Median Canaliform Nail Dystrophy

A Case Of Median Canaliform Nail Dystrophy

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Learn more about Median Canaliform Nail Dystrophy


Median canaliform nail dystrophy is a clinically characteristic change in the nail plate presenting as a midline longitudinal furrow or split ⚡️ and also transverse ridges angled backwards in a fir-tree pattern. It can affect all age groups, including children. Familial cases have been reported. It affects men and women equally.

Causes of Median Canaliform Nail Dystrophy

It is an acquired nail change believed to be due to microtrauma of the nail matrix, resulting in a temporary defect in keratinocyte adhesion that affects tensile strength of the nail plate.

The majority of cases appear to be sporadic or idiopathic. There have been rare reports with systemic isotretinoin use.

A similar but distinct nail dystrophy can be caused by habitual picking of the nail fold (habit-tic deformity) and there have been very rare reports of the two conditions co-existing. Some have postulated they are variants of the same disorder.

Clinical Features of Median Canaliform Nail Dystrophy

This condition most commonly involves both thumbnails, although it can be unilateral. Other fingernails and toenails also affect. The longitudinal split ⚡️ extends from the proximal nailfold to the free edge of the nail. It is usually in the midline but may be off-centre. Macrolunulae (larger than normal lunulae) are frequently observed in the affected nails.

Are you suffering from this condition? One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatment options are best to get you back on track.
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at 44 (0) 207 101 4000. 📞


We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team



Check our latest blog about Glomus Tumour and Digital Myxoid Pseudocyst here…id-pseudocyst-💢💦/

Check our blog about Fungal Nails here

Read our blog about Ingrown Toenails here

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