Fingernail ridges are often viewed as a cosmetic concern, than a health problem. This article provides a brief overview about some remedies for this nail condition.
Nails are actually layers of tough keratin, and are considered as an appendage of skin. A healthy nail is that, which is smooth with no discoloration, ridges, grooves, spots, etc. But, humans tend to develop such nail problems, due to various reasons. Fingernail ridges are very common in humans. Such ridges or tiny raised lines can be vertical or horizontal. While vertical ones that run from the base of the nail to the tip, is mostly found as a part of aging; horizontal ones are often associated with certain medical conditions. Even vertical fingernail ridges may sometimes indicate poor health, especially, if they are discolored. Deep and discolored horizontal ridges may be due to respiratory diseases and heart problems.
What Causes Fingernail Ridges
Fingernail ridges may develop due to various reasons, like nutritional deficiency, lack of moisture, improper nail care, and heredity. In fact, the vertical ridges that develop on the nails, are actually parts of the nail structure. As the nail plate grows, it has to slide on the nail bed, so as to accommodate newer cells. With increasing age, the oil and moisture levels of the nail plate deplete, thereby showing the grooves. This explains the occurrence of vertical ridges on the nails, as a part of the aging process. Skin diseases, like psoriasis can also cause fingernail ridges.
Dark and deep horizontal ridges are referred to as Beau’s lines, that can be caused by malnutrition, especially, iron and zinc deficiency; injury to the nail, use of certain drugs, chemotherapy, etc. In case of horizontal fingernail ridges, it is always better to seek the opinion of the doctor, so as to rule out the possibility of any underlying disease. However, this does not mean that horizontal nail ridges are always caused by underlying medical conditions. Those with deep and discolored vertical fingernail ridges, must also seek medical attention. While some of the vertical ridges are temporary, others are permanent. Temporary ones may disappear within four to six months.
How to Cure Fingernail Ridges
As mentioned above, fingernail ridges can be a normal part of aging or caused by some underlying health problems, some of which could be serious. So, it is always better to check the condition, to rule out the possibility of underlying diseases. In case of an underlying cause, it has to be treated, to cure fingernails ridges. Otherwise, you may try some home remedies.
- Buff the nails lightly and properly, as this can help you in getting rid of fingernail ridges. If your nails are thin, then exercise caution while buffing, so as to avoid damage to the nail plate.
- You may use a ridge filler to make the nails smooth. This can be followed by nail polish application. This method is also helpful for hiding fingernail ridges effectively.
- If you want to get rid of fingernail ridges, start drinking at least eight