Contents

SynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyDrug Reaction DataReferences

Information for Patients

View all Images (38)

Beau lines - Nail and Distal Digit
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Beau lines - Nail and Distal Digit

Contributors: Shari Lipner MD, PhD, Susan Burgin MD, Bertrand Richert MD, Robert Baran MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Beau lines are transverse depressions in the nail plate that are sometimes seen to be parallel to the shape of the lunula. Beau lines are common and nonspecific nail changes. They result from a sudden interruption of nail keratin synthesis and grow distally with the nail plate. They can vary with the width or depth of the depression, reflecting the duration or extent of the damage, respectively. As the nail plate grows distally, the Beau lines disappear.

Beau lines can be caused by trauma or local disease involving the nail fold, such as manicuring or paronychia, respectively. They may also result from metabolic or inflammatory influences, both local and systemic. When Beau lines are present in all nails at a similar location on the nail plate, there is likely to be a systemic cause, such as myocardial infarction, pemphigus vulgaris, Raynaud phenomenon, or rheumatic fever. As a drug effect, they are most commonly seen with chemotherapeutic agents. In immunosuppressed patients, they may be due to decreased nutrition from gastrointestinal disease or drugs.

In children, hand-foot-and-mouth-disease is a common cause of Beau lines.

Onychomadesis is a complete halt in nail plate production and is a severe form of Beau lines.

Codes

ICD10CM:
L60.4 – Beau's lines

SNOMEDCT:
44087005 – Beau's lines

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Muehrcke lines – Paired white transverse bands resulting from hypoalbuminemia, liver disease, malnutrition, chemotherapy, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
  • Onychotillomania – Parallel transverse grooves.
  • Mees' lines – Transverse white bands resulting from arsenic poisoning, infections, systemic lupus erythematosus, acute renal failure, heart failure, chemotherapy, or ulcerative colitis.
  • Half and half nail syndrome – White band proximally and a red-brown band distally, resulting from chronic renal disease, Kawasaki disease, liver and gastrointestinal diseases, zinc deficiency, and chemotherapy.
  • Terry nails – A white band involving more than 80% of the total nail length, resulting from hepatic cirrhosis, heart failure, diabetes mellitus, and infections.
  • Dermatitis of nail folds
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Proximal subungual onychomycosis

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required

Therapy

Subscription Required

Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

Subscription Required

References

Subscription Required

Last Reviewed:09/26/2017
Last Updated:10/17/2018
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Patient Information for Beau lines - Nail and Distal Digit
Print E-Mail Images (38)
Contributors: Medical staff writer
Premium Feature
VisualDx Patient Handouts
Available in the Elite package
  • Improve treatment compliance
  • Reduce after-hours questions
  • Increase patient engagement and satisfaction
  • Written in clear, easy-to-understand language. No confusing jargon.
  • Available in English and Spanish
  • Print out or email directly to your patient
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Beau lines - Nail and Distal Digit
A medical illustration showing key findings of Beau lines : Arrested nail growth, Transverse nail line
Clinical image of Beau lines - imageId=1644608. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A transverse groove in the nail plate with some associated superficial scaling.'
A transverse groove in the nail plate with some associated superficial scaling.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.