People who have a ‘clear line’ growing horizontally across their nails may previously have been infected with coronavirus (Picture: Getty Images / @timspector / Twitter)
Lines or grooves across your nails could be a sign you have suffered from coronavirus, an expert has said.
People who have a ‘clear line’ growing horizontally across their nails – now dubbed ‘Covid nails’ – may previously have been infected.
Professor Tim Spector, who leads the Zoe Symptom Study app, wrote on Twitter: ‘Do your nails look odd?
‘Covid nails are increasingly being recognised as the nails recover after infection and the growth recovers leaving a clear line.
‘Can occur without skin rashes and appears harmless.’
He posted a picture of what looks like a woman’s fingernails with clear horizontal grooves across them.
Fingernails grow in roughly six-month cycles, so anyone who has been infected with Covid-19 may not notice a change in their appearance until a while after they were ill.
According to the Healthline website, lines like this across the nails are called Beau’s lines and develop as the body recovers from infection.
They can occur as a result of a disease which causes high fever – examples including measles, mumps and scarlet fever.
The lines can also be caused by skin conditions such as eczema.
Of course, one of the symptoms of coronavirus is a high fever, and occasionally skin rashes can be seen in Covid-19 patients.
He noted the lines can appear regardless of skin rashes, and said they appear to be harmless.
The lines however can be caused by other things, such as malnourishment, and more dramatic changes in nail shape could be caused by serious illnesses such as Thyroid disease, diabetes or iron deficiency anaemia.
And not everyone who has had coronavirus gets these lines – it is just a possibility.
Professor Spector is leading a group of researchers at King’s College London, which has developed the Zoe Covid Symptom Study app to help track both common and less common signs of the virus.
Millions of Brits have used the app and it has helped scientists figure out in what ways people are affected by Covid-19.
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