Varicose veins are large, raised, swollen blood vessels that twist and turn. They usually develop in the legs and can be seen through the skin.
Spider veins are smaller, red, purple, and blue vessels that are also twisted and turning. Spider veins are easily visible through the skin as well. They are most often seen on the legs, chest, or face.
An unbalanced diet that leads to an extreme lack of nutrients in the body (severe malnutrition)
One possible theory for the appearance of Muehrcke's lines is that these diseases lead to swelling in the nail bed. The swelling puts pressure on the blood vessels that run underneath the nail, causing color changes.
The lines have also been seen in older people receiving chemotherapy who have normal albumin levels. However, Muehrcke's lines most often occur in those with too little albumin.
Treatment of Muehrcke's Lines
If your albumin level is too low, you may be given albumin through a vein (by IV, or intravenously).
The lines tend to go away when your albumin level returns to normal, or near normal. However, a normal range may vary, depending on the lab that tested your blood. Always talk to your doctor about your test results.
Other treatment depends on the disease or disorder that caused the fingernail changes.