twenty-nail dystrophy

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This condition is characterised by the development of rough linear ridges on many but not necessarily all twenty nails of the fingers and toes. The nails are opalescent and frequently are brittle and split at the free margin.

Some regard the condition as a cutaneous manifestation of alopecia areata or lichen planus. It is more common in children and becomes less obvious with age.

If there are persistent nail dystrophies e.g. small or thick nail plates, in addition to teeth abnormalities and sparse hair, then this is suggestive of an inherited ectodermal dysplasia.

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Last reviewed 01/2018