Nails Tutorial

Terry’s nails

Terry’s nails describes white-colored opacification of most of the nail bed, sparing a narrow 1 to 2 mm band of normal pink to brown tissue at the distal end. It is a sign of systemic disease (eg, cirrhosis).


Lindsay’s nails

Lindsay’s nails describes white-colored opacification of half of the nail bed, with the other half being normal pink to brown tissue. Also known as “half and half nails.”

Muehrcke’s lines

Transverse white lines parallel to lunula, usually occurring in pairs. Seen in hypoalbuminemia.

Beau’s lines

Transverse depressions in nail plate resulting from temporary cessation of nail growth. Seen in trauma and extreme stress.


Mee’s lines

Transverse lines parallel to lunula. Seen in arsenic and other heavy metal poisoning as well as renal failure.


Painless detachment of the nail from the nail bed.


Spoon-shaped nail that could hold a drop of water. Seen in iron-deficiency anemia.

Nail pitting

Depressions in the nail resulting from defective keratinization by proximal matrix due to inflammation. Seen in psoriasis and alopecia areata.

Oil drop sign

Yellow-brown spot with red margin. Seen in psoriatic arthritis.

Capillary dilatation

Fingernail capillary bed dilatation. Seen in connective tissue diseases like systemic sclerosis.

Punctate leukonychia

One or more small areas of white discoloration on the nail. Associated with trauma.