Have you ever noticed a common sign of nail ridges on your fingernails? In fact the ridges on nails are one of the most common complaints of people on their fingernails. Some of the people believe the ridges on nails occur because of aging and some believe it because of some nutritional deficiencies. Now, what is the exact reason for occurrence of these ridges over the fingernails? This entire article is all about the ridges on nails where we will take u look on what exactly these ridges explain about a person's health, what causes the ridges on fingernails and ways of treatment and some preventive measures to avoid the occurrence of the ridges or the vertical lines on the fingernails.

Ridges on Nails

An overview in Ridges of Nails:

Ridges on nails are included under the abnormal nail appearance which may be caused due to unhealthy diet and improper care for fingernails. These ridges on nails can either be the vertical ridges or the Transverse ridges.

  1. The vertical ridges are the ridges on the nails which run in the same direction as the long axis of the finger and are the most common types of the nail ridges. Trauma, aging and certain underlying medical or health conditions are some of the causes for the appearance of such vertical ridges on the nails. In some cases the development of such ridges on the fingernails can be an absolutely normal part of the development; but in many people such vertical ridges may appear in an increased level with advancing years of the age.
  2. Transverse ridges or the longitudinal on lines the fingernails are comparatively less common conditions in the nails and are mainly caused due to trauma to the nail plate or the underlying nail bed. Some of the occasional causes leading to the transverse or the longitudinal ridges may be aging or certain medical or health conditions.

What does the Ridges on Nails or Vertical Line on Nails Suggest?

"There are certain conditions seen outside which suggest some of the imbalances inside." The ridges on the nails are one of those common outward appearances on the fingernails which depicts about certain unhealthy conditions or certain signs of deeper imbalances inside the body. There is one impressive quote, "The story of his illness is written somewhere on the man." Naturopathy considers various signs and symptoms in the nail conditions with the occurrence of the ridges and provides the best answers to the possible ailments, the nutritional deficiencies and other weaknesses leading to such ridges on nails. There are chances of a vitamin and mineral deficiency which are suggested by the appearance of ridges on nails. Sometimes the ridges or the vertical lines on the nails suggest that there is an underlying skin health problem like psoriasis which results in such appearance on the nails outside. More on this can be known from the following section of the article.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Ridges on Nails or Vertical Lines on Nails:

Here we are with the list suggesting some of the most common signs and symptoms of the ridges on nails or vertical lines on nails below.

  • There may be an appearance of brittle nails which get split up easily. This symptom may indicate that there is a deficiency in vitamin A, Iron, fatty acid, protein and calcium deficiency in the person
  • There may also be signs and symptoms like the white flecks or lines on the nails which may suggest deficiency in Vitamin B6 and Zinc.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency may show signs of excessively dry nails
  • There are also symptoms like the nails tending to broaden and curve downwards at the tip. This may suggest lung damage in the affected person.
  • Hydrochloric acid deficiency in the stomach may show symptoms of nails which split easily.
  • Slow growth of nails suggest a deficiency in Vitamin A and Iron
  • There may be symptoms like white bands across the nails or the "hand nails" which may suggest the deficiency of a dietary protein, Vitamin C and Folic acid deficiency.
  • Prolonged illness or excessive smoking, stress and allergies show the symptoms of nail discoloration.

What Causes Ridges on Nails or Vertical Lines on Nails?

In this current section we will discuss about some of the possible causes as to why the ridges on nails, especially the most common vertical lines on nails occur.

  1. Lack of Moisture Can Cause Ridges on Nail or Vertical Lines on Nails: This is one important factor leading to ridges on nails. Lack of moisture causes drying of the nails, cuticle and the hands and result in the ridges. It is also to be noted that in case you live in hot climate, in case you wash your hands excessively or in case you perform more of the manual labor, there are more chances that you turn your hands and nails dry and result in the appearance of ridges on them. By applying a moisturizing lotion too often in a day and properly massaging the nails and the hands you can keep them safe and normal.
  2. Malnutrition and Malabsorption Can Cause Ridges on Nail or Vertical Lines on Nails: Lack of proper intake of food leading to a deficiency in diet and nutrients like vitamins and minerals is known as malnutrition. While the lack of proper absorption of nutrients in to the body is known as malabsorption.
    It is known that both, the malnutrition and malabsorption can cause ridges on nails to appear on the fingernails. Nails are protected by Keratin, a protein which helps in strengthening and proper development of the nails. Proper nutrition is highly essential for the keratin growth and the nails. In most cases lack of Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, Zinc and Calcium results in the appearance of the nail ridges as these vitamins and minerals are most important in proper nail development and nail strengthening. Vitamin A and silica deficiency are also contributing factors for ridges on nails. So it is highly essential for each individual to take adequate amount of vitamins and minerals and be sure to visit a doctor in case of any early signs of the ridges on nails.
  3. Ridges on Nail or Vertical Lines on Nails Caused due to Aging: "Everything fades with growing age". All our bodily systems start showing some symptoms with growing age. This means aging every part of the body including the nails. As we grow by age, the natural oil producing capacity of our skin starts diminishing and lack of oil results in the dryness and ridges on the nails.
  4. Ridges on Nail or Vertical Lines on Nails Caused Due To Diseases and Toxins: There are a lot of diseases and conditions which can lead to ridges on nails or other notable abnormality on the fingernails. One of the most worrisome causes being the lung and kidney diseases. There are also some other conditions of the skin like the psoriasis which can lead to ridges on nails. High toxin level of arsenic also causes nail ridges.

Treatment or Ways to get rid of Ridges on Nails or Vertical Lines on Nails:

Here below we will discuss on some of the essential treatments and remedies for Ridges on Nails or Vertical Lines on Nails.

