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Flattening of the finger nails. Causes?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 362 Questions
Hi. I've noticed within the last few months that a few of my fingernails have been flattening. It's index, middle, and thumb on my right hand...and I think the thumb on left hand although it's kinda hard to tell. I'm getting pretty concerned about this and worried that it might be something serious.
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Kiran Kumar 9 minutes later

Flattening of nails can be due to various reasons.
Most of the identifiable conditions include the following:

Iron Deficiency
Fungal Infections
Deficiency of Micro-nutrients and Vitamins

Its required that you get yourself evaluated for the above conditions. You will need to undergo Complete Blood Counts and Serum Iron Studies.
Also a careful examination of the nails will help to find out associated changes if any which might point out to specific causes.

You should start taking micro-nutrients and vitamin supplements such that any deficiency can be addressed. Do consult a doctor for the same.

Hope this answers your query.

Please get back if you need any further information.

Dr Kiran
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Flattening of the finger nails. Causes? 46 minutes later
Thank you so much. I will contact my primary and get the tests done. I think I start to panic if it's some sort of iron deficiency anemia or something which then makes me think I might be bleeding somewhere (I have been diagnosed with hemroids & am getting a colonoscopy next month just to check them) But after reading things online I start to panic like it's some form of cancer or something and am then wondering if I should move the colonoscopy up or if it's okay to keep the appointment I have next month. I have had 2 doctors (one a GI) do a rectal exam where they both reported nothing that lead them to believe it's cancer or anything...but the GI suggested I do the colonoscopy for peace of mind (also there is no family history of cancer). I think after reading things online though, I start to get scared because those fingernails are flattening & what if that means I do have cancer you know? I just get panicked sometimes. I need to not worry so much. Even if there is an iron deficiency, doesn't mean that it's cancer right?
Answered by Dr. Kiran Kumar 2 hours later

Thanks for writing back

There is no cause of concern..

Its highly unlikely to be related to cancer. Also you have been examined and told so..
So be reassured.

Get Colonoscopy as scheduled. No need to move it up..

Wish you good health

Take care

Dr Kiran
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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