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Many side effects can appear after one has contracted COVID 19. One of these symptoms is what has come to be known as COVID nails. Dr. Tim Spector, an epidemiologist, says that nails with clear horizontal dents can be noticed after contracting the virus.

Causes of the ridges

The odd nails display horizontal grooves and a few surface indentations. After recovering from the virus, people have reported striking features of Beau’s lines on their nails; It appears if nail growth is hindered by injury or severe illness.

Harvard Health Publishing observes that Beau lines can appear when a person experiences physical stress. These ridges appear on more than one fingernail or even toenails. The ridges appear when growth beneath the cuticle to the nail plate is halted.

Normally, odd nails can be caused by systemic side effects, which explains why it can be found in some chemotherapy patients. Other causes of Beau’s lines include nutrient deficiencies,  illnesses that produce high fever, metabolic issues, and lack of blood flow in fingers.

CMAJ recorded several cases on the association of Beau’s lines with COVIS 19. In one instance, a man developed Beau’s lines four months after being diagnosed with the virus.

Dr. Amesh Adalka, a scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health and Security, explains that having the COVID nails doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the virus. Critical illness, flu, and anything that causes high fever is also responsible for groves on fingernails.

Tanya Bleiker, President of the British Association of Dermatologists, said that the ridges appear two to three weeks after developing an illness but are generally harmless and eventually grow off. She also emphasized that the nails are not exclusive to COVID 19.


It is, therefore, clear that every expert notes that the nails are not only caused by COVID 19. Dr. Spector further adds that the COVID nails are so apparent because many people have contracted the disease at the same time.