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What Causes Ridges In Nails

Symptom: Series Of Horizontal Depressions On The Thumb

Do You Have Vertical Ridges On Your Nails? (Cause)

Thats a classic sign of a habit tic deformity, where people chronically rub or pick the cuticle of the thumb with their index finger as the nail is being formed. It creates a washboard-like series of horizontal depressions on the thumb nail.

A lot of people do it when they dont know theyre doing it, Rich said. We see it a lot.

Course of action: People can fix the issue if they simply stop manipulating their thumb cuticles, Rich noted.

Symptom: Brown Vertical Stripe On The Nail

This may be a sign of melanoma. While you may think the deadliest type of skin cancer always shows up as a mole or dark spot, it can actually start in the nail.

Only about 1 percent of all melanomas in Caucasians occur in the nail, but if youre African-American, 20 percent of melanomas start there, Rich said.

In more advanced cases, it can spread on to the cuticle area or the skin around the nail. Thats an ominous sign its means its growing and spreading, she noted.

Hormones and certain medications can also make pigmented bands in the nails, but be especially watchful for nail cancer symptoms, such as a brown or dark stripe that goes from the cuticle out to the free edge of the nail, especially one thats getting wider.

If you have brown fingernails and the discoloration is round, as opposed to linear, it could be another condition. For example, brown spots on nails, especially if theyre pitted, could be a sign of nail psoriasis.

Course of action: Get any brown pigmentation on your nail checked out by a dermatologist.

What If I Have Horizontal Ridges In Both The Fingernails And The Toenails

  • If you have horizontal ridges in both the fingernails and the toenails, this may symbolize metabolic disease.
  • If you have a systemic disease like thyroid problems, diabetes, pneumonia, or recent flu or illness, this may explain the problem.
  • If you have heart issues, kidney issues, or lung issues, this could also explain deep horizontal ridges and deep dense in the toenails.
  • A good way to think about it is that the toenail problem does not indicate the disease, but that the disease can cause a slow down in your health, which can then cause a dent.
  • It is tough to correlate a dent in the toenail to a specific disease, but rather the dent in your toenail should be correlated to a slow down in your overall metabolism for a short period of time.
  • In our experience, this is still most likely due to trauma.

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Nail Ridges: What Causes Them And How To Get Rid Of Them

During 2020, I, like many others who were stuck inside, tried to learn how to DIY everything. Cutting my own hair, at-home waxingyou name it, I DIYd it. And while I was in the middle of my 50th at-home mani of the year, I noticed all theselittle nail ridges going down my nails like 3D lines. I brushed it off and continued painting, but my mind starting doing what it always does: overthinking and turning a small observation into the absolute worst-case scenario .

So I, wet nails and all, began panic-searching the internet for answers. But when the search results ran the gamut from no big deal to really big deal, I decided it was time to take my questions from Dr. Google to board-certified dermatologist Lucy Chen, MD, of Riverchase Dermatology . If you, too, have ever stressed over your fingernail ridges, keep reading to find out when and if you should actually be concerned.

Skin Dryness And Body Dehydration

Vertical Ridges On Nails

Dry skin and body dehydration can result to ridges in fingernails. Insufficient moisture is caused by dry weather conditions due to hot temperature. The effect of dry weather conditions makes cuticle on the nail to dry and crack or split resulting in the formation of fold like ridges on fingernails.

White and yellow lines in the fingernails can be caused by inadequate moisture on the nails cuticle. People living in the arid and semiarid area are more susceptible to the development of ridges on fingernails.

Body dehydration can also result to dry skin and splitting of nail cuticle that can lead to white spots and ridges on fingernails. Taking a lot of fluids during hot and dry weather conditions can help to keep your fingernails safe. Alternatively, you can apply moisturizers and body creams to your fingernails to protect the cuticle from becoming dry.

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Treatment For Ridges In Fingernails

As fingernail ridges are generally symbols of other health conditions treatment is aimed at curing the underlying condition. For instance, if the condition is due to diabetes treatment focuses on controlling diabetes, and if the condition is due to some skin problem the treatment procedure aims at treating the same.

Your Fingernails And Your Health

Made from keratin, the same protein found in our skin and hair, fingernails may develop ridges that can point to a wide range of medical concerns. Fingernail ridges are thin, raised, unpigmented lines on the nail. They can be horizontal or vertical. Additionally, they can show up on the raised parts of the nail.

If youre experiencing new fingernail ridges along with other concerning symptoms, you may want to see a trusted doctor to have your condition evaluated.

Peoples bodies change as a result of the aging process, and fingernails are no exception. While slight vertical ridges are rarely cause for concern, there are cases when ridges can indicate an underlying health condition or issue.

For example, individuals experiencing fingernail ridges may be suffering from vitamin deficiencies or thyroid issues. In rare cases, ridges can be a symptom of more serious conditions like diabetes or syphilis. Staying abreast of the condition of your nails is the best way to ensure that you notice any changes early.

