Beau's Lines: Fingernail & Toenail Disorders

Beau's line Fingernails & Toenails

Beau's line Fingernails & Toenails

What is a Beau's Line?

How to recognize Beau's Lines in Nails?

Beau's lines are deep grooved lines that run from side to side on the fingernail. They may look like indentations or ridges in the nail plate. People of all ages and ethnic backgrounds can have Beau lines. There are several reasons that humans get Beau's lines.

Most commonly, they are seen in chemotherapy patients in reaction to a drug. It is believed that there is a temporary cessation of cell division in the nail matrix. This may be caused by an infection or problem in the nail fold, where the nail begins to form, or it may be caused by an injury to that area. This condition of the nail is named by a French physician, Joseph Honoré Simon Beau (1806-1865), who first described it in 1846.

Beau's Line: a retrospective indicator.

Beau lines are a retrospective indicator of various causes, and your physician may investigate for possible causes. It is possible to measure the distance from the area where the cuticle is seen and where the nail originates (the proximal nail fold) to the leading edge of the Beau line to determine how much time has elapsed since the Beau line was formed. Since fingernails grow at a rate of approximately 0.1 mm per day, and toenails grow 0.03 mm per day, the duration of the causative insult can be inferred from the width of the Beau furrow itself. If nail changes, such as depressions in the nails, are noted, it may be helpful to seek evaluation from a primary care provider or dermatologist.

Some common reasons for these lines include: trauma, illness, malnutrition, coronary occlusion, hypocalcaemia, skin disease and may be a sign of a metabolic condition or systemic disease. It may also be caused by an illness of the body, such as diabetes, certain drugs, such as those used in chemotherapy or even malnutrition.

Beau's lines according the Nail Tutor


described in the Nail Tutor!


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