Common symptoms of Covid-19 include a loss of smell or taste, fatigue and/or hair loss. Some have even reported memory loss and brain fog. The latest side effect to emerge is the emergence of “Covid nails”.

What are “Covid Nails”?

As sufferers recover from Covid-19, some have noticed that lines or grooves have appeared on their nails. This was reported in the UK via the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app.

However, it would appear that this symptom is not just restricted to Covid-19 but to all viral infections.

According to Dr Michele S. Green, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, these lines or grooves are called Beau’s lines and they can occur anytime there is an interruption in regular nail growth.

While the appearance of these lines or grooves could be caused by illness, injury or exposure to certain environmental factors, their appearance may not always be indicative of a larger health concern.

Photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash

Why could Covid-19 cause Beau’s lines?

According to Dr Green, the spike in body temperature caused by fever brought on by Covid-19 can contribute to the formation of these nail ridges or lines. While these symptoms might take a long time to appear, their appearance is not a given.

She emphasised that Beau’s lines aren’t unique to COVID-19 and that any kind of systemic illness (including diabetes, pneumonia or zinc deficiency) can cause a disruption in normal nail growth and result in the appearance of Beau’s lines.

Will Covid nails go away?

The short answer is yes – if the underlying cause of the Beau’s lines are effectively treated.

In other words, the key is not to treat the Beau’s nails but to treat the underlying condition that has caused its appearance in the first place.

However, you will need to be patient with your body and let your nails grow out naturally.

The entire fingernail will grow and replace itself within 6 months, meaning that if the underlying cause of the Beau’s line or lines is treated, they will disappear on their own with time.

If the lines and/or grooves don’t grow out or if more appear, it would be advisable to seek professional medical advice.

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