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Specific diseases

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Beau's lines. Beau's lines are horizontal, going across the nail, and should not be confused with vertical ridges going from the bottom (cuticle) of the nail out to the fingertip.

Beau's lines

These vertical lines are usually a natural consequence of aging and are harmless.[2] Beau's lines should also be distinguished from Muehrcke's lines of the fingernails. While Beau's lines are actual ridges and indentations in the nail plate, Muehrcke lines are areas of hypopigmentation without palpable ridges; they affect the underlying nail bed, and not the nail itself.

Beau's lines should also be distinguished from Mees' lines of the fingernails, which are areas of discoloration in the nail plate. There are several causes of Beau's lines. It is believed that there is a temporary cessation of cell division in the nail matrix. Human nails grow at a rate which varies with many factors: age, sex and the finger or toe in question as well as nutrition.

Hangnail. The bottom finger has a hangnail.


A hangnail or agnail (also known as a stepmother's blessing[1]) is a small, torn piece of skin next to a fingernail or toenail. Ingrown nail. Leukonychia. It is harmless and most commonly caused by minor injuries that occur while the nail is growing.


Contrary to popular belief, leukonychia is not a sign of excess or deficiency of calcium and zinc or other vitamins in the diet[3] but rather less commonly a medical sign of hypoalbuminemia or chronic liver disease. It is more commonly found on fingernails than toenails. There is no effective treatment for leukonychia. Longitudinal erythronychia. Mees' lines. Causes[edit] Mees' lines appear after an episode of poisoning with arsenic,[1] thallium or other heavy metals, and can also appear if the subject is suffering from renal failure.[2] They have been observed in chemotherapy patients.[3] Presentation[edit] They are typically white bands traversing the width of the nail.

Mees' lines

As the nail grows they move towards the end, and finally disappear when trimmed. Eponym and history[edit] Although the phenomenon is named after Dutch physician R.A. Onychia. Onychogryphosis. Causes[edit] Onychogryphosis in an elderly male, demonstrating the characteristic ram's horn appearance Onychogryphosis may be caused by trauma or peripheral vascular disease, but most often secondary to self-neglect and failure to cut the nails for extended periods of time.[2]:783-4[3] This condition is most commonly seen in the elderly.


Onycholysis. Onycholysis refers to the detachment of the nail from the nail bed, usually starting at the tip and/or sides.[1] On the hands, it is said to occur particularly on the ring finger but can occur on any of the fingernails.


It may also happen to toenails. The most common cause of onycholysis is psoriasis. It can also occur in thyrotoxicosis and is thought to be due to sympathetic overactivity.[2] It may also be seen in infections or trauma.[3] Etymology[edit] Onycho-, from Ancient Greek ónuks, meaning nail, and Ancient Greek lúsis, meaning a loosening. Onychomadesis. One cause in children is hand foot and mouth disease.[3] This generally resolves without complication.


Onchyomadesis can also occur if the nail is damaged or suffers a loss of blood supply, i.e. due to a bruise. The nailbed turns black, and the nail drops off shortly afterwards. It takes around 6 to 12 months to regrow. Onychomatricoma. Onychomycosis. This condition may affect toenails or fingernails, but toenail infections are particularly common.


It occurs in about 10% of the adult population.[4] Signs and symptoms[edit] The most common symptom of a fungal nail infection is the nail becoming thickened and discoloured: white, black, yellow or green. As the infection progresses the nail can become brittle, with pieces breaking off or coming away from the toe or finger completely. If left untreated, the skin can become inflamed and painful underneath and around the nail. Dermatophytids are fungus-free skin lesions that sometimes form as a result of a fungus infection in another part of the body. Onychophosis. ^ Jump up to: a b James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2005).


Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. (10th ed.). Saunders. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0. Onychoptosis. Onychorrhexis. Onychorrhexis, (from the words in Greek: onycho-, nail, rhexis-, bursting) also known as Brittle nails, is a brittleness with breakage of finger or toenails that may result from excessive strong soap and water exposure, nail polish remover, hypothyroidism, anemia, anorexia nervosa or bulimia, or after oral retinoid therapy. [1]:786 Onychorrhexis affects up to 20% of the population.[1]:786[2] See also[edit] References[edit] ^ Jump up to: a b James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2005).


Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. (10th ed.). Saunders. Paronychia. Types[edit] Paronychia may be divided as follows:[3] Alternatively, paronychia may be divided as follows:[4]


Subungual hematoma.