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Abnormalities of the Nail Plate Surface - British Hair and Nail Society

1. Pitting


These are small ‘bumps’ or depressions in the surface of the nail. They are usually from abnormal production of the nail plate leaving small imperfections, losing the smooth surface of the nail. Inflammatory disorders of the skin are usually implicated such as psoriasis and alopecia areata.



Psoriasis and nail pitting.







2. Beau’s Lines


These are transverse (side to side) grooves/ furrow/ depressions in the nail plate. If in just an isolated nail, previous trauma is the most common cause. If many nails are involved then a previous illness is usually implicated which temporarily accounted for cessation of nail growth.



"Beau’s Lines."


3. Ridges, thickening & rough nails


A variety of causes are implicated. In most mild or mild-moderate forms, a mixture of trauma, eczema, chemical irritation and the ageing process can play a part. Rarer causes include inflammatory disorders such as lichen planus, psoriasis or alopecia areata.


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