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Beau’s Lines

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What are Beau’s Lines and What Causes Them?

Beau’s lines are a distinctive nail condition characterized by visible horizontal depressions or ridges that extend across the nail plate. These lines are named after Joseph Honoré Simon Beau, the French physician who first described them. Beau’s lines result from disruptions in the nail growth process, at the nail matrix. They appear as indentations or grooves on the nail surface and can indicate underlying health issues or traumatic events.

The formation of Beau’s lines is closely associated with certain medical conditions, injuries, or environmental factors that affect nail growth. Severe illnesses like uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory problems, and viral infections can lead to temporary cessation of nail growth, resulting in the development of Beau’s lines. Additionally, trauma or injury to the nail, such as a significant impact or crush injury, can disrupt the nail matrix and lead to the appearance of these horizontal lines. Prolonged exposure to certain drugs, chemicals, or toxins can also contribute to the occurrence of Beau’s lines.

Who Do Beau’s Lines Affect?

This condition can affect individuals of all ages, but they are more commonly observed in adults. The condition is not limited to any specific gender or ethnic group, and anyone with a history of health issues or nail trauma is susceptible to developing Beau’s lines. Individuals experiencing severe illnesses, undergoing chemotherapy, or facing malnutrition may be more prone to these nail abnormalities.

How Can Nail Technicians Help?

As a nail technician, your role in addressing Beau’s lines involves providing supportive care and understanding the potential underlying causes. While you cannot diagnose medical conditions, you can support clients and encourage them to seek advice from medical professionals for proper evaluation and treatment.

Good maintenance and care with soap & water, oil and lotion is essential to maintain flexibility in the nail plate, this will also help prevent infections.

Contra indication:

If the nail already has a secondary infection refer to a MD

If the client is going through chemotherapy, do not apply any nail products before receiving an ok from the oncology team – refer to an Oncology or Medical Hand Specialist.

If you suspect a fungal infection to be present test before applying any artificial nail product.

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