Fingernails can be really annoying to take care of - you have to cut them regularly, file them and clean them, but in return, they can tell you if you might be suffering from a serious medical condition.
If you look at your nails and see small holes in them or dents in them or really any kind of depressions, you have pitted nails, something that the Mayo Clinic says is a "fingernail problem not to ignore." The condition is frequently caused by autoimmune disorders like psoriasis, inflammatory arthritis and connective tissue disorders.
To spot the symptom, you'll want to look closely at all of your nails because, as one doctor explained on CreakyJoints.org, "Both fingernails and toenails can be affected, and it can affect one nail or all 20 nails." You should also be mindful of other issues with your nails, like if they have changed color to white, yellow or brown, if they crumble, if they separate from the nail bed, if there is blood underneath them, or if they seem deformed.
So why do pitted nails mean a possible autoimmune disorder? Well the problem originates at the nail matrix, which is where your nails grow from, at the base of the nail. The disorder causes inflammation there, which in turn affects how your nails look.
If you have pitted nails, and especially if you have any other symptom, you should head to your doctor for a blood test to find out what's causing the problem. You may also need a skin biopsy to fully diagnose the issue. Be sure to list off any other symptoms you are experiencing to your medical professional, particularly if they include things like hair loss, skin changes or joint pain, which are all associated with autoimmune conditions. Also, if you notice pitting occurred and then stopped, that doesn't mean you shouldn't see a doctor as some autoimmune conditions are intermittent, starting and stopping, but just because the pitting has temporarily stopped, that doesn't mean the disorder has gone away.