Do you have ridges in your nails? Get insights on the causes of vertical and horizontal ridges in fingernails. You will also learn more about the various treatment of such ridges.
Ridges in Fingernails – Meaning
Ridges are raised lines on the fingernails running either vertically or horizontally. The small ridges on your nails may become defined and more prominent as you age. This can give your fingers an abnormal look.
These ridges may also be accompanied with other symptoms such as discoloration, curled nails, separation of the nail from bed and white spots on nails.
Nail ridges that appears vertically are common and they does not indicate an internal body condition. They are considered to be genetic and therefore they does not require a medical treatment. They usually become more defined and apparent as you age.
The horizontal ridges normally run from one side of the nail to the other one. They are usually symptom of underlying body illness or a medical condition. The appearance of such ridges on fingernail can tell you more about your overall health.
The horizontal ridges that may be accompanied with discoloration may indicate different undiagnosed medical conditions such as circulatory diseases, thyroid problems or anemia. You are supposed to visit your doctor right away you start experiencing such symptoms on the fingernails.
Ridges in Fingernails – causes
Vertical or horizontal ridges are quite common. You may be experiencing this condition and wondering what causes ridges in your fingernails. This nail condition can be caused by trauma on the nail or other internal body conditions. It is important to visit your doctor to diagnose the exact cause of the ridges especially when they appear horizontally. Some of the causes includes the following:
Malnutrition may be caused by lack or inadequate intake of certain nutrients into your body that leads to deficiencies. Different problems of your nails such as ridges and yellow toenails may result from deficiencies of minerals and vitamins in your body.
The B vitamins plays an important role by ensuring your overall body health is good. Inadequate intake of vitamin B-12 is useful on how to strengthen nails and its growth. Inadequate intake of such nutrients may lead to ridges in fingernails and other nail problems.
Inadequate minerals in your body can also result to various nail problems such as white spots, yellowish, discoloration and even ridges. Such minerals includes iron, zinc and calcium. You are supposed to ensure your diet has enough minerals to prevent such problems.
There are various food that are rich in vitamins and minerals. You are supposed to include them in your daily diet to prevent its deficiencies. Such foods includes meat, vegetables and fruits. They contain essential nutrients that your body needs daily for good healthy.
Malabsorption simply means that certain nutrients are not being absorbed by your body. If you are experiencing ridges, white marks, discoloration and toenail falling off despite taking plenty of vitamins, minerals and protein, then your body has a problem in absorption of such nutrients.
Visit your doctor immediately you start experiencing such symptoms to find out the cause of your absorption problem. You will be diagnosed to find out the cause. You will be given some prescribed medicines to fix your condition.
- Inadequate moisture
Inadequate moisture may cause your nail, cuticle and hands to become dry. This may cause your nails to crack, split or develop ridges in fingernails. Individuals who live in hot climate areas are prone to such nail problems. Certain activities such as manual labor and excessive washing of hands may lead to loss of moisture.
Ensure your nails remains moisturized all day by applying a moisturizing oil twice a day on the cuticles and fingers. This helps to restore their healthy look all the time. Your body should also stay hydrated all the time. You are supposed to take at least 8 glasses of water a day.
- Internal body diseases and toxins
Nail ridges and other problems can be signs to their causative underlying body condition. Many people doesn’t know that the appearance of nails indicates much about their general body health. Different internal body conditions such as heart diseases and respiratory disorders may cause abnormal appearance of your fingernails
Other disorders such as psoriasis may also affect your fingernails and the joints. When you start experiencing such symptoms on the nail, it is important to find out the cause by visiting your doctor. You will be diagnosed to determine what causes horizontal ridges in fingernails.
- Old age
As you age, your whole body is affected including the fingernails. The small vertical ridges becomes more defined and prominent. As the body ages, the level of oil produced by the skin decreases. This may cause the skin around the nails and cuticle to become dry.
Vertical Ridges on Fingernails
Vertical or ridges on the fingernails can be described as small raised lines that runs up and down on the surface of your nail. Vertical ridges is a common nail abnormality that you may experience as you age or as a result of other genetic features.
In contrast with horizontal ridges, the vertical ridges are not caused by trauma to the nail or internal body disorders. They are harmless ridges and they usually become defined and prominent as you age. There is nothing to worry much if you are only experiencing the vertical ridges without any other symptom.
However, if the vertical ridges is accompanied with other symptoms such as brittle nails and splitting, you may be suffering from a condition known as onychorrhexis. Although the exact cause of this condition is not well known but it is linked to age. It is common among people in advanced ages.
The appearance of the vertical ridges alone is referred to as onychrrhexis, while the split of the nails at the end alone is known as onychoschisis. This is according to the research done by Dr. Joseph Jorrizzo who is a dermatologist. He is also a professor at Wake Forest University of Winston-Salem.
According to Dr. Joseph, individuals with longitudinal ridges in fingernails are also likely to have brittle and split nails. This type of ridges is not associated with any type of internal body condition. They can affect both the fingernails and the toenails and is as a result of aging.
Both male and female can experience longitudinal ridges as early as in their 30s but they become more numerous and prominent when they reach at the age of 50 years. As you age, your whole body system is affected. Your skin develops wrinkles and the nails can form ridges too.
Horizontal Ridges in Fingernails
The horizontal nail ridges are deep grooved lines that normally runs from one side of the nail plate to the other. They should not be confused with longitudinal ridges that runs from the button of the nail to the finger tip.
Horizontal ridges should not be ignored as they may be symptomatic to their internal body causative disorders. Lack of certain nutrients in your diet may also interrupt the formation of keratin in your nails and hence result to such lines to appear on the surface of nail plate.
The various internal body disorders may cause this nail condition. Some of the disorders includes: autoimmune diseases, respiratory diseases, harsh toxins in the body and other infections. Different infections and diseases results to various types of horizontal ridges as described below:
- Beau’s lines. This are deep groove lines that are darkened underneath the nail. Such lines results from injuries to the nail, malnutrition, metabolic problems, acute illnesses, chemotherapy treatments and other conditions that may interfere with keratin formation in the nail.
- Muehrcke lines. These are horizontal ridges in thumbnails and other fingernails as a result of kidney and liver diseases. Other conditions that may cause such lines includes malnutrition and chemotherapy treatments.
- Transverse ridges. They are ridges in fingernails and toenails as a result of chronic or severe internal body illness. You are likely to experience such lines if you are suffering from life threatening conditions like cancer.
- Terry nails. The ridges are accompanied with other symptoms such as white nail plates and other discolorations. Various internal body conditions such as kidney and liver diseases, diabetes, HIV and Aids and other diseases causes such lines to appear on the tips of your nails.
- Aldrich mees lines. This are horizontal discolored ridges that appears across the nail plate. Arsenic poisoning may cause such lines to appear on your nails. Other toxins that results from intake of silver may also result to such lines.
The bumpy fingernails is not supposed to be ignored. You are supposed to visit your doctor right away especially when the ridges are accompanied with other symptoms such as blue nails, white marks, pale nails, pits on the surface of the nail plate, distorted nails, clubbed nails, discolorations under the nail and widening of dark streaks in the nail.
Fingernail Ridges Treatment
The presence of ridges on your fingernails may give your nails an abnormal look. Therefore there are various home remedies for toenail fungus and other treatments you can use to fix your problems. Some of the treatments may also help to prevent future development of ridges. They include the following:
- Maintaining a healthy diet
The type of diet you take determines the overall body health including the nails. Maintaining a balanced diet can help to treat ridges in fingernails as well as preventing other nail problems. Your diet should contain plenty of fruits and vegetable. Such foods contain different minerals that helps in healthy development of nails.
Avoid junk food that has low levels of nutrients. You are also supposed to take plenty of water each day. Water plays very important roles in your body such as eliminating toxic substances and supporting the organs. Take at least 8 glasses of water daily to prevent grooves in fingernails.
Take nutritional supplements containing B 12 vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron. Deficiencies of such nutrients in your body results to various nail problems such as ridges, white marks and falling off nails.
- Take good care of your nails
Washing your hands thoroughly and moisturizing the nails helps to prevent the growth of fungus and other bacterial infections that may cause nail problems. You are also supposed to prevent new infections by wearing gloves when gardening or touching dirty.
The manicurist is also supposed to be gentle on your nails. Minor injuries from the nail file may cause new nail problems. Treat the minor injuries on the nail for healthy nail recovery. Such injuries may cause nail bed infections that may result to various nail problems.
- Visit your doctor for treatment of potential diseases
The various nail problems may be an indication of the underlying diseases. Some of the diseases includes kidney and liver diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases and cancer among other potential disorders. Visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Ridges in fingernails will disappear after several month of treatment.