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Ridges on Fingernails

Written by Dr.Mary

Numerous individuals do not know that the fingernails might be an exceptional barometer of a person’s overall health. In most cases, changes in the appearance of the nails can be the first symptom or sign of an undiagnosed problem medically


These signs of ridges in the nails, discoloration and changes in the contours of the base of the nail are important signs of illness. Due to this teens and adults need to scrutinize their fingernails more often.

Ridges on Fingernails Causes

Medical problems can be signaled by ridges on the fingernails. These medical problems can include:

  • Problem with circulatory system
  • Respiratory disorder
  • Thyroid disease
  • Iron deficiency anemia

Ridges on Fingernails Symptoms

Some are symptoms of ailments that do need attention medically. These deviations in the nails include:

  • Discoloration – yellow
  • Depressions that run across the nails – Beau’s lines
  • Separation of nail from the nail bed
  • Pitting of the nail
  • White or opaque nails
  • Nails that are curled

Ridges on Fingernails Meaning

Nail ridges that are vertical are most common and normally are not the signs of any serious illness. These ridges become more prominent with age and normally do not indicate poor health or a serious medical condition.

Horizontal nail ridges may indicate the presence of some underlying illness or medical condition, although this is not always the case. Horizontal ridges run from one side of the nail lengthwise across to the other side.

One different type of horizontal ridge that can indicate underlying illness is referred to as Beau’s lines. Beau’s lines cause deeply grooved ridges in the nails, horizontal, that might be slightly dark in appearance. There are various causes for these ridges that are distinctive including:

  • Previous injury to the nail bed
  • Certain medications
  • Malnutrition
  • Metabolic disorders such as diabetes

Ridges characterized by Beau’s lines develop when growth of the nails is arrested temporarily due to some underlying illness, metabolic problem or nutrition. Any person with Beau’s line ridges that are horizontal needs to see their physician right away.

Ridges on Fingernails Treatment

If you have ridges in the nails and are concerned about them – make an appointment to see your physician to check to see if you have any sort of underlying health problem.

After doing that, below are some ways to help your nail look healthy and great:

  • Wear gloves to protect the nails when you are working with chemicals that are dangerous or on manual project such as construction or gardening.
  • Wait for the nails to grow out as often the only cure is time. Coat the nails with a protective polish that is clear in order to strengthen them while waiting for the ridges to disappear.
  • Buff your nails with an emery board.
  • Use a lotion that is hydrating and apply several times each day to strengthen and moisturize the nails. Before going to bed at night, coat your nails with lotion and put on cotton gloves to give the nails a dose of moisture that is intensive while sleeping.
  • Take a supplement vitamin that has zinc, B-12 and iron. Many times issues with the nails are due to nutritional deficiencies, so increasing intake of nutrients that are key may help cure the ridges.

No product alone can keep nails healthy. The following guidelines may help to keep your nails looking their very best:

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Do not abuse the nails

To prevent damage, do not use fingernails as tools to poke, pry or pick things.

Do not bite nails or pick at the cuticles

These are habits that can damage the nail bed – even a minor cut alongside the nail will allow fungi or bacteria to enter and start an infection.

Keep nails clean and dry

This stops bacteria, fungi or any other organisms from growing underneath the nail. Clean under the nails thoroughly as well as regularly carefully drying the hands and feet after showering or bathing.

Wear gloves of rubber when using soap and water for long periods of time.

Watch for problems

If you have problems with the nails that does not go away on its own or comes with other symptoms or signs, make an appointment to see your doctor.

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