What Causes Horizontal Lines on Fingernails?

Why Do Seniors Get Horizontal Lines on Their Fingernails?

By Will Reid, 9:00 am on

Seniors often get horizontal lines on their toenails and fingernails due to aging and other environmental and health factors. Known as Beau’s lines, these depressions and ridges indicate that the nails are in poor health. Here are some of the most common causes for Beau’s lines that live-in Cincinnati home caregivers should be wary of.

Footwear

Seniors who wear improper footwear on their feet may suffer from Beau’s lines on their toenails. A tight-fitting shoe can actually compress the top of the foot including all of the toes. Such excessive pressure that’s exerted for extended periods of time can directly lead to deep depressions on the nail bed.

Physical Trauma

The nails on the fingers and toes are extremely sensitive to relatively moderate forces that may occur just by performing daily tasks. For example, a senior citizen can easily bruise his or her toenail by slamming it against a stairway, door or other hard obstruction. A sudden impact to the nail can permanently deform it until a new one grows. It’s also common for seniors to drop heavy items directly on their feet. Such a mishap can surely lead to Beau’s lines, swelling, bruising and other complications with the toenails. 

Diet

Healthy nails tend to grow at a normal rate when a person follows a substantial diet plan that’s loaded with vitamins and minerals. Skin and nail growth is significantly affected by several key nutrients such as calcium and biotin, which are part of the vitamin B complex. People who don’t drink enough fluids are also likely to develop brittle nails that are easily shaped by external forces. Therefore, dehydration can directly lead to the formation of Beau’s lines.

Infections

Fungal and bacterial infections often cause various complications in the nails including Beau’s lines. Nails that are infected are likely to change in color and texture over time. The gradual changes make the nails vulnerable to Beau’s lines and other unsightly marks.

Beau’s lines can give Cincinnati in-home care providers clues into other serious health concerns. Learn more about Beau’s lines and other health issues by calling Home Care Assistance of Cincinnati at 513.891.2273 today. Our professional caregivers are highly skilled in the latest home care techniques to ensure your loved one receives the best in-home care possible. Talk to a friendly Care Manager to schedule a free consultation and create a custom care plan today.