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Why Are My Nails Ridged

Symptom: Infected Inflamed Skin Around The Nail

Do You Have These Vertical Ridges On Your Nails?-Palmistry

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.


Take A Break From Polish Altogether

Going without nail polish keeps drying chemicals off your nails and prevents the staining that some polishes cause. Plus, you won’t need to use acetone-based nail-polish removers, the moisture-sapping enemy of already-parched nails.

“Go natural and healthy with our self-care routines, and take a break from the salon, chemicals, and all of that time and expense,” Stern says.

Vertical Ridges On The Fingernails: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Having vertical ridges on the fingernails refers to the presence of tiny raised lines or ridges that run up and down the length of the nail. Ridges are among the different kinds of nail abnormalities that can develop due to aging, nail injury, or trauma, or underlying medical conditions. Many people notice an increase in vertical ridges of the fingernails as they age, and this can be a normal development. Aging has been described as the predominant cause of vertical ridges on the fingernails. Onychorrhexis is the medical term used to describe longitudinal ridges on the nails that often accompany brittle nails.

In contrast to longitudinal ridges, Beau’s lines are horizontal or transverse depressions in the nail that may be confused with nail ridging. These are caused by diseases that affect the entire body, including malnutrition, heart attack , severe infections, and metabolic disturbances, including poorly controlled diabetes.

Related Symptoms & Signs

Other causes of vertical ridges on the fingernails

  • Aging

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Tips To Get Rid Of Ridges In Fingernails

  • Moisture nails often
  • Dont bite or pick at nails
  • Dont irritate cuticle
  • Dont expose them to much water
  • Eat healthily
  • Use cosmetics that arent hard
  • Use nail strengtheners

Ridges and bumps in fingernails are common and they are nothing to worry about however, remember that this condition is trying to tell you something about your inner health. While a lack of proper care and a healthy diet can lead to this at times serious underlying conditions may also be responsible for the situation.

So, now you are aware of what vitamin deficiency causes ridges in fingernails in case you find them first try to focus on healthy eating, and even after this if they dont go away consult your doctor.

Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.

What To Do If You Are Concerned About Fingernail Ridges

Ridges in Fingernails: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

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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White Lines Running Across Nails

White spots or streaks are normal and nothing to worry about. Parallel white lines that extend all the way across the nails, known as Muehrcke’s lines, are a sign of low levels of protein in the blood.

In contrast to Beau’s lines, they’re not grooved. They can occur as a result of liver disease or malnutrition.

What Do Vertical Ridges On Fingernails Mean

Lets talk about nail health specifically, vertical lines or ridges that run across the entirety of your fingernails. So many people have these ridges, yet theres no one explanation that experts can agree on other than the fact that they occur with aging. So what do they really mean?If you havent read the introduction post of this series that explains how our nails reflect the state of our health, start here. Within that post, I talk about how our tongue, eyes, skin, nails, and so much more speak to us by displaying gradual physical changes. For example, both the eyes and nails represent the liver according to Traditional Chinese Medicine . Western Medicine acknowledges that certain eye changes are a sign of liver trouble , but fail to examine slower, more subtle nail changes through the same lens. This is where my love for ancient wisdom comes in! When youre aware of the signs your body is sending , you can catch these changes early on and implement simple nutritional/lifestyle strategies to get your body back into balance.With that being said, I want to start with the same disclaimer I provide on my tongue posts: this does not mean anything is wrong with you and is not meant to diagnose or treat disease. My goal is to give you a picture of where you may be prone to imbalance, which allows you to make tailored changes to your daily health regimen .

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What Are Nail Ridges

Nail ridges are lines that can run either vertically or horizontally on your nails. You can see and feel these ridges. Usually, these ridges are elevated, but sometimes they can also leave indentations.

Nails are made of keratin, a protein in the hair and the skin’s epidermis . Just like your hair can become brittle and your skin can dry out, your nails can also change depending on your age and health status.

Grooves Across The Fingernails

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

Deep lines or grooves that go from left to right across the nail are known as Beau’s lines. They may occur as a result of:

  • a previous illness the line forms at the time of the illness
  • a previous injury
  • previous exposure to very cold temperatures, if you have Raynaud’s phenomenon

Illness, injury or cold temperatures can interrupt nail growth and cause nail grooves to form at the base of the nails.

The grooves tend to only be noticed a few months later. This is when the nails have grown and the grooves have moved up the nails to become visible.

It takes about four to six months for a fingernail to fully grow out. Six to 12 months for a toenail to fully grow out.

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Dont Pick At Or Bite Your Nails

The skin, including nails, responds to outside stimuli by thickening. By not picking at your nails or the skin around them, youre decreasing the chances of causing nail irregularities, says Noelani González, MD, board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai West in New York. Identifying the triggers that cause you to pick at or bite your nails and learning how to manage them can help you hit the brakes on future nail damage.

How Do You Prevent And Treat Nail Ridges

Its not always possible to prevent nail ridges, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try: Everyday environmental factors like hand washing or sanitizing, as well as using pure acetone nail polish remover can exacerbate the ridges and make them more pronounced.

Acrylic, gel, or dip manicures won’t necessarily cause them, but they can worsen the issue if the nail is over-buffed during removal, Stern adds. “This process can sometimes result in thinning the nail plate which can make ridging worse and will likely cause the nail to break more easily,” she says. “The other risk with acrylics is how they are removed. If an electric file or aggressive scraping is , the nail matrix can be damaged and the nail plate can develop surface irregularities or also become too thin.” This can eventually cause ridging.

Stern recommends keeping nails short, using a glass nail file we like OPI’s Crystal Nail File instead of an emery board , and keeping your circulation up with regular exercise or hand massages. Wearing gloves for housekeeping or gardening can help too.

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Choose Polish That Is Easier On Your Nails

Go with typical nail polish for your manicures, which is less damaging to your nails than acrylic or gel. The procedure of applying the acrylic and gel nails involves physical abrasion of the surface of the nail to enhance adhesion of these cosmetics, which damages the nail, says Dr. Zubek. Besides being a major trigger of horizontal nail ridges, these types of manicures can also change the pH of the nail, affecting its strength.

Meanwhile, acetone nail polish remover is excellent at removing nail polish and acrylic or gel nails, but it causes damage to the nail and surrounding skin, says Dr. Zubek. Non-acetone nail polish removers, such as Ella+Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover and Karma Nail Polish Remover Wipes, may not be as hardcore at dissolving polish, but they do the job and are gentler on the nail.

Things To Know About Dents And Ridges In Fingernails

Ridges in fingernails: Types, causes, and treatment

Do you have dents and ridges in your fingernails? Most of us dont give a lot of thought to our fingernails beyond how often to clip them or which color to paint them. But besides protecting our fingertips or making a beauty statement, your nails say a lot more about your body than you think.Small depressions , often referred to as nail pits, can sometimes occur without any cause. This means it can happen regardless of a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Horizontal ridges run from side to side on your nails and are often referred to as Beaus lines. Horizontal ridges can be caused by trauma to the nail and may be deep or discolored. The can also indicate malnutrition, psoriasis or a thyroid problem. Now keep in mind, nail ridges dont always signal a larger problem, though. If the ridges are vertical, its important to know vertical ridges are like gray hair. You can expect to see more of them as you grow older.

The nails are made up of several parts, including the nail beds, folds, cuticles and lunula. The nails can indicate a possible deficiency in the body or other condition. Yellow and discolored nails can represent a respiratory condition such as chronic bronchitis. In addition, many defects on the nails can appear like vertical ridges, but may actually be spots, streaks or cracks.

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Your Nails And Your Health

Those lines and discolorations on your fingers and toes may be warning flags that you have an underlying medical condition or simply a problem with the nails themselves. Take a closer look at your nails and watch out for the following symptoms.

Toenail and fingernail disorders may signal problems that reach far beyond your fingers and toes. Nail abnormalities often indicate an underlying medical condition or a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. Warning signs to look out for include yellow nail discoloration, nail splitting, nail cracking, black fingernails, ridges on nails, and white spots on fingernails. So even if you skip regular manicures and pedicures, pay close attention to your nails and discuss any toenail or fingernail changes or disorders with your doctor.

Moisturize Your Nails Regularly

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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What Causes Vertical Ridges In Fingernails

Got ridges in your fingernails? Pay attention to the direction theyre running.

Vertical ridges, which extend from your cuticle to the tip of your nail, are usually a normal part of the aging process, says board-certified dermatologist Ranella Hirsch. On occasion, they can be the result of medical conditions like diabetes or vitamin deficiency, she explains. Anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, and peripheral vascular disease may also increase your risk for fingernail ridges.

Nail trauma or a growth or tumor growing under the nail cause vertical ridges, too, Rodney adds.

Horizontal ridges, extending side to side across your nails, are a different story. When this occurs on a single nail, it could be due to trauma to that individual nail, Rodney explains. On the other hand, if multiple or all nails are involved, it could be the result of something more concerning, like an infection or serious illness.

