What Causes Dents in Fingernails?

Well manicured nails attract eye balls and leave good impression. But, what causes dents in fingernails? Can you ignore them?

Similar to hair and skin, nails are made of many layers of keratin. This hardened protein isn’t just for nail polish; it also protects nerves and nail bed.

As they say, “fingernails are mirror to your health”. Black lines, dents and ridges on fingernails denote unhealthiness.

Dents in fingernails are caused by physical trauma, injury, nail biting, ailments or due to low vitamin intake.

Minor or major injury over nails may result in ridged nail plate. Apart from that, eating habits and dehydration can affect your nail color. Increase your vitamin intake and drink enough water to overcome this issue.


According to MedlinePlus, major injuries leave permanent dent. Only through surgery normal fingernail can obtained.

Immersing fingernails in water for longer period can result in ridged and weak nails. Experts recommend wearing rubber gloves while doing domestic works.

Long manicure or pedicure can weaken nail plate and results in brittle or uneven nails.


Often a dent is formed over fingernails due to this chronic skin ailment. Your skin turns scaly with dry patches. It also affects on nails and scalp.

These dents are small and can be recovered to normal state, if you treat psoriasis. However, you can’t permanently treat psoriasis. Medication by physician and home remedies can reduce its signs and symptoms.

Incontinentia Pigmenti

A wart like rash can be appeared over the skin. This inherited disorder isn’t common and researcher are going on.

People with this ailment will experience skin discoloration patches or hyperpigmentation in childhood, while they reach adulthood wart like rashes are formed. Also dents on fingernails and abnormality of eyes can be experienced. (1)

Alopecia Areata

It’s a spot baldness disorder affecting hair. If this auto immune disease is mild, then you can expect hair in few months. Else, the ailment can process to alopecia areata totalis.

As nails and hair are formed by kertain, person will experience dent or ridged nails. (2)

Apart from this, diabetes, cancer and other ailments may result in dent fingernails. You must check with your physician for diagnosis.

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