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Other names: Spoon nails
Koilonychia (DermNet NZ reactions-w-koilonychia01).jpg

Koilonychia, also known as spoon nails, are thin curved nails.[1][2] It refers to abnormally thin nails (usually of the hand) which have lost their convexity, becoming flat or even concave in shape.[3][4]

It is typically seen in normal babies, but may be a sign of iron deficiency anaemia in the elderly, or seen in lichen planus.[5]

Signs and symptoms

In early stages nails may be brittle and chip or break easily.


Koilonychia is associated with Plummer–Vinson syndrome and iron deficiency anemia. It has also been associated with lichen planus, syphilis, and rheumatic fever. The term is from the Greek: κοῖλος, koilos, "hollow", ὄνυξ, onyx, "nail".

See also


  1. James, William D.; Elston, Dirk; Treat, James R.; Rosenbach, Misha A.; Neuhaus, Isaac (2020). "33. Diseases of the skin appendages". Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology (13th ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier. p. 781. ISBN 978-0-323-54753-6.
  2. Tosti, Antonella (2020). "413. Diseases of hair and nails". In Goldman, Lee; Schafer, Andrew I. (eds.). Goldman-Cecil Medicine. Vol. 2 (26th ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier. p. 2660. ISBN 978-0-323-53266-2.
  3. MacGilchrist, Claire (2020). "3. The skin and nails in podiatry". In Burrow, J. Gordon; Rome, Keith; Padhiar, Nat (eds.). Neale's Disorders of the Foot and Ankle (9th ed.). Elsevier. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-7020-6504-0.
  4. Bellet, Jane Sanders (2021). "Paediatric nail disorders". In Lipner, Shari (ed.). Nail Disorders: Diagnosis and Management, An Issue of Dermatologic Clinics. Philadelphia: Elsevier. p. 231. ISBN 978-0-323-70923-1.
  5. Berker, David de (2019). "20. Diseases of the nails". In Morris-Jones, Rachael (ed.). ABC of Dermatology (7th ed.). Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell. p. 168. ISBN 978-1-119-48899-6.

External links

External resources