Examining the Fingernails When Evaluating Presenting Symptoms in Elderly Patients

Mark E. Williams, MD


November 23, 2009

In This Article


The following are examples of patients in whom examining the fingernails may help identify their conditions.

Slide 1. 78-year-old with multiple conditions.
Slide 2. 84-year-old man with a painful ankle.
Slide 3. 68-year-old man with esophageal cancer.
Slide 4. 62-year-old woman with dermatomyositis.


The author would like to thank the University of Virginia GME Office for funding support; Jim Thomas, MD, of www.Dermnet.com for permission to use images from their extensive dermatologic atlas; and the internal medicine residents at the University of Virginia for pre-testing and their helpful feedback.