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What Causes Beau’s Lines?

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If you have noticed deep, horizontal lines running along the fingernails or toenails of your elderly loved one, they may have Beau’s lines. Beau’s lines, which are named after the physician who first discovered them, are grooved ridges that run from side to side on the nails and they occur when the body is temporarily unable to produce nail cells because it is dealing with some other health issue. Beau’s lines can be a sign that your elderly loved one is dealing with some sort of health condition that is hindering his or her overall wellbeing. There are many different reasons that a senior may develop Beau’s lines. The following are a few of the most common causes hourly Oklahoma caregivers should look out for.


Seniors who are either not getting enough nutritious food or are unable to absorb the nutrients from the food they eat may have Beau’s lines. They may also experience thinning hair and skin, which are also indicative of malnourishment.


If a senior has diabetes that is not properly managed with a healthy diet, exercise, and medication, he or she may start developing Beau’s lines on his or her fingernails. People with diabetes who have Beau’s lines tend to have multiple ridges in each nail, since the health issue is ongoing.

Liver Diseases

When the liver first starts failing, symptoms of liver disease may not be noticeable at first. One of the first clues that a senior is living with liver disease may be Beau’s lines appearing on his or her finger and toenails.


Severe infections that harm the entire body, such as measles, malaria, or mumps, may cause Beau’s lines. The distance from the Beau’s lines to the nail bed can provide a clue of how long the senior has been living with the infection. Infections that cause high fever are particularly likely to result in Beau’s lines.

Heart Attacks

A traumatic incident that puts the whole body into a state of physical stress and shock can sometimes be severe enough to cause Beau’s lines. This is due to the fact that the body is dedicating the majority of its energy to healing rather than producing sufficient keratin in the nails.

Beau’s lines often indicate that your loved one is living with a more serious problem. Be sure to see a doctor to determine the cause and severity of your loved one’s Beau’s lines. Learn more about Beau’s lines and other conditions that indicate poor health by calling Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma at 405-285-4191. We are a dedicated senior home care agency in Oklahoma that empowers local seniors to live as independently as possible while managing their diseases. Schedule a free in-home consultation today when you speak with a friendly Care Manager.

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