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Your fingernail can reveal so much about the state of your health. One of such is the presence of beau’s line. Beau’s line are horizontal (transverse) depressions in the nail plate that run parallel to the shape of the moon-shaped portion of the nail-bed (lunula) seen at the nail’s origin. Beau’s line can be caused by trauma or local diseases involving the nail folds. When Beau’s line are present in all nails at similar location on the nail plate, they are likely to have a systemic cause. They may also result from metabolic, inflammatory or traumatic influences.

Parts of fingernail

Ridges on the fingernail can be caused by quite a number of disease condition which include but not limited to low calcium, zinc, Vitamin A, skin dryness and low protein level in the body.

There are two types of ridges that can be seen on the fingernail-

vertical ridges

  • VERTICAL RIDGES: These are furrows that run from the tip of your fingernail down to the cuticle. They are sometimes called longitudinal striations or bands. These vertical ridges are normal sign of aging. In addition, nails often lose their luster as they age and may appear opalescent and dull. When your body is also deficient in iron, you may have such ridge and your nails get concaved or spoon-shaped.

Fingernails with Beau’s or horizontal line

  • HORIZONTAL RIDGES: Horizontal lines are also called Beau’s lines. They appear as transverse depressions in the nail (they can be seen in the fingernails, thumbs, toenails or all nails). These lines are caused by the following conditions:


  • Malnutrition
  • Heart attack
  • Liver disease
  • Infections like mumps, measles, pneumonia etc
  • Diabetes
  • Trauma
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Fungal infections
  • Thyroid disease



Beau’s lines can be a clue to a systemic illness or drug reaction. If a systemic illness, medication, or other causative factor is identified, this underlying issue should be treated. The Beau’s lines themselves represent a transient modification in the nail plate morphology and should grow out with continued production of nail plate. Additional interventions aside from the tincture of time are not required for treatment of Beau’s lines.