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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Koilonychia is dystrophy of the fingernails in which they are thinned and concave with raised edges.

Koilonychia is also described as 'spoon shaped nails' and has the ability to retain a drop of water. The condition is often seen in fingernails and rarely in toenails (1).

This condition may be caused by

  • iron deficiency - most common cause
  • direct trauma e.g. due to use of vibrating tools.
  • regular contact of hand to petroleum based solvents
  • nail patella syndrome
  • haemachromatosis – occasionally
  • may be a normal nail variant in infants – generally disappear within the first few years in life (1)

Click here for an example image of this condition


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