Nail Reactions to Poisons and Intoxicants

  • Chris G. Adigun


There are a number of chemicals and elements that, when ingested may lead to clinical changes in the nails. Poisons that have been reported to cause nail findings when individuals are exposed include carbon monoxide, vinyl chloride, toxic oil, potassium cyanide, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), tetrodotoxin (TTX), selenium. Heavy metals exposure may also cause nail changes. Metal exposures that have been reported to cause nail findings include gold, lead, silver, aniline, mercury, copper, arsenic, thallium, and titanium. These changes include discoloration of the nail plate or nail bed, vascular disruption, growth disturbance that may lead to grooves or complete shedding of the nail plate, among other findings. In some cases, these findings can be characteristic and aid in detection of the causative agent.


Beau’s lines Mee’s lines Leukonychia Onychomadesis Onycholysis Onychalgia Blue lunulae 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris G. Adigun
    • 1
  1. 1.Dermatology & Laser Center of Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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