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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Beau’s Lines

Beau’s Lines are transverse ridges or grooves that reflect a temporary retardation of the normal growth of the nail. They first appear towards the proximal nail fold and move towards the free edge as the nail grows. Beau’s Lines occur when the nail matrix is injured and the growth of the nail is slowed. This condition is most commonly caused by an injury such as slamming a finger in the door or dropping a heavy object on a toe. The transverse ridges can also be a sign of systemic illness that affects the entire body or a congenital disease.


The most common cause of beau’s lines are local injury or exposure to severe cold, which decreases the blood flow to nail matrix. An example of an injury to the nail matrix causing transverse ridges to appear is in athletes who run often, as they are repeatedly smashing their distal edge into the front of the shoe. Some medical conditions can also be the cause of beau’s lines such as:

– Malnutrition

– Chemotherapy

– Diabetes Mellitus

– Psoriasis

– Hypocalcaemia

– Coronary occlusion

– Trauma

Congenital Disease is another cause of Beau’s Lines. Zinc deficiency causes changes in the skin and sometimes skin infections around the fingernail, which may result in ridges on the nail.

Systemic illnesses such as extreme fevers, measles and mumps and an exposure to chemotherapy and radiation can also cause Beau’s Lines to occur.

Treatment of Beau’s Lines

The grooved lines can be prevented by applying nail and hand cream at night for a few months.

Some common treatment that can help in beau’s lines include:

– Mild antiseptic solution being applied to the affected area

– The affected area must be soaked in warm salted water and the affected toes and fingers should be bandaged

– Avoid nail polish removers as it dries out the nail and worsens the condition

– Take multi-vitamin and zinc supplements daily

– Trim brittle nails after a bath or moisturise the nails

– Apply moisturiser on the nails after washing your hands

Beau’s Lines cannot be cured however by treating the nails as suggested above, you can prevent beau’s lines from continuing and becoming worse.