Hello. I have a question about Beau's Lines, or horizontal lines on the nails. I understand that this is one of those conditions that there is a fair amount of confusion about, both on the internet and in the medical community, and that it is one of those "symptoms" that people probably more often imagine they have than they actually do have. Regardless, I wanted to set out my description, and if anyone has any insight to offer, it would be much appreciated.
Fort he last two and a half years, I have constantantly had one or more horizontal lines on my fingernails. They are most noticeable on my thumb nails and index fingers, and rarely on other fingers (although almost all of the other nails have had similar lines once or twice). These lines often appear in series, so that there are several lines on the nail at any one point. They also tend to appear within a few days of each other, especially on the thumb nails. They tend not to be very deep, although there are have probably been about 5-10 instances when a line has been detectable by touch for the duration of the time it is on the nail. However, they are distinct; this means that they are most often not a dark area, but a noticeable dark line that stretches from one side of the nail to the other. I do not chew my nails or do anything to the cuticles; in fact the cuticles are always completely intact. There often appear beads with the lines, which appear as very small but distinct bubbles on the line.
I have heard that Beau's Lines (if that is what these are) can be a symptom for a number of diseases including thyroid problems, of which my mother has a history (although I know that thyroid problems are rare in men).
I think you can get these from any illness. So, you may be getting them from a cold or viral infection. I got a very noticeable line on all nails after having a baby by c-section ie a major shock to the body. I currently have two on my thumb and don't give it much thought.
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