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
- Reiter's Syndrome
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Causes of Nail Pitting
Alopecia areata is a condition that causes hair loss on the scalp and sometimes other parts of the body. It is believed to be caused by an abnormality of the immune system that causes the body's immune system to attack the hair follicles. Typically, hair regrows within a year without treatment. Steroid injections, creams, and shampoos may be used during treatment.
Eczema is a general term for many types dermatitis (skin inflammation). Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema. Other types of eczema include: contact eczema, allergic contact eczema, seborrheic eczema, nummular eczema, stasis dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema.
Eczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from oozing blisters to crusty plaques of skin. Treatment varies depending upon the type of eczema the person has.
Lichen planus is a common skin disease that features small, itchy pink or purple spots on the arms or legs. The abnormal areas on the skin in lichen planus are typically flat-topped (hence the term planus), itchy, and frequently have a polygonal or angular shape.
Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales. There are several types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis the patient has. Treatment of psoriasis may include creams, lotions, oral medications, injections and infusions of biologics, and light therapy. There is no cure for psoriasis.
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms and signs include painful, stiff, and swollen joints, tendinitis, and organ inflammation. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory medications and exercise.
Sarcoidosis, a disease resulting from chronic inflammation, causes small lumps (granulomas) to develop in a great range of body tissues and can appear in almost any body organ. However, sarcoidosis most often starts in the lungs or lymph nodes.