TikTok video trends over unverified nail condition linked to Covid recovery

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A trending video by Dr Karan Raj on TikTok has racked up million of views over a bizarre medical claim. The doctor says that scientists have reported that it’s commonly found among people recovering from covid.

He backs his claim with a picture of someone’s fingernails which has a white line running horizontally across the width of the nail with a prominent ridge, but also adds that the nail condition can also be caused by a variety of factors and is not an accurate test to tell if you’ve had coronavirus, therefore advising viewers to take an antibody test.

According to him, “If you have something like this on your nails, it could be a sign you’ve had Covid. The lines might stay for several weeks/months after infection but will then disappear as the nail grows.”

“Scientists have noted that when patients recover from Covid, they are left with a clear or white horizontal line that leaves a prominent ridge on the nails.

“It’s known as Beau’s lines and it happens where there is a temporary interruption in nail growth when the body has an infection “It’s actually pretty harmless and can be caused by any illness or trauma to the body, not just Covid.

“Although we’re seeing it in more Covid patients, it’s not diagnostic of Covid and the best way to know if you’ve had Covid is an antibody test.”

Writing on related nail conditions and Pale Horizontal Bands (Muehrcke’s Lines) Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD  writes:

If your nails are crossed with one or more pale or white bands from side to side, you may have Muehrcke’s lines. Muehrcke’s lines are usually absent on thumbnails. They arise out of a lack of albumin in your blood (hypoalbuminemia). Albumin makes up most of the protein in your blood, and its absence may spell serious health consequences. People with these lines may suffer from liver cirrhosis, a kidney disorder called nephrotic syndrome, chemotherapy side effects, or malnutrition, among other causes. Be sure to get a diagnosis from your doctor if you see these bands.

Although the video is trending with more than 1.6 million views and over 1,800 comments, many said they thought the lines were caused by an iron or zinc deficiency. There has not been any confirmation by the WHO or the CDC over the nail condition.

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