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Skin Care and Diseases

Fingernail problem

08/28/2006

Question:

What causes fingernails to grow in crooked? The nail on the right ring finger grew in crooked a couple years ago, the right thumbnail became crooked about 6 months ago and in the last month the nail on the baby finger of the left hand is crooked. Could it be protein deficiency? (I am vegetarian and take plent of vitamin and mineral supplements.)

Answer:

The nail disorder that I think you are describing is the development of a fluted nail or possibly a pachonychia type of nail.  It needs to be evaluated by your internist and board certified dermatology.  When the problem is acquired it may be related to metabolic abnormalities and to other disease states.  I would urge you to have these evaluated in person so that the exact abnormality can be well defined. 

 

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati