Ridges in Fingernails – Types, Causes and Treatment

Ridges in fingernails

Have you ever noticed ridges on your fingernails? If you have, then I am sure you have also had some questions related to it like – how and why do you have those ridges, are they harmful, can you stop their occurrence, can you camouflage them, etc. Rather than racking your brains over it, read this post as we give you all the details about ridges on your fingernails.(1)

Let’s start by understanding what ridges exactly are. Take a look at your fingernails and if you observe raised lines on your nails, then it means that you have ridges. If the ridges are aligned with your fingers, then you have vertical ridges and if they are across your nails, then you have horizontal ridges.

These ridges are not specific to any particular gender or age group. Anyone and everyone can have ridges on their fingernails. They become prominent as one ages. And, these ridges are not just limited to your fingernails; they can appear on your toenails as well.

Causes and Types of Ridges in Fingernails

Here is an important information that you have to take notice of! If you have vertical ridges, then you don’t really have to worry about it since it’s part and parcel of the aging process. However, if you have horizontal ridges then we suggest you immediately consult a doctor since they are an indication of some medical conditions. Let’s take a Closer Look at the Causes of these Ridges on your Fingernails:(2)

Vertical Ridges On Fingernails

vertical ridges on fingernails

(i). Malnutrition – Does your daily diet include sufficient amount of iron, proteins, calcium, vitamins, etc.? Because a deficiency of these vital elements can result in those vertical ridges. Make sure you include lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats.(3)

[ Read: How to Get Rid of an Ingrown Toenail ]

(ii). Malabsorption – If you think that your intake of these vital elements is adequate, but you are still seeing those ridges, then you should consult a doctor to find out why your body has nutrient absorption issues. You might have to take some medications to get this resolved.

(iii). Moisture Loss – As you start aging, your skin also dehydrates and in that process your nail beds start losing its natural oils. This is one of the reasons for the occurrence of ridges on your fingernails.

Horizontal Ridges On Fingernails

horizontal ridges on fingernails

(i). Beau’s Lines – If you have deep, linear grooves and dark cells under your nails, then it means you have beau’s lines which is a type of horizontal ridges. It is caused due to an interruption in the protein synthesis by the nails. Different kinds of trauma, malnutrition, acute illness, chemotherapy, etc., are all indications of beau’s lines.(4)

[ Read: How to Use Tea Tree oil to Treat Toenail Fungus ]

(ii). Transverse Lines – These ridges usually appear if you are suffering from a terminal illness like cancer or if you have a history of severe illness.

(iii). Aldrich Mee’s Lines – Discolored horizontal ridges on your fingernails indicate that you have Aldrich Mee’s lines. These are caused due to arsenic poisoning or other toxic material poisoning.

(iv). Muehrcke Lines – Horizontal ridges appearing due to nail pigmentation are known as the Muehrcke lines. Some of the reasons that can cause this are chemotherapy, malnutrition, kidney disorder and liver diseases.

(v). Terry’ Nails – Kidney diseases, HIV, liver diseases and diabetes are the causes of Terry’ lines on your fingernails. A white nail plate or a horizontal band at your nail tip is how you can identify whether you have Terry’s nails.

Treatment for Nail Ridges

  • Start by taking better care of your diet and having an eye on what you are eating. Junk food and processed food items are a strict no-no.(5)
  • Make sure you have a balanced diet which includes proper proportions of vitamins, proteins and nutrients. Having omega-3 fatty acids rich food like fish and nuts is a good option.
  • You can take care of your nutritional deficiencies by taking some supplements which consist of zinc, iron and B12.
  • The importance of drinking sufficient water every day is known to one and all. So ensure that your water intake is adequate as it will help in flushing out all the toxins and waste.
  • Take care of your nails by using hydrating creams and lotions to avoid any kind of fungus to grow on your cuticles. You can use jojoba oil to massage your hands and nails every day.
  • Indulge in some manicure time and buff those ridges off gently.
  • A nail injury like breaking off of the nail, closing the door on your finger, etc., should be all treated immediately as can damage your nail bed and result in ridges.
  • Another simple tip would be to protect your nails while washing dishes or using detergents. You can do this easily by just wearing some gloves while doing these tasks.
  • Like mentioned earlier, these ridges can also occur due to disorders like diabetes, liver failure, high blood pressure, etc. So it is very important for you to take the proper medications and take care of your health.
  • Here is a tip for you to hide those ridges. You can easily do this by investing in ‘ridge fillers’ which are just like your regular base coat nail polish. What they do is hide those ridges and make your nails look smooth and ridges-free.

So, there you have it. A complete detailed information on your fingernail ridges. All you got to do now is take a closer look at your fingernails, identify what kind of ridges you have and take necessary action.
A little extra care goes a long way in keeping yourself healthy, safe and strong! Do you have something to share with us regarding the ridges on fingernails? We would love to hear you out.

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