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Deborah, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 3217
Experience:  Registered NP - Multispeciality
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I have red streaking under my finger nails and ...

Resolved Question:

I have red streaking under my finger nails and separation from the nail bed beginning at the edge of my skin at the corners moving up toward the middle of my nail there is also pitting all over the nails in spots and for the ones that are a little grown out the nail is flat at the end. My PCP took cuttings and sent to a lab and results showed no fungus, not so sure about that. My nails are weak and they split and crack and peal. Is there a vitamin that I could take and/or a medication for the nail problem?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Deborah replied 9 years ago.


I would consult with a dermatologist to determine if you may have a condition known as Lichen planus of the nails. The nail plate tends to thin and may become grooved and ridged. The nail may darken, with reddish or purplish striae.(lines) The nail may also thicken up or lift off the nail bed. Sometimes the cuticle is destroyed and forms a scar. The nails may shed, stop growing altogether and rarely, completely disappear.

Click on the underlined link to learn more. Let me know what questions you may have.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank you for the response. I dont have most of the symptoms you describe. The cuticle is not affected. There is no thickening or darkening. They are growing but are weak and brittle. The last line of your response (The nails may shed, stop growing altogether and rarely, completely disappear)does not fit either. I will research the above mentioned condition anyway is there anything else that it could be or could it still be that but symptoms are not exact. I just read the information on Lichen Planus and it does not give much about nails, I dont think this is my problem but I do agree I should go see a dermatologist as my PCP was not able to diagnose me. If you have any more conditions that you think it could be I would gladly research them. Thanks again for your assistance.
Expert:  Deborah replied 9 years ago.

I agree a consult with the dermatologist is prudent in your situation. What is important is that not every person experiences every symptom exactly as described. As you mentioned the redddish streaks, lichen planus was a consideration.

Click on the link below to see a photo. Be sure to scroll down to see the nails.


The red streaks can also be caysed by splinter hemorrhages which are longitudinal thin lines, red or brown in color, that occur beneath the nail plate. They are visible when capillaries within the epidermal ridges leak. While splinter hemorrhages may denote benign problems such as local trauma, psoriasis, or localized fungal infection, they are a classic finding in patients with endocarditis.

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