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Fingernails are becoming flat. Reason?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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My fingernails are becoming flat. Why?
Posted Tue, 29 Oct 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 55 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Numerous causes. need thorough history and exam

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for the query,

It might be important to precise for how long you have been experiencing these flat finger nails. The causes shall differ if it is acute or a very gradual process. The causes generally span from infectious causes (most likely fungal to non infectious causes).

Fungi can cause flattening of the finger nails. Other diseases like chronic anemia could cause similar symptoms, in this case, the nails turn white, are frail and the person generally feel tired.

Vitamin deficiencies could also present as such. Liver disease, cirrhosis usually has finger manifestations. People with chronic kidney disease could as well have flat finger nails, but added to color changes.

To make an appropriate diagnosis, aspects of your past medical history and a thorough physical examination could be useful. My suggestion is that you consult your proper clinical evaluation if you are unable to provide me with a very detailed history. I shall be honored answering follow up questions in case you got specific concerns or need some clarification. Feel very free. Thanks and kind regards as I wish you the best of health.

Bain LE, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Fingernails are becoming flat. Reason? 13 hours later
Thank you for your response. Flattening has been gradual and I don't see any sign of a fungal infection. On closer inspection today, I see all my fingernails also have ridges running from the nailbed to fingertip, but I don't see any color change. I take a daily multi-vitamin supplement, plus additional Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. I am not a drinker and I don't use artificial nails or nail polish. Does this additional information help narrow down the cause? My insurance doesn't pay for what they consider "preventative" tests or exams, and money is a concern. Thank you again for responding to my questions.
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
No worries, additional information useful.

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for the query,

The additional is useful to help in excluding an acute infectious process. There are still chances that this could be an infectious process, but chronic.

I do not think this pose a problem at the level of the insurance. Depending on the cause, the insurance company/condition should refund. Dermatological conditions/skin infections and conditions, qualify for refunds.

I still suggest you book an appointment for consultation, with proposition to explore the possibilities i earlier mentioned. The only new thing I would suggest is screening for Vitamin deficiencies, especially Vitamins. Their blood levels in blood should be measured.

Thanks and kind regards,

Bain LE, MD. Feel free asking further questions in case of need.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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