an interesting article about various aspects of fingernails, including: beauty tips, a basic review of the nail structure, changes in nail color & texture,  and… the meaning of fingernail types according traditional Chinese medicine!

A short impression from the article:

The Truth about Your Nails:

“Interestingly enough- according to Traditional Chinese Medicine,
our nails are also able to portray our innate constitutions.

If your nail shape is naturally:

Oblong – You are harmonious and well-balanced.
Stock and square – You are earthy and balanced but mentally rigid.
Long – You are artistic and creative but lack physical strength.
Oval – You are sensitive and have a weak digestive system.

I found this to be shockingly accurate!
Some interesting reads 
here.

I used to have artificial nails, acrylic nails and gel nails consistently for two years that I never got to see my natural nails until I decided to take them off for good. My nails became so weak that they felt and bended like paper. At some point they became sensitive to touch, and were unable to grow to a normal standard length before it eventually chipped away.

It therefore took a good year before they even came close to regaining to a healthy state. During this time I had to be mentally aware of what I ate, and made sure that I had substantial amount of vitamins and nutrients that were essential for healthy nail growth.

I am writing from experience. I know what it is like to have that moment where at the time, having fake nails is beautiful. Going to a nail salon, and getting your nails done feels like luxury.
But think about it. Can you really have fake nails for the rest of your life?

The answer is no. And that is why I had decided to be more natural and love my nails as they are. I have learnt to take really good care of my nails, and as my grandmother has always said to me – that “a woman’s fortune depends on her hands and feet.”

Not that I believe in it, but at least now my fingernails look and feel healthy- without needing to spend money doing it up

A little side note…. my younger sister had a “cheese on toast” addiction for a couple of months where she ate it for breakfast before going to school almost everyday. Luckily, because of our family genes, she did not gain any weight from it whatsoever, however we all noticed that her nails improved drastically. She is the only person I know that has the strongest, healthiest looking nails. Extremely envious! I don’t think I could eat cheese on toast everyday…… maybe jacket potatoes!

FURTHER SUGGESTIONS:

Fingernails & diseases , fingernails & disorders & fingernail art

Fingernails & your health!Your fingernails can provide clues to your overall health. But do you know how to read the signs? MayoClinic presented a slideshow of various signs of possible health problems:

Learn about some nail conditions that might require medical attention. If you have a nail problem that doesn’t seem to be going away, or is associated with other signs and symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor to get it checked out.

3 IMPORTANT FINGERNAIL PROBLEMS:

Causes & remedies of Beau's lines!

Causes & remedies of Beau’s lines:

Beau’s lines are indentations that run across your nails. They can appear when growth at the area under your cuticle is interrupted by injury or severe illness. Diseases or illnesses associated with Beau’s lines include:

• Circulatory diseases, such as peripheral artery disease;
• Illness associated with a high fever, caused by pneumonia, scarlet fever, mumps or measles;
• Uncontrolled diabetes;
• Malnutrition.

Causes & remedies of the yellow nail syndrome!

Causes & remedies of yellow fingernails:

Yellow nail syndrome concerns the yellow discoloration in your fingernails may result from a respiratory condition, such as chronic bronchitis, or from swelling of your hands (lymphedema). In yellow nail syndrome, nails thicken and new growth slows, resulting in discoloration. Nails affected with this condition may lack a cuticle and may detach from the nail bed in places.

Although this condition is often a sign of respiratory disease, it’s possible to have yellow nails and not have a respiratory condition. Yellow nails may also result from any condition that causes the growth of your nails to slow down.

Causes & remedies of fingernail pitting!

Causes & remedies of nail pitting:

Small depressions in the nails are common in people with psoriasis — a skin condition that produces scaly patches. They may also result from nail injuries. Pitting may cause your nails to crumble.

Pitting is also associated with conditions that can damage your nail’s cuticle, such as chronic dermatitis of your fingers or alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss!

MORE RELATED SOURCES:

Nail disorders in the hands of children!
Nail disorders in the hands of the elderly!
More news & facts about fingernails!