Coiloniquia (spoon nails) – Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

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Coiloniquia (spoon nails) - Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

Definition of Coiloniquia

The coiloniquia, also called spoon nails, is a dystrophy of the nails in which they become thin and become concave with raised edges.

The coilonychia (the word derives from the Greek and literally translated as "hollow nail") affects everything, including the shape, color, texture and thickness of the nails and toenails.

It is usually caused by the inability to absorb iron in the bloodstream, a common condition called iron anemia. Also, some babies are born with this problem, however, they eventually grow out of it.

It is also a component of the nail-patella syndrome, also known as HOOD syndrome, a genetic disease characterized by various abnormalities, including renal and musculoskeletal abnormalities.

Symptoms of spoon nails

Nails fragility and thinning. Change in the texture, color and shape of the nails. Nails that easily detach from the nail bed. In some patients, the nails may come off completely. Flattened nails with raised edges.


Lack of iron – It is the most common cause of spoon nails.

Nail polish – exposure of the person's nails to the nail polish or moisture that can lead to peeling the edges of nails and brittle nails.

Lupus disease – is a chronic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own organs and tissues. Most people with this autoimmune disease have a mild illness characterized by severe episodes when the symptoms get worse for a while, followed by periods of remission. Any part of the human body can be affected by this condition, as it has numerous clinical manifestations that affect the joints, skin, lungs, brain, blood vessels, kidneys and other internal organs.

Thyroid dysfunction – Thyroid disorders are conditions that affect the thyroid gland, a small butterfly-shaped gland located just below the Adam's apple. Although the effects can be uncomfortable or unpleasant, most thyroid problems can be managed well if treated correctly.

Hemochromatosis – This condition causes the human body to absorb too much iron from food. Extra iron can damage your organs. Without proper treatment, hemochromatosis can cause your organs to fail. This disorder is the most common cause of severe iron overload and the most frequent autosomal recessive genetic disorder.

Patella-nails syndrome – It is characterized by abnormalities in the knees, nails, pelvis and elbows. Almost all patients with this syndrome You will have missing or abnormal nails, which is commonly evident at birth.

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Raynaud's disease – It is a common condition that affects the blood supply to certain parts of the body, often the fingers and toes. The symptoms of Raynaud's disease depend on the frequency, severity and duration of the spasm of the blood vessels.

Chemical products – Frequent exposure to solutions that are petroleum based detergents and soaps may contribute to the onset of this condition.

Biting the nails – The habit of pinching or biting the nails can affect the health of the nail and cause this problem.

Genetics – There is also hereditary coilonychia, which commonly affects the center of the nail. This type is rare and is usually a sign of kidney problems.


The first indicators of this condition can be identified through a physical examination performed by a health care specialist; Concave nails are often an important sign of the condition.

Afterwards, the doctor will evaluate the nail and obtain the patient's history to determine the real cause of this disorder. You can also diagnose mild cases of spoon nails by testing whether the concave notch in the nail plate is capable of retaining a drop of water.

Note – The doctor must be aware of the possible systemic and skin associations with this condition to guide the appropriate treatment, treatment and referral.


To get rid of this condition permanently, the most important aspect is to be 100% sure that you are treating the root cause, which is usually iron anemia.


Do not bite your nails

Medically, the bite of a nail is known as onicofagia, and approximately 20 to 30% of the general population participates in the chronic bite of a nail. Interestingly, many people are not even aware of the fact that they are biting their nails. However, if you bite your nails, infections can grow under the nail bed. In addition, it can permanently damage your gums, nails and teeth.

Avoid chemical products

Avoid contact with various chemicals present in soaps and powdered detergents using gloves before handling them.

Eat iron-rich foodsfood with iron

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common type of anemia and occurs when the human body does not have enough of this essential mineral. In the USA UU. Approximately 20% of black and Mexican American women and about 10% of non-Hispanic white women have ADI.

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Without enough iron, the human body can not produce enough hemoglobin, a substance in red blood Cells that allow them to transport oxygen. Signs and symptoms of ADI include: pale skin, weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, cold hands and feet, dizziness, headache, brittle nails, or swollen tongue.

Dietary iron comes in two forms: iron not heme and iron heme. Heme iron comes mainly from meat and iron does not come from plants. The rate of absorption of non-heme iron is 2 to 20 percent, while that of iron heme is 7 to 35 percent.

The human body is considerably better at moderating the absorption of non-heme iron. Heme iron can prevent the body's attempts to control the absorption of iron. Since the body does not have a method to remove excess iron from the body, this gives the iron no significant advantage over heme iron.

Tips to avoid iron anemia

Eat foods rich in vitamin C

According to the American Dietetic Association, vitamin C and other organic acids in vegetables, legumes and fruits increase the rate of absorption of non-heme iron.

Avoid caffeine

Never mix iron-rich foods with drinks, as – coffee, sodas, energy drinks or tea that are known to stop the absorption of iron. For example, a 2000 study conducted at Unilever Research Vlaardingen, The Netherlands, established that the consumption of beverages containing caffeine one hour before a meal is fine, but not an hour later.


Although eggs contain this essential mineral, they also contain phosvitin, a type of phosphoprotein that can block iron absorption by up to 28%.

Dairy products

High calcium sources, such as dairy products, can also block iron absorption.

Vegetarian food High in iron

Dark green leafy vegetables: kale, spinach, beet greens, broccoli, lettuce, chard and dandelion leaves. Nuts – apricots, plums and raisins. Seeds and nuts – peanuts, chia seeds and sesame seeds. Legumes – soybeans, red beans, chickpeas, lentils, beans, beans. Cereals: oats, oat bran, brown rice and wheat. Vegetables: potatoes, lemon grass, parsley, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, sweet potatoes, peppers, radishes and carrots.


Coiloniquia (Spoon nails) – Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Source:

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