Nail Pitting

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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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/20/2012

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REFERENCES:

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
    • Alopecia Areata Alopecia areata is a condition that causes hair loss on the scalp and sometimes other parts of the body. It is believed to be...learn more »
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    • Atopic Dermatitis Eczema is a general term for many types dermatitis (skin inflammation). Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of...learn more »
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      Atopic 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?
      • What are skin irritants in patients with atopic dermatitis?
      • What are allergens?
      • What are aeroallergens?
      • What is the treatment for atopic dermatitis?
      • What is the prognosis of atopic dermatitis?
    • Eczema Eczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from...learn more »
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      Eczema Article
      • Eczema facts
      • What is eczema?
      • Are there different types of eczema? What causes eczema?
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      • How is eczema diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for eczema?
      • What are home remedies for eczema?
      • Does diet affect eczema?
      • Is there a cure for eczema?
      • Is eczema contagious?
      • What is the prognosis of eczema?
      • Is it possible to prevent eczema?
    • Lichen Planus Lichen planus is a common skin disease that features small, itchy pink or purple spots on the arms or legs. the abnormal areas on...learn more »
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      Lichen Planus Article
      • Lichen planus facts
      • What is lichen planus?
      • What causes lichen planus?
      • How is the rash of lichen planus different from that of most other common rashes?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of lichen planus?
      • What does lichen planus look like?
      • How is lichen planus diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for lichen planus?
      • What is the long-term prognosis of lichen planus?
    • Psoriasis Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales....learn more »
    • Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis, a disease resulting from chronic inflammation, causes small lumps (granulomas) to develop in a great range of body...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sarcoidosis Article
      • Sarcoidosis facts
      • What is sarcoidosis?
      • What are symptoms of sarcoidosis?
      • 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?
      • How is sarcoidosis treated?
      • Living with sarcoidosis
      • Where can a person find more information on sarcoidosis?
Other Causes of Nail Pitting
  • Chemical Dermatitis
  • Incontinentia Pigmenti
  • Pemphigus
  • Reiter's Syndrome
  • Trauma




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