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"What causes the nail bed contour to change?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat causes the nail bed contour to change?


What causes a change in the contour of the tissue underneath the fingernail? The beds of several of my fingernails has a strange look to it - sort of ""dimpled"". Is this associated with the nail fungus I successfully (or so I thought) treated earlier this year?


There can be several changes to the contours of the nails that can signify underlying medical problems. It sounds like the problem you are describing is having 'pitted' areas in the nails themselves. Pitting of the nails can occasionally occur without any cause at all, as a genetic or personal variant.

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However the association between pitted nails and an underlying problem is strong enough that it is usually worth checking out. Probably the most common condition associated with nail pitting is psoriasis, which is an inflammatory condition characterized by scaly skin lesions and arthritis. If you have any of these symptoms then it is highly likely that psoriasis is underlying them, although nail pitting can also be the first sign of psoriasis. Other inflammatory conditions that can also be associated with nail pitting include alopecia areata, a genetic cause of hair loss, or eczema or atopic dermatitis. Occasionally, fungal infections of the nails can cause pitting, but this is less common. Usually fungal infections cause color changes and thickening of the nails instead. It sounds like your best options is to show your nails to your primary care doctor or dermatologist and to have a good physical examination to make sure nothing else is going on.

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