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Does the texture of nails reflect health?
It is common for patients to worry that the texture of their nails can reflect a vitamin deficiency or some other aspect of their health. There are some nail issues that are tied to some sort of health issue and others that reflect natural aging of the nails or external causes. Pitted nails
Little pits scattered across the nail plate are seen with psoriasis and alopecia areata (hair loss in circles- autoimmune condition). This can be treated by your dermatologist. Brittle nails/ split easily
There are many causes of brittle nails. In general, brittle nails reflect less moisture or water content in the nail plate. Normally almost 20% of the composition of our nails is thought to be composed of water. When this concentration of water drops, the nails can become brittle and break easily. There are a number of internal and external causes for this. Internally, thyroid conditions and dehydration can contribute to brittle nails. Externally, detergents, nail polish removers, and overwashing of the hands are common triggers. Vertical ridges
Vertical ridges are considered normal as we get older but can be associated with iron deficiency anemia. See your doctor and have your blood work checked. Concave or spoon shaped nails
Think iron deficiency anemia! See your doctor and have your blood work checked. Horizontal ridges
These are associated with any illness that stops or slows nail growth suddenly. Examples would be kidney conditions, chemotherapy, diabetes. One deep vertical divet from cuticle to the free edge of the nail
I often see these with an underlying cyst below the cuticle.