  1. Appropriate Food and Herbs Help Get Rid of Ridges on Nail or Vertical Lines on Nails:

    Foods and herbs naturally enhance the nail health and helps in treating the abnormal appearance like ridges or the vertical lines on the fingernails. Below is the list mentioning about some of the essential foods and herbs for treating ridges on nails.

    • Eating foods like onion, cucumbers, oats, barley, root vegetables, green leafy vegetables, cereals etc which are rich in silica content
    • Taking slippery elm powder before meals help in improving mineral absorption in the small intestines.
    • Foods like the Apple cider vinegar, bitter lettuces, lemon juice etc and other digestive and enzymatic foods aid in providing better absorption of minerals.
    • Essential fatty acid containing foods like the fish oil, nuts and seeds, avocados, fish, walnuts, sunflower, wheatgerm oil, seaweed, evening primrose oil etc help in treating the ridges on nails effectively.
    • Consuming more of green leafy vegetables like the broccoli, Kale, slippery elm powder, Bok choy etc help in treating nail ridges as these foods contain Vitamin B, Silica and folic acid.
    • It must be noted that you are taking enough of quality proteins like the organic chicken, eggs, red meat, nuts, fish and seeds etc which help in improving nail health
    • Gotu Kola, Horestail and oats are the herbs which help in treating ridges on nails.
  2. Treatment for Ridges on Nail or Vertical Lines on Nails Via Essential Nutrients and Nutrient Supplements:

    • Vitamin B, Choline, Biotin and Inositol are highly essential
    • Vitamin A is essential for proper nail health
    • Minerals like zinc, Calcium, Iron and Silica are important for nail health
    • Essential fatty acids must be added in the regular diet for appropriate health of nails.
    • Cysteine, Taurine and Methioning are three most crucial Amino acids required for treating the abnormal appearance of nails like the ridges on nails and enhancing the nail health.

Best Nail Care for Keeping Away from the Ridges on Nails or Vertical Line on Nails:

"The capacity to care is what gives life its deepest significance." Here below are some of the best nail care which you can take note on.

  • Protect your nails wherever essential. You can wear gloves in your hands and keep your nails and hand covered while doing manual labor
  • Make a habit of using a moisturizing lotion too often in the day. Make sure you are applying the lotion whenever you wash your hands so as to prevent them from getting dry. Do not go for excessive hand washing which may remove the natural skin oil and result in drying of skin in and drying of the nails.
  • Maintain appropriate nail hygiene. Make sure you are keeping your nails neat and trimmed so as to avoid any unnecessary tearing or snagging. Wash your hands and also under the nail area so as to prevent the fungus growth.
  • Massaging your nails and the cuticle with Jojoba oil before bed helps in keeping an absolute nail health.
  • In order to clear fingernail ridges ( If any) you can use a buffer and work across the nails slowly with gentle pressure.

Preventive Measures for Ridges on Nails or Vertical Lines on Nails:

Here below are some of the most important preventive measures to keep in mind so as to protect your nails from developing the ridges on them or developing vertical lines on nails.

  • Make sure you are keeping your body hydrated by taking plenty of water. Taking water daily helps you have a good nail health and prevents it from drying or growing the ridges.
  • Avoid junk foods
  • Take multivitamins and rich diet, plenty of fruits and vegetables etc so as to provide your body and the skin, nails etc optimal nutritional support.
  • Keep a habit of applying moisturizing lotion at least thrice a day so as to improve the appearance of your finger nails and hands.

FAQs:

  1. Are the Ridges on Nails or Vertical Lines on Nails a Sign of Concern?

    Vertical lines or the vertical ridges on the fingernails are absolutely common and normal not to be worried about. These vertical ridges on the nails extend from the cuticle to the tip of the nail and they grow more numerous and prominent with the growing age. Though such vertical lines are not a sign of concern, however in case your fingernails change color or in case they grow up with the transverse of the horizontal lines on them then be very much sure that you are consulting with the doctor as they show some underlying health conditions, any vitamin deficiency or trauma which requires treatment.

  2. Is it Okay to Buff the Ridges Out?

    Yes! It is absolutely ok to buff the ridges out. You simply need to be careful enough to not file too hard or too long that might cause trauma to the nail or to the nail bed.

  3. Is There Anything Available to Hide the Ridges on the Nails?

    Yes there is a special nail polish available which is especially made for hiding the ridges on nails. They are typically white in color and their name usually has "Ridge" on them. Such nail polish are generally used like a base coat on the nail which helps in producing smoother nails which looks like ridge-free. You can find such a product in the chemist store and also some of the nail salon which sells nail polishes.

Conclusion:

"There are some things which might not be alarming but may be interfering with the normal appearance". Though vertical ridges might not always be a sign of concern, yet it is essential to take very good steps for treating them and preventing your nails from growing abnormal appearances on them. Make sure you have noted down the essential remedies and preventive measures for getting rid of the ridges on nails. In case you find any alarming symptom on the nail ridges like the horizontal ridges, change in nail color etc; be sure you are visiting an expert professional and treating your nails at their best.

Have you ever noticed a common sign of nail ridges on your fingernails? In fact the ridges on nails are one of the most common complaints of people on their fingernails. Some of the people believe the ridges on nails occur because of aging and some believe it because of some nutritional deficiencies. Now, what is the exact reason for occurrence of these ridges over the fingernails? This entire article is all about the ridges on nails where we will take u look on what exactly these ridges explain about a person's health, what causes the ridges on fingernails and ways of treatment and some preventive measures to avoid the occurrence of the ridges or the vertical lines on the fingernails.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 24, 2015

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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