Images of Beau Lines (5)
Beau lines are horizontal depressions or grooves in the nail plate that may run parallel to the white, moon-shaped portion of the nail bed (lunula) seen at the base of the nail.
Beau lines result from a sudden interruption in nail growth. They are most commonly caused by injury to the nail, a medical condition or illness, severe stress, or certain medications (eg, chemotherapy) that interrupt the nail growth. When Beau lines are present in all nails at a similar location on the nail plate, it is likely due to a medical condition or illness, or from a medication.
Who's At Risk?
People of all ages and racial / ethnic backgrounds can have Beau lines.
Signs & Symptoms
Beau lines can occur on fingernails and toenails. The grooves extending across the nail plate often span the entire width of the nail. The involvement of multiple nails may suggest a systemic cause or a side effect from a medication, but Beau lines can also occur on just one or two nails, such as the thumbnails or big toenails.
If the underlying cause of the Beau lines is not appropriately resolved, for example, you have a recurrent disease, new grooves can form in the nails separated by normal nail growth.
There is no self-care necessary for Beau lines and they will go away once the nails grow, as long as the underlying cause of the Beau lines has been resolved.
If the grooves are cosmetically bothersome, they can be filled in with gel nails followed by gentle buffing.
Your medical professional will first want to determine the cause of the Beau lines and treat the underlying cause.
If nail changes such as grooves in the nails are noted, seek care from a medical professional. They can help determine the cause and treat any underlying illness, or if the lines are caused by a medication that can be stopped or substituted, the medical professional can help find potential alternatives.
Bolognia J, Schaffer JV, Cerroni L. Dermatology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018.
James WD, Elston D, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA. Andrew’s Diseases of the Skin. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019.
Kang S, Amagai M, Bruckner AL, et al. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology. 9th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education; 2019.
Last modified on September 19th, 2023 at 11:34 am
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