John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Pitted fingernails can be an unsightly problem, with tiny depressions appearing over the fingernails. The severity of the problem can vary from having just a few tiny depressions to having a large number across all fingers. Fingernail pitting also raises health concerns as it can be a symptom of psoriasis, eczema or a number of other health conditions. Although pitted fingernails appear more commonly in children than in adults, the health implications are usually much more serious in adults. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat fingernail pitting once the cause has been diagnosed.
Seek advice from a health professional to establish the cause of the pitting. The first step in treating pitted fingernails is to get a professional opinion from a GP to ensure that the condition is not related to a serious health problem such as an autoimmune disease. While there are many causes of nail pitting, it tends to be related to a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema, which can be controlled and treated relatively easily.
Apply a prescribed topical medication. Doctors will often prescribe a cream or ointment to treat pitted fingernails, especially if the condition is mild. Many people will respond to applying the cream regularly and will soon have nails looking healthy and attractive again.
Treat nail psoriasis with injections. In some cases, a doctor may decide that nail pitting related to nail psoriasis should be treated with corticosteroid injections. The steroids are injected into the bed of the nail to help it grow more smoothly although results tend to be temporary.
Consider your diet. Some people can experience nail conditions such as pitting as a result of a poor diet and a deficiency in important nutrients. Ensuring that you eat a healthy diet, rich in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids will help nails to grow healthily as well as maintaining your general wellbeing.
Moisturise your hands and nails. In addition to medical treatments, people with pitted fingernails and dry skin conditions can benefit from moisturising their hands and nails regularly with a cream suited to their skin type. Other natural methods of maintain moisture in the skin include applying almond oil or olive oil to the skin.
Protect your hands and nails from further sources of irritation. Nail conditions such as pitting, particularly when related to a condition such as nail psoriasis, can improve by protecting hands from irritants. Wearing gloves when using household cleaning products is one way to do this but is important to choose gloves made from a material such as vinyl rather than those made from latex which skin can be sensitive to. As long nails are more prone to nail conditions and offer a good place for bacteria to grow, it is also advisable to keep nails short while allowing pitting nails to grow out.
- John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images