Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Why are my finger nails pitted and have ridges

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 13 Replies
  • Posted By: EndlessRoad
  • November 3, 2010
  • 01:58 PM

At least for the past three years my nails have been progressively deteriorating in terms of their appearance. All nails have significant pitting. Additionally my right thumb tends to have horizontal ridges (single or double) that cycle every 6 months or so. The other nails have a much smoother ridge in the same spot along the nail. Despite this, the nails seem very strong.

Here are some images:
http://s1.postimage.org/MqtcS-af59f8.jpg
http://s1.postimage.org/Ms7YS-af59f8.jpg
http://s1.postimage.org/Ms2ZA-af59f8.jpg


I am 32 straight male. I eat a wide verity of healthy food that I prepare for myself, at regular intervals. I exercise about 4 or 5 times a week. I drink water regularly.
I have been taking a multi-vitamin daily for the last 6 months.
I have a fairly stressful desk job and work about 50+ hours a week.
A dermatologist had no idea why my nails would be this way. He asked if I had any history of psoriasis, which is negative, personally or in my family.

Related info:
1. I was slightly anemic about a year ago due to a chronic anal fissure. It has improved significantly in last year.
2. Certain food causes bloating, eg. onions, and standard ones like beans, cabbage, etc.
2. I often become fuzzy headed during the day, eg. I can't focus on a 1 on 1 conversation.
3. When I was a kid I scraped some of my nail surfaces with a knife (i know, kids do dumb stuff)
4. I have not seen this nail behavior in my family.
5. I have traveled to many developing countries.


Any leads on where I should look for some explanation for this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

EndlessRoad.

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13 Replies:

