Spoon Nails

Spoon shaped nails are very common. Nail technicians can not usually recognize one when they see one. When it can be seen, it may mean that there may be a serious underlying disease. If it's only an aesthetic deformity a simple overlay can solve the problem.
Spoon nails are caused by a trauma to the nail matrix. This results in a deformity of the nail. The edges of the plate curl up which then is called the "spoon nail" deformity.

What Is this?

Spoon nails are a deformity of the nail. Usually it will grow out in a few months, but if it does not, it could be a sign of a more serious problem. Clients who have spoon nails should seek medical attention before seeing a nail technician. If a technician knows the client, she can easily determine how to proceed with her nails. For example the nail technician knows that it is a hereditary condition. If it is new client for the nail technician and the nail looks unhealthy, it can indicate a fungus infection or even a more serious problem.

How does it look like?

The nail looks exactly like a spoon. In minor cases, the nail only has a little wave in it. In more severe cases, the nail becomes brittle and usually cracks inside the wave. It may even crack to the very end of the nail plate. The skin around the damaged nail is usually dry. Fungus infections can develop within these splits and may discolor the nail to a green or yellowish color.


The deformity can be hereditary, and in this case the nail lookss completely healthy. Biting and an unhealthy diet (the lack of iron and nutrition) can also cause this kind of deformity.
Different forms of trauma to the nail plate can also be the reason of spoon nails, but in this case the shape will sooner or later grow out, and can be filed off. If the nail technician recognizes some kind of change on the clients' nails they should suggest the client to seek medical advice.


In milder cases the problem can be solved by just letting the nail grow out. In other causes such as a iron deficiency or improper diet, taking some form iron supplementation or changing the diet may help. During the treatment the skin around the nail should also be looked after.
for Nail Techs

If you think your client has spoon nails ask him or her and find out how long your client has this condition. If you do not know the client and see that the nails are unhealthy or discolored send her to a doctor before doing the clients' nails. However if the nail looks clean you can safely put an overlay on it. Extra precaution should be taken to make sure that nail and edges are carefully cleaned. Apply the overlay just the same. Try not to miss any part of the nail. Make sure you properly fill in the wave (the overlay will be a bit thicker there)!

Remember that if a client appears with this condition, it is better to first refer them for medical advice than to be sorry later.