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Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Pitting of the nails, typically the fingernails, is characterized by depressions in the surface of the nail. Nail pitting is caused by defective development of the layers of the superficial nail plate. It is common in patients with psoriasis and can affect up to 50% of people suffering from this condition. Nail pitting can also be associated with other conditions, including connective tissue disorders, alopecia areata, and sarcoidosis. Any condition that can cause a superficial and localized inflammation of the skin (dermatitis) can also affect the nails and result in nail pitting. Nail pitting can be associated with other abnormalities of the nails, including nail separation, flaking or crumbling, or other damage to or changes in the nail. Nail pitting that is associated with disease processes generally shows involvement of multiple or all nails, while trauma to an individual nail bed can cause localized pitting or disruptions in a single nail.
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Fawcett, Robert S., and Sean Lindord. "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 Nail Pitting
In This ArticleAlopecia Areata Article
- Alopecia areata facts
- What is alopecia areata?
- What causes alopecia areata?
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In This ArticleAtopic Dermatitis Article
- Atopic dermatitis facts
- What is atopic dermatitis?
- What is the difference between atopic dermatitis and eczema?
- How common is atopic dermatitis?
- What causes atopic dermatitis?
- Is atopic dermatitis contagious?
- What are atopic dermatitis symptoms and signs?
- Can atopic dermatitis affect the face?
- What are the stages of atopic dermatitis?
- How do physicians diagnose atopic dermatitis?
- What factors can aggravate atopic dermatitis?
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- What is the treatment for atopic dermatitis?
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In This ArticleEczema Article
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- What are home remedies for eczema?
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In This ArticleLichen Planus Article
- Lichen planus facts
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- What causes lichen planus?
- How is the rash of lichen planus different from that of most other common rashes?
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In This ArticlePsoriasis Article
- Psoriasis facts
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- What are the different types of psoriasis?
- Can psoriasis affect my joints?
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- Is it possible to prevent psoriasis?
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In This ArticleSarcoidosis Article
- Sarcoidosis facts
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- Who gets sarcoidosis?
- What we know about sarcoidosis
- Some things we don't know about sarcoidosis
- How is sarcoidosis diagnosed?
- What are some signs and symptoms that suggest possible sarcoidosis?
- What do laboratory tests show?
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- Living with sarcoidosis
- Where can a person find more information on sarcoidosis?
Other Causes of Nail Pitting
- Chemical Dermatitis
- Incontinentia Pigmenti
- Reiter's Syndrome
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