  • What do you do for a job? Do you use your hands similar to as a mechanic? I have noticed with my nails that when I put certain pressure above the cuticle, like excessive pressure when trimming the cuticle... that nail will develop a dimple that slowly works its way down as the nail grows out.
    gr8tful 175 Replies
    • November 5, 2010
    • 04:21 AM
    • 0
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  • Nails can show up significant changes in body chemistry.Is there anything which may result in significant changes in body chemistry at the times when these ridges are formed?Nails grow from under the skin, and it takes some time for the new section to grow out far enough to be seen. Think about when they are being formed, not when they grow out far enough to be seen.For example, are they formed:when you take a vitamin or mineral supplement?when you have a significant change of diet?during hot weather?during cold weather?when you experience stress?anything else which may result in significant changes in body chemistry?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 7, 2010
    • 00:10 PM
    • 0
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  • You say, "Here are some images:" but I don't see any. So I am not really sure what they look like.Something to consider, but unlikely.Pitting can be caused by fungal infections. You normally only get it on one nail, not all of them at the same time, so this is unlikely, but worth considering.If it is a fungal infection, you could also try vinegar, Listerine, or Tea tree oil.I have eliminated a fungal infection on the surface of a toenail, just using hot water. It was just on the surface, and did not go under the skin. The water needs to be as hot as possible, and keep it in there as long as possible. Repeat several times. Be careful, do not burn yourself.The above methods only work if the fungal infection is only on the surface of the nail, and does not go under the skin. If it goes under the skin, there are other methods.Be aware, drugs used for fungal infections of the nails, often don't work, and have very bad side effects. I suggest people use natural methods.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 7, 2010
    • 00:31 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Thanks for your reply. I don't work on anything heavy, mostly typing on the computer and my keyboard is fairly soft. It could be that the pressure from the strokes affects my cuticles which cause the dimples, but if you look at the images they are fairly extreme.:http://www.flickr.com/photos/55415536@N05/5141821318/I tried moisturizing my cuticles for a few months but that didn't seem to help. I am wondering if it is digestion related, mental stress, or some bacteria? Recently, my girlfriend developed a nail section on two of her nails that had similar dimples but that was likely do to her temporary restrictive diet.Any help is appreciated.
    EndlessRoad 5 Replies
    • November 8, 2010
    • 02:58 AM
    • 0
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  • Sounds like you have an energetic liver deficiency (eastern medicine term - don't freak out!). Try accupunture. Should clear this issue, clear your head, and make the inside of your mouth and surface of your tongue healthier too!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 11, 2010
    • 03:07 AM
    • 0
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  • I just stumbled upon nail psoriasis. See this website. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/psoriasisnet/psoriatic_nails.html
    gr8tful 175 Replies
    • November 11, 2010
    • 08:59 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • My mother's nails look exactly like yours (at times, much worse). Hers was due to a fungal infection and she was given a special "nail polish" that would kill the fungii. I'm not sure if it's due to her age or a misdiag, but her nails have never gone back to looking normal (although the infections have cleared up).
    Altari 9 Replies
    • November 11, 2010
    • 00:18 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • As far fetched as this sounds, your exact description & my problem with my nails (and other things) turned out to be from Hyperparathyroidism! (This is NOT "thyroid", but rather "para's") As it turns out, when you have too much calcium circulating in your blood because your PTH (parathyroid hormone) is out balance, along with MANY of the other symptoms you described, this is what happens. They found and removed a PT adenoma. It's amazing how many symptoms cleared up when I had this done and I never would have known the association if I had not self diagnosed myself and had it taken care of. It happens almost twice as often to women, but still affects men. If left untreated, the adverse consequences to your body over many years' time is very sad, but preventable if stopped in time. Please do a search on the net by "high calcium". Thanks, and best wishes.
    firebird56 14 Replies
    • November 11, 2010
    • 04:02 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I just stumbled upon nail psoriasis. See this website. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/psoriasisnet/psoriatic_nails.htmlMy dermatologist thought it might be that but since I don't have any in my family history he suggested I just moisturize my cuticles. That didn't help.
    EndlessRoad 5 Replies
    • November 14, 2010
    • 04:20 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Nails can show up significant changes in body chemistry.Is there anything which may result in significant changes in body chemistry at the times when these ridges are formed?Nails grow from under the skin, and it takes some time for the new section to grow out far enough to be seen. Think about when they are being formed, not when they grow out far enough to be seen.For example, are they formed:when you take a vitamin or mineral supplement?when you have a significant change of diet?during hot weather?during cold weather?when you experience stress?anything else which may result in significant changes in body chemistry?Thank you for the response.The pitting is all over the nail surface so there is no incident/factor that can be linked to it. The ridges look cyclical but could be related to one of the factors you mention. I can create a journal for the next 6 months to see if I can correlate it with any environmental or personal changes. In fact, I did an elimination diet for 2 months to rule out gluten allergy and fructose malabsorption. The "foggy head" feeling did not improve. I don't think my nails improved as a result either.The vitamins did not seem to affect the symptoms very much.I spend most of my time inside 68 degree facility during the day and at night the temperatures vary a bit more throughout the year. Sun exposure does change throughout the year, so that could be a factor.
    EndlessRoad 5 Replies
    • November 14, 2010
    • 04:53 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • You say, "Here are some images:" but I don't see any. So I am not really sure what they look like.Something to consider, but unlikely.Pitting can be caused by fungal infections. You normally only get it on one nail, not all of them at the same time, so this is unlikely, but worth considering.If it is a fungal infection, you could also try vinegar, Listerine, or Tea tree oil.I have eliminated a fungal infection on the surface of a toenail, just using hot water. It was just on the surface, and did not go under the skin. The water needs to be as hot as possible, and keep it in there as long as possible. Repeat several times. Be careful, do not burn yourself.The above methods only work if the fungal infection is only on the surface of the nail, and does not go under the skin. If it goes under the skin, there are other methods.Be aware, drugs used for fungal infections of the nails, often don't work, and have very bad side effects. I suggest people use natural methods.My dermatologist didn't think it was fungal, but at the same note he did not spend much time on the diagnosis. I think the images are only visible if you are logged in. Check the flickr link from my post on the the 8th.
    EndlessRoad 5 Replies
    • November 14, 2010
    • 04:59 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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  • As far fetched as this sounds, your exact description & my problem with my nails (and other things) turned out to be from Hyperparathyroidism! (This is NOT "thyroid", but rather "para's") As it turns out, when you have too much calcium circulating in your blood because your PTH (parathyroid hormone) is out balance, along with MANY of the other symptoms you described, this is what happens. They found and removed a PT adenoma. It's amazing how many symptoms cleared up when I had this done and I never would have known the association if I had not self diagnosed myself and had it taken care of. It happens almost twice as often to women, but still affects men. If left untreated, the adverse consequences to your body over many years' time is very sad, but preventable if stopped in time. Please do a search on the net by "high calcium". Thanks, and best wishes.Thank you for your post. Can you be more specific regarding the symptoms you were experiencing? I read up on HPT and it could be my issue but initially it does not seem that my nail symptoms are not common to HPT.
    EndlessRoad 5 Replies
    • November 14, 2010
    • 05:05 AM
    • 0
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  • hi just found your post and can relate to all your symptoms. i have recently discovered fingernails is psoriasis im first and only family member to have it. i also discovered that its an auto immune disease related to leaky gut. and through functional medicine and paleo mum am trying to manage it. its rare to find some one, as your self who has the exact same physical flares. i also picked up two parasites probably from laos/cambodia? i also get fatigue and achy joints hopethishelps
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • December 2, 2014
    • 01:52 AM
    • 0
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