Pitted nails

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Pitted nails
Other names: Nail pitting
Risk factorsPsoriasis, alopecia areata, lichen planus, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema[1]

Pitted nails, also known as stippled nails, are characterized by small, pinpoint depressions in a nail, which may give a clue to diagnosing conditions such as psoriasis and alopecia areata.[2] In psoriasis associated nail pits, the depressions are typically deep and wide.[1] In alopecia areata, the pits tend to be more shallow and regularly distributed, appearing in a "tartan" pattern.[1]

Pitted nails may also be a feature in lichen planus, rheumatoid arthritis, perforating granuloma annulare, eczema, or can occur without any obvious disease.[1] It may occur in Reiter's syndrome and incontinentia pigmenti.[3] The pitting occurs due to an abnormality in the nail matrix near the nail fold.[4]


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 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. 785. ISBN 978-0-323-54753-6. Archived from the original on 2022-04-16. Retrieved 2022-04-14.
  2. Braun-Falco, Otto; Plewig, Gerd; Wolff, Helmut H.; Winkelmann, Richard K. (2013). "14. Erythematous and erythematosquamous skin diseases". Dermatology. Springer. p. 425. ISBN 978-3-662-00183-7. Archived from the original on 2023-07-01. Retrieved 2023-05-14.
  3. Johnstone, Ronald B. (2017). "2. Diagnostic clues and "need-to-know" items". Weedon's Skin Pathology Essentials (2nd ed.). Elsevier. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7020-6830-0. Archived from the original on 2021-05-25. Retrieved 2022-04-14.
  4. Berker, David de (2019). "20. Diseases of the nails". In Morris-Jones, Rachael (ed.). ABC of Dermatology (7th ed.). Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell. pp. 165–174. ISBN 978-1-119-48899-6. Archived from the original on 2022-05-16. Retrieved 2022-05-16.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Nail terminology | DermNet NZ". dermnetnz.org. Archived from the original on 12 April 2022. Retrieved 14 April 2022.