What Causes Ridges In Your Fingernails?

Ridges in fingernails are common and they can affect anyone. There is more than a possible reason that causes ridges in your fingernails. Our fingernails can develop vertical ridges or horizontal ridges. Vertical ridges are more likely to appear as we age. And these ridges are usually normal.

What causes ridges in fingernails is health problems or accidents. Nails can tell a lot about our health. Deep horizontal ridges start to appear if you have a health problem like diabetes.

Vitamin or mineral deficiencies can cause ridges in your fingernails. So you should see a doctor if notice changes in your nail.

Types Of Fingernail Ridges

Vertical Ridges

Vertical ridges, also known as longitudinal ridges, affect about 20% of adults. These ridges run from the tip of the fingernail to the bottom. Vertical ridges start to develop among adults as a sign of aging.

Usually, vertical ridges appear due to the lack of moisture. They also form if you don’t provide your body with the proper nutrients it needs. Your nails may tend to break and split easily. They may also become thinner or thicker.

Some health conditions can cause some changes in your nails. Anemia could cause vertical ridges to appear in your fingernails. And it could cause texture or color changes in the nails.

Stress, trachyonychia, or peripheral vascular disease can also cause longitudinal ridges in your fingernails. Your nails may also become brittle and dry as a symptom of these health problems.

So you should consult a doctor if you experience pain or notice changes in your nails.

Horizontal Ridges

Horizontal ridges are also known as Beau’s lines. These lines run all over your fingernails horizontally. Beau’s lines are usually an indication of a serious health problem. The lines are also deep. And your nails usually stop growing until you treat the health problem.

Health conditions are like:

Chemotherapy can also cause horizontal ridges to appear in your fingernails. So you should see a doctor who can help you treat the problem.

Causes

Man holding a cup of coffee with his hands

People who suffer from eczema or psoriasis experience some changes in their fingernails. They may experience discoloration in their nails. They are also more prone to develop ridges in their nails.

Having digestive problems can affect your overall health. Digestive problems make your body doesn’t get the most of the nutrients you eat. And this can cause ridges to form in your nails.

Some digestive disorders that could cause the problem are like:

You should give your body its needs of nutrients and treat any digestive problems so your body can produce new cells, skin, and nails.

What also causes ridges in your fingernails is accidents. If something heavy drops on or hit your fingernail, this could make some changes in the nail.

So this injury can cause bruises underneath your fingernail. It can also form brown or red spots underneath your nail. It usually takes a few days until the nail heals and grow back again.

But If changes start to appear in your nails without injury, this could be a sign of a health problem. Discoloration and ridges in fingernails could be a sign of melanoma or endocarditis.

How To Treat Ridges In Fingernails

Ridges In Fingernails Types, Causes & How To Treat Them

If you notice some changes in your fingernails along with some other symptoms, you should consult a doctor.

Dropping something on your nail or other nail injuries heal usually by itself. But if the injury crushed your nail or caused bleeding under the nail, you should see a doctor immediately.

Also, your fingernail should be examined if the injury ripped your nail from the nail bed or caused a cut through the nail.

Your doctor will ask you some questions about the symptoms you have. The doctor is going also to examine your fingernails.

Moreover, the doctor may take blood and urine samples if he thinks these ridges are a sign of a serious health problem.

Once the doctor knows what causes ridges in your fingernails, he will be able to treat the problem.

If you have vitamin or mineral deficiencies, the doctor will ask you to eat more healthy food. He may also prescribe some supplements to improve your health.

If diabetes is causing Beau’s lines, you can reduce these lines by controlling your blood sugar levels.

Also, if eczema is causing Beau’s lines, the dermatologist can reduce eczema symptoms. He/she can prescribe topical creams or ointments that can help reduce these ridges.

Prevention

Woman applies moisturizer to her hand

Here are some tips that can help reduce these ridges:

  • Eating healthy food can help improve your health and reduce fingernail ridges. Drink enough water daily can help keep your body hydrated. Also, you should eat more food that rich in vitamins and minerals to strengthen your nails.
  • Moisturize your nails every day with hand cream as this helps hydrate and protect them.
  • Nail buffers can help smooth ridges. But be extra gentle to your nails to avoid nail splitting or breakage. This is not going to treat the health problem but it will make your nails look softer. Find them on Amazon.
  • Biting your nails causes nail irregularities and extensive damage to the nail. So avoid doing it.
  • Wear gloves before washing the dishes to protect your nails. Also, wash your hands with moisturizing hand soap like Puracy Natural Gel Hand Wash. Moreover, don’t overwash your hands as this strips the skin of its natural oils that keep it healthy.
  • Use nail hardener to prevent nail breakage. Nail hardener can also strengthen your nails and keep them moisturized. Buy it on Amazon.
  • Acrylic and gel nails are not good for your nails as they cause damage to them. Use typical nail polish instead but don’t overdo it.
  • Also, nail polish remover dehydrates your nails. And it causes brittleness and ridges. So if your nails become dry or break easily, you should take a break from manicuring for a few weeks. This helps your nails to become strong again. Also, use non-acetone nail polish remover to keep your nails healthy.
  • Use ridge filler after applying nail polish to make your nails look smoother. Ridge filler helps hide these annoying ridges. Find it on Amazon.