Don’t Miss This – Fingernail Findings

It’s good to be reminded that wounds are a symptom of a disease or diseases. The things we see from day to day are amazing. Here’s a quiz about fingernails.

This little lady weighs less than 100 lbs. and is nearly as many years old. She worked as a welder in the munitions factory here in Houston during WWII, as did my late Mother-in-law. What’s the matter with her fingernails?

If you said “Beau’s Lines,” you are right.

Beau’s Lines are deep grooved lines that run horizontally across the fingernail or the toenail, named by French physician, Joseph Honoré Simon Beau, who first described it in 1846.

They can appear when growth under the cuticle is interrupted by injury or severe illness, and may be associated with uncontrolled diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or illnesses associated with high fever such as pneumonia. Beau’s Lines can also be a sign of zinc deficiency, and important thing to remember in the elderly because it’s easy to fix. (I threw in the part about the munitions factory just because it’s fun history.)