Nail Conditions & Disorders

Beaus Lines – Wavy horizontal ridges across the nail plate, often caused through illness, medication, or heart disease. Light buffing can help improve this condition.

Furrows – Ridges from the matrix to free edge often caused through arthritis, incorrect removal of nail extensions, or damage to matrix. Light buffing can help 
improve this condition. A dark polish or opal polish will highlight the ridges, so 
it is recommended to apply a clear or light polish.

Leukonychia – White spots in the nail plate, which are commonly mistaken as the result of calcium deficiency, are actually caused by calcium deficiency and minor trauma to the nail. White spots will grow up and out so one should treat the nail with care and avoid pressure. Leukonychia is commonly caused through over filing when blending nail extensions.

Eggshell Nails – Thin, curved over the free edge and fragile nails. 
Improper diet and severe medication can cause this condition. In this case it is 
best to keep the nails short and avoid pressure.

Hangnail – A small tear or split in the cuticle, which can be removed with 
cuticle nippers during a manicure. Regular nail treatments are needed to improve dry skin conditions.

Clubbing — Your fingertips widen and become round while the nails 
curve around your fingertips. Caused by enlargement in connective tissue as 
compensation for a chronic lack of oxygen. Lung disease is present in 80 percent 
of people who have clubbed fingers.

Half-and-Half (Lindsay’s nails) — an arc of brownish discoloration. May appear in a small percentage of people who have a kidney disorder.

Onycholysis (ON-i-ko-LY-sis) — The nail separates from the nail bed. Most of the time, this problem is associated with physical injury (trauma), psoriasis, 
drug reactions, fungal disease or contact dermatitis from using nail hardeners. Sometimes onycholysis can be related to an over/under active thyroid gland, iron deficiency, or syphilis.

Spoon nails — Soft nails that look scooped out. Depression is usually large enough to hold a drop of liquid. This condition often indicates iron deficiency.

Terry’s nails — The nail looks opaque and white, but the nail tip has a dark pink to brown band. This can be a symptom of cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, adult-onset diabetes, cancer, or aging.


Nail technicians are trained to recognize the following 
nail diseases. Nail technicians will not diagnosis, 
nor work on clients with the following diseases:

Infection and Inflammation – Often the nail or finger will appear red and swollen. This can mean that there is a bacterial infection present.

Atrophy – An injury or disease of the nail, where the nail plate will be wasting away.

Hypertrophy – A fungal infection where the nail plate will become very thick and over grown at the side walls. If there is no infection present, nails can be buffed regularly to thin the nail plate. This condition can be hereditary.

Whitlow – A bacterial infection, often the result of hangnails becoming 
infected. The infection may result in permanent damage to nail plate.

Warts – A viral infection with lumps on the hands and fingers. They are very contagious and this should be referred to the GP immediately.

Ringworm – A fungal infection, white patches are often found on the nail plate as a result of rotting on the nail.

Oychosmadesis – An injury or disease that can cause the nail plate to lift away from the cuticle (a new nail grows and pushes the old nail plate off). The nail must be allowed to re-grow fully before any treatments.

Onycholosis – An infection where trauma or psoriasis have caused the nail plate to detach from the nail bed starting at the free edge. Care should be taken, 
as the nail can be easily ripped off. This is very common after incorrect or home 
removal of nail extensions.