Nail Pitting: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

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.

Other causes of nail pitting

  • Chemical Dermatitis
  • Incontinentia Pigmenti
  • Pemphigus
  • Reiter's Syndrome
  • Trauma

Next Article

QUESTION

An average adult has about ________ square feet of skin. See Answer

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Skin Care & Conditions Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

References
Brady, Mark P. "Fingernail and Toenail Abnormalities: Nail the Diagnosis." Feb. 1, 2017. Medscape.com. <https://reference.medscape.com/features/slideshow/fingernail-abnormalities>.