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Symptom: Infected Inflamed Skin Around The Nail

This is known as paronychia and can be caused by pushing back the cuticle.

Cuticles are really important and probably shouldnt be pushed back, Rich noted. They seal the skin to the nail and keep stuff out.

The cuticle prevents bacteria, fungus, yeast and mold from getting underneath your nail and causing an infection.

Course of action: Soak your nail in hot water two or three times a day to help reduce the swelling and pain, experts note. Your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics or other medicine.

To prevent an infection, dont use any sharp implements to cut or push back your cuticles, and dont allow your manicurist to cut them, Rich advised. The best way to manage cuticles is to gently rub a towel over your nails after a shower when your skin is soft to get rid of the dead skin on the surface of the nail, she noted.

Nail discoloration or thickening can signal systemic health problems. Check with your doctor if you spot any changes.


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Moisturize Your Nails Regularly

What causes painful horizontal ridges on nails with discomfort? – Dr. Urmila Nischal

Keeping your nails hydrated with a hand cream or oil can minimize the appearance of ridging and protect the keratin of the nail, says Donna Hart, MD, board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Texas. Use a moisturizer than contains ceramides or alpha hydroxy acids, which trap in moisture and nourish your nails, such as Aquaphor Healing Skin Ointment.

If your nails are also on the brittle side, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends moisturizing your skin and nails thoroughly before bed and wearing light cotton gloves to help your nails absorb the moisturizer while you snooze.

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Use Ridge Filling Polish

Many nail-care companies make special polishes specifically for hiding ridges. These “ridge fillers” look like regular polishes and function much like base coats. The difference is that they settle into and fill in the ridges to help make your nails look smooth and even. Shainhouse notes that using ridge fillers followed by nail polish can help smooth out the look of the nail.

However, the effectiveness of these ridge fillers depends on the product and its ingredients. Many contain formaldehyde or formalin, says Stern. “These ingredients are very damaging to the nail,” she adds. While formaldehyde will initially harden the nail, over time, the nail becomes paradoxically brittle and is at risk for lifting or separating off the nail bed . Formaldehyde can also cause severe allergic reactions at the surrounding nail foldsthe skin becomes extremely irritated, swollen, and painful. There is also significant concern that these ingredients are carcinogenic.

We recommend this nail-ridge filler because it’s void of all the harsh ingredients Stern warns against.

If you prefer to get manicures at a salon, ask your manicurist to incorporate a ridge filler into your service. Some salons include them as a matter of course.

Vertical Lines On Fingernails And Adrenal Fatigue

The various health issues mentioned so far are all indicative of one underlying health issue: adrenal fatigue. In some cases, they contribute towards this health issue, and in many instances, they are a symptom. But whether a cause or a symptom, these health issues result from some form of stress on your body and your bodys response to the stress. As mentioned, many different health issues show horizontal lines on fingernails as one of their symptoms.

Adrenal fatigue usually results from prolonged stress that sees your bodys NeuroEndoMetabolic stress response continuously function. This sees a constant demand for higher cortisol production accompanied by the persistent change or reduction in certain body functions. In the long term, the change or reduction in certain body functions together with the high cortisol supply sees not only your adrenal glands put under greater stress that may result in adrenal fatigue but other body systems and their functions compromised. This results in various possible health issues that are symptoms of compromised adrenal function. You may end up with some of the health conditions mentioned, as well as vertical lines on fingernails that are symptomatic of different specific health issues.

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Vertical Lines & Horizontal Lines On Your Lines: What Do They Mean

Horizontal lines, from side to side, can appear due to nail trauma .

They can also appear after serious stresses affect the body and the nail stops growing for a short time. That pause in growth causes a horizontal line.

Vertical lines run from your cuticle to the tip of the nail. Their causes vary from aging to dehydration of the nail plate, from excessive water exposure to skin conditions or a lack in your nutrition.

Home Remedies For Ridges In Fingernail

What do horizontal ridges on fingernails mean

Do you have fingernail problems? Try the following home remedies to get rid of ridges on fingernails:

  • Moisturizing
  • Moisturizing your skin and nail cuticle is the best home remedy to remove vertical or horizontal ridges on fingernails. Keep your skin and nail cuticle moisturized by using nail moisturizers oils and creams.

    Wear hand gloves after the application of moisturizing cream on your nails. Take a lot of fluids and clean water to prevent dehydration of the body that can cause ridges on fingers.

  • Balanced diet
  • Proper nutrition can help to remove both vertical and horizontal ridges on your fingernails. Take a balanced diet that has protein, vitamin and mineral salts. Eat meat that has protein for the formation of keratin in the nail cuticle.

    You can take plenty of fruits and vegetable to provide vitamin and mineral salts. Iron and zinc are important to keep your nails smooth. Sometimes you can take a mineral supplement to keep your body healthy and remove ridges in fingernails.

  • Lemon juice

  • You can use lemon juice to remove ridges on fingernails. Lemon juice has citric acid that can help to remove deep grooves on the nail plate.

