Beau's Lines Symptoms & Signs
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Beau's lines are horizontal or transverse depressions in the nail (they can be seen in the fingernails, thumbs, toenails, or all nails) that may be confused with nail ridging. This phenomenon was originally described in 1846 by the French physician Joseph Honoré Simon Beau. These lines are caused by diseases that affect the entire body, including malnutrition, heart attack (myocardial infarction), liver diseases, severe infections (such as mumps, measles, pneumonia, and others), and metabolic disturbances, including poorly controlled diabetes. However, Beau's lines can result from any disease process or illness that is severe enough to affect the growth plate of the nail. Malnutrition and chemotherapy drugs for cancer can also cause Beau's lines. Trauma or injury may also be a cause of Beau's lines or nail ridges. The timing of the disease can be estimated by measuring the distance from the Beau's line to the nail bed.
Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.
Fawcett, Robert S., and Sean Lindord, MD. "Nail Abnormalities: Clues to Systemic Disease." American Family Physician 69.6 Mar. 15, 2004.: 1417-1424. <http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0315/p1417.html>.
"Fingernail Abnormalities." Medscape.com. <http://reference.medscape.com/features/slideshow/fingernail-abnormalities>.
Causes of Beau's Lines
In This ArticleDiabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Article
- Diabetes facts
- What is diabetes?
- How many people in the US have diabetes?
- 6 early signs and symptoms of diabetes
- How do I know if I have diabetes?
- What causes diabetes?
- What are the risk factors for diabetes?
- What are the different types of diabetes?
- Type 1 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes
- What are the other types of diabetes?
- What kind of doctor treats diabetes?
- How is diabetes diagnosed?
- Why is blood sugar checked at home?
- What are the acute complications of diabetes?
- What are the chronic complications of diabetes?
- What can be done to slow the complications of diabetes?
- What is the prognosis for a person with diabetes?
In This ArticleHeart Attack Article
- Heart attack facts
- What is a heart attack?
- What causes a heart attack?
- What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
- What are the complications of a heart attack?
- What are the risk factors for atherosclerosis and heart attack?
- How is a heart attack diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for heart attack?
- What are the risk factors for heart attack in women?
- What are the symptoms of heart attack in women and how is heart attack diagnosed?
- How is heart attack in women treated?
- What about hormone therapy and heart attack in women?
- What is new in heart attack?
In This ArticleHypertensive Kidney Disease Article
- High blood pressure and kidney disease facts*
- Introduction to high blood pressure (hypertension) and kidney disease
- What is high blood pressure?
- How does high blood pressure hurt the kidneys?
- What are the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure?
- What are the signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease? (CKD)?
- How can kidney damage from high blood pressure be prevented?
- How can high blood pressure be controlled?
- Can medicines help control blood pressure?
- Who is at risk for kidney failure related to high blood pressure?
- Hope Through Research
In This ArticleMeasles Article
- Measles facts
- What is measles? What does measles look like?
- What is rubeola? What is rubella? What are other names for measles?
- What is the history of measles?
- What causes measles? How is measles spread?
- How does one become immune to measles?
- Who is at risk for getting measles?
- Is measles deadly?
- What are measles symptoms and signs?
- What is the danger of getting measles while pregnant?
- What is the incubation period for measles?
- What complications are seen with measles?
- What is atypical measles?
- What is modified measles?
- How is the diagnosis of measles made?
- What should someone do if he or she has been exposed to measles?
- If it is not measles, what else could it be?
- Is there any treatment for measles after symptoms and signs develop?
- What is the prognosis for measles?
- Is it possible to prevent measles with a vaccine? How effective is the measles vaccine?
- Why should people get vaccinated against measles?
- Is there any truth to the fear of getting autism from the MMR or MMRV?
- Who should not receive measles vaccinations?
- Do people need to be revaccinated against measles if they are traveling to Europe?
- What adverse reactions or side effects can occur with the measles vaccination?
- If a child has an egg allergy, can they still receive the measles vaccine?
- Who should be revaccinated against measles?
- What is herd immunity? Why should people care if others choose not to be vaccinated?
- Can the measles virus be used to cure cancer?
- Where can I find more information about measles?
In This ArticlePeripheral Vascular Disease Article
- Peripheral vascular disease facts
- What is peripheral vascular disease?
- What is atherosclerosis?
- How does atherosclerosis cause disease?
- What are potential complications of peripheral artery disease?
- What are the other causes of peripheral vascular diseases?
- Who is at risk for peripheral artery disease?
- What are the symptoms and signs of peripheral artery disease?
- How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?
- What are the treatments for peripheral artery disease?
- Lifestyle changes
- Supervised exercise
- Peripheral vascular disease medications
- Angioplasty for peripheral vascular disease
- Surgery for peripheral vascular disease
Other Causes of Beau's Lines
- Bacterial Infection
- Fungal Infection
- Severe Infections
Symptoms & Signs A-Z List
Find out what women really need.