ZocdocAnswersThe lunula on my middle finger is fragmented. Is this usual for nail trauma?

Question

The lunula on my middle finger is fragmented. Is this usual for nail trauma?

I don't remember, but I think I might have hit my middle finger--I was looking at it today and saw that the lunula, instead of being perfectly round, has a jagged gap at the top of it, and a streak of white breaking off, almost like the lunula was breaking apart. Is this usual for nail trauma? I've never seen my lunula be irregular so it's kind of freaking me out.

Answer

It is a little hard to picture precisely what you are describing in your question without a photo, so I'll provide some general comments and also recommend that you go to see your primary care doctor, who'll be able to take a quick look at this and provide a more accurate assessment of what is going on. It is certainly possible to "fracture" or "crack" the base of the nail if you strike it on something or if you bang it with a hard object. There usually is more pain with this than it sounds like you are experiencing, but it is occasionally possible to have a relatively minor nail injury that cracks the nail without pain - for example, think of people who "split" the ends of their nails all the time with relatively minor trauma. It is also possible that this white spot or streak is what is known as a leukonychia, which is a white spot under the nail, which is probably caused by minor trauma to the nail bed while it is growing out. Neither of these conditions is very serious and the treatment is generally just to observe as the nail grows out. However, very rarely, nail changes can be caused by a more serious underlying medical condition, so talk to your primary care doctor!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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