    • Get lemon juice and mix with small amount of iodine solution.
    • Apply the mixture on the affected nails with lines and dents.
    • Repeat the treatment three times per day until your nails get
  • Tea tree oil

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    They Don’t Make For The Prettiest Of Manicures But Are They Something More Than A Cosmetic Problem Here’s What A Dermatologist And Research Have To Say

    Fingernails seem like a pretty uneventful body part. They grow. You cut them. Maybe paint them. And thats about it. But in reality, your nails can give you a glimpse into your overall health. If something is going on in your body, your nails could start to change, sometimes developing ridges. Depending on what the ridges in fingernails look like, you might want to schedule a visit to the doctor.

    What Causes Vertical Lines On Nails

    Vertical nail ridges are most common in older people, as the production of new cells slows down.

    Our nails grow as living cells group together and multiply beneath the skin, pushing the older cells out into the thing we recognise as our nail. This renewal process reduces as we get older, causing the nails to grow unevenly.

    Whilst getting older is a good excuse for most things, it is not the only reason for ridges forming in your nails.

    This can also be an indication that your body is lacking something important such as iron, protein, calcium, zinc or even vitamin A.

    You can also create ridges in your nails through a trauma or injury. This can include hitting the nail, potentially causing a bruise to form underneath the nail, leading to swelling and a change of shape to the nail.

    This might mean that you also notice brown spots forming, which will gradually heal. If this is the case, you should allow any injuries to heal and see if the ridge grows out.

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    Wear Gloves When Doing Housework

    This might not be something you’d think about on a daily basis, but excessive exposure to water and harsh chemicals might wreak havoc on your nails and worsen already-ridged nails. Plus, think about how often you wash your hands.

    “Wearing gloves with housework or any wet work will prevent excessive influx and effluent of water into the nail,” Stern notes. “Water absorption can weaken the bonds between nail cells, causing peeling, ridging, and breakage.”

    Take care of your nails and the environment with these reusable and biodegradable household gloves.

    Be judicious with gel and powder dip nail trends. Sure, the polish lasts for weeks, and it seems to make nails harder and less prone to breakage while you are wearing it, Shainhouse allows. But these kinds of polish trends might ultimately damage your nail plate.

    It’s not that gel necessarily makes ridges worse it’s really the damage nails undergo during the removal process that strips nails of oils and keratin. “Usually, a long soak in acetone is required for a soak-off gel to be removed, and that amount of acetone exposure will exacerbate brittle nails,” Stern says. “Other methods of removal, such as aggressive scraping or filing, can also damage the nail but in other ways.”

    Check ingredients: If the product requires removal, it is by definition a polish and not a treatment, and therefore it might exacerbate the issue.

    What Do Ridges In Fingernail Mean

    Do You Have Vertical Ridges On Your Nails Cause

    Ridges in the fingernails are most often normal symptoms of aging. Slight vertical ridges on fingernails are common in aged adults. However, in rare instances, they could be a symptom of health ailments such as diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. Deep horizontal ridges on fingernails known as Beaus lines could signal a serious health condition.

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    Hydrate Your Nailsjust As You Would Your Skin

    Just like your skin can become cracked and rough to the touch, the ridges in your nails can experience some dryness. The good news is, you can help them in similar ways: Apply moisturizer to your fingernails just as you do to your hands, Zeichner notes. That said, oils are your friends: Try massaging some jojoba oil, coconut oil, or argan oil onto your nails to moisturize and soften the surface. But you dont have to shell out extra cash for nail-specific products . Rather, you can use the same types of oils that you apply to hydrate your face, Zeichner adds. Allow us to reemphasize: Nail care and skin care are two sides of the same coin.

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    What To Do If You Are Concerned About Fingernail Ridges

    It is important to remember that in most cases, ridges in the nails are harmless and nothing to worry about.

    However, you should keep a close eye on them, particularly if they appear suddenly or with other symptoms, and look at the possible causes to make sure there is nothing else at play.

    If you are in any doubt at all, please make sure you speak to your doctor.

    4 December 2020

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    How Do I Get Rid Of Ridges On My Fingernails

    If youre experiencing vertical nail ridges and would rather not, follow Dr. Chens tips for smoothing out those lines:

  • Take a multivitamin. If your nail ridges are due to vitamin deficiency, Dr. Chen says a multivitamin may be beneficial, but always consult your doctor before making any changes to your regimen.
  • Drink water. Water is baaasically the answer to 99 percent of beauty questions, and this is no different. Dr. Chen explains that drinking lots of waterand staying hydrated could actually prevent nail ridges from forming as a result of dehydration. Its that simple, people.
  • Moisturize. Another way to keep your nails healthy and hydrated or help them out when theyre feeling particularly parched is with a little moisturizing. Dr. Chen recommends using nail and cuticle oils to help replenish your bodys natural oils and aid in the growing out process.
  • See a doctor. If youve tried all of the above and still arent seeing any kind of improvement or more nail ridges are forming , make an appointment witha dermatologist for diagnosis and a custom treatment plan.

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