Multiple horizontal ridges are known as Beaus lines and less common than vertical ridges. Hirsch says theyre sometimes associated with significant medical issues, like kidney disease, diabetes, psoriasis or thyroid diseaseand, they sometimes appear in patients going through chemotherapy.

Nail growth slows or stops during the illness, and then resumes after recovery, Rodney adds. The Beaus lines mark the time when the illness occurred, and the lines grow out with the nails over time.

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Horizontal Ridges Are Different Often They Mean There’s A Problem


Beau’s lines are deep indentations across the nail bed. They are a sign that something temporarily injured the nail matrix, causing the nail to stop growing.

The most common cause of Beau’s Lines is an injury to the nail from something like slamming your finger in a door OR exposure to severe cold in someone with Raynaud’s Disease, which decreases blood flow to the nail matrix.

When Beau’s Lines are not caused by a systemic illness or congenital disease, they start at the moon /lunula then move as your nail grows. Eventually they disappear.

A new fingernail takes 3 – 6 months to grow, and a toenail takes 1 – 1 1/2 years. Doctors can estimate the time of the illness / injury that caused the lines based on their location in your nail. So if you have a Beau’s line about halfway up a toenail, the injury probably occurred 6 – 9 months ago.

What causes Beau’s Lines?

Injuries to the nail & nail bed cause Beau’s Lines:

  • Any injury to your nail matrix will slow cell division in the nail matrix. Long distance runners often get Beau’s lines on their toenails from their toes repeatedly hitting the front of their shoe.
  • 2. Trauma to the nail bed can cause bleeding beneath the nail plate leading to a subungual hematoma. So the nail stays in place, while blood collects underneath it. This causes pressure on the nail matrix – which slows matrix nail cell producton. It also causes excruciating pain. Distance runners also get subungual hematomas.

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    Ways To Minimize Nail Ridges

    Your nails give your doctor clues to your health. For example, clubbed nails suggest heart and lung disease. Spoon shaped nails may mean anemia. Pitted nails can indicate a connective tissue disorder.

    If nail defects keep occurring as the nail forms, its a sign of an ongoing problem with creating the nail which can be a sign of bigger problems like GI , kidney, lung, or liver disease, says Krant. These can also cause discoloration of nails and make nails look whiter, yellower, or bluer than normal due to discoloration of the underlying nail bed.

    If you’re ever concerned about nail ridges – or any other nail condition – ask your dermatologist. It’s also a good idea to have your nails examined with your annual skin checkup!

    So without further ado, here are the best ways to minimize nail ridges:

  • Develop good nail care habits. Keep nails short. Short nails are less likely to crack or tear, says Dr. Kechijian. He also recommends cutting nails after bathing when they’re softer and less likely to break.
  • 2. C. Ralph Daniel III, M.D., recommends cutting nails straight across and slightly rounded at the tip for maximum strength.

    3. Don’t bite nails or hang nails.

    4. Throughout the day, use a thick lotion or oil to moisturize your nails and cuticles. I’ve gotten great results with Foxbrim Argan Oil #ad. See below.

    5. Dr. Rich advises against buffing off the ridges. Because the ridge is the thinnest spot on the nail, it can easily split, making the whole situation worse.

    The Difference Between Vertical And Horizontal Ridges In Nails

    Vertical ridges in nails

    Vertical ridges on the nails are pretty common and are usually benign, meaning that they do not signal that anything is wrong. Running from your cuticle to the tip of your nail, these ridges are generally a sign of aging, and as such, can become more pronounced the older you get.

    Some people are also more likely to have ridges in their nails based on their genes and environmental factors like their diet and how they use their hands.

    If you have vertical ridges, you may also notice that the nails undergo other changes, such as:

    • Thickening or thinning
    • Forming fissures, and
    • Breaking frequently

    In some cases, vertical ridges may be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis or peripheral vascular disease.

    Horizontal ridges in nails

    Horizontal ridges are usually a greater cause for concern. Called Beau’s lines, these horizontal ridges or indentations typically show up if there has been trauma to the nail or an underlying problem with your health. If there is one horizontal line that looks like an indentation, it usually means there was trauma. Often, these lines only appear on one nail.

    You will need to be more concerned about a horizontal line if it occurs on multiple fingers or multiple ridges appear on one nail without an apparent cause. The appearance of horizontal ridges on numerous fingers may be a sign of chronic disease or systemic illness.

    Illnesses that can cause horizontal or Beau’s lines include:

    • Acute kidney failure
    • Malnutrition

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