Do Dents in Fingernails Say Something About Your Health?

dents in finger nails

Does theĀ appearance of your fingernails represent your overall health? Research debates whether or not things like discoloration in fingernails might signal a larger health issue. In this article though, dents in fingernails are the main concern.

Question

What is the cause of dents in your fingernails?
Based on someone’s question on the website, their dents in fingernails have been happening for only a year. They are now currently 38 years of age. This seems rather late for something like this to pop up.

Whether or not you think the dents in fingernails are a sign of illness, it is important to always visit a medical doctor when you find an abnormality.

Answer


Small depressions (dents in fingernails), often referred to as nail pits, can sometimes occur without any cause. This means it can happen regardless of a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

However, there are multiple underlying conditions that can also cause dents in fingernails. One of the most common medical conditions which causes nail pitting is psoriasis.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition characterized by scaly skin lesions and arthritis. If you have these symptoms, then it is likely that the nail pitting is caused by psoriasis. Sometimes the first symptoms of psoriasis can be dents in fingernails.

Pitting of the nails can also be associated with alopecia areata, a genetic cause of hair loss, or eczema as well as a few other inflammatory conditions of the skin.


As always, the diagnosis of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. A visit to your primary care doctor or your dermatologist would be a good step towards understanding your specific condition.

It is never too cautious to double check something new, odd, or different with your doctor. When you notice things like new dents in fingernails, seeing a doctor can give you peace of mind or prevent the cause from getting worse.