Pitting And Rippling

Pitting and rippling are also known as pits, onychia punctata, erosions and Rosenau's depressions. Pits develop as a result of defective nail formation in punctate areas located in the proximal portion of the nail matrix. The surface of the nail plate is studded with small punctate depressions which vary in number, size, depth and shape. The depth and width of the pits relates to the extent of the matrix involved; their length is determined by the duration of the matrix damage. Pits result from a defective keratinization of the proximal matrix with persistence of parakeratotic cells in the nail plate surface. These cells are easily shed, leaving the punctate depression (Figure 3.25). They may be randomly distributed or uniformly arranged in series along one or several longitudinal lines; they are sometimes arranged in a criss-cross pattern and may resemble the external surface of a thimble.

Figure 3.25

Pit formation.

Figure 3.26

Multiple nail pits, arranged in transverse lines.

Figure 3.26

Multiple nail pits, arranged in transverse lines.

Figure 3.27

Multiple nail pits—similar to Figure 3.26, but more lined in appearance.

Figure 3.27

Multiple nail pits—similar to Figure 3.26, but more lined in appearance.

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