Q:

What causes wavy fingernails?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

 Know More

Full Answer

While Beau's lines are common among chemotherapy patients, they can strike people of any age or ethnic background, reports Skinsights. Others with the condition may suffer from negative reactions to other types of medication as well as various systemic causes, including heart attacks, malnutrition, metabolic disturbances and severe infections.

Nail Pro says that extreme cold and local injury are the most common causes of Beau's lines. People who engage in frequent running or kicking may develop Beau's lines on their toenails, for example, and people who have inflammation around a nail due to conditions such as eczema can develop Beau's lines on their fingernails.

Nail Pro reports that French medical doctor Joseph Honoré Simon Beau was the first physician to describe the condition. Beau noted that in determining the cause of the nail condition, it was helpful to measure the distance of the ridge from the nail bed and recall what the patient was experiencing physically about the time it first developed.

Learn more about Nail Care

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why are my fingernails turning black?

    A:

    Black fingernails may be the result of a hematoma, according to Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler writing on MedicineNet. A hematoma is a pool of blood under fingernails that is usually the result of some type of trauma.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes ridges in fingernails?

    A:

    According to Mayo Clinic, vertical ridges in fingernails are normal and have no specific cause; however, deeper ridges may occur as someone ages, possibly due to cell turnover. About.com says that less moisture from natural oils may also lead to more prominent ridges as someone ages.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do my fingernails curl under?

    A:

    According to the Toronto Star, fingernails that curve downward are sometimes called clubbed nails, a condition which is either congenital or a symptom of a developing condition, such as respiratory disease. Wikipedia notes that nail clubbing almost always involves enlarged and swollen fingertips around which the nails curve.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes brittle fingernails with vertical ridges?

    A:

    Onychorrhexis is the medical diagnosis for brittle fingernails that feature vertical ridges, and the primary cause is unusual dryness within the nail. Other causes include malnutrition, endocrine disorders, skin conditions such as psoriasis, low levels of thyroid hormone and Raynaud's phenomenon, though these are far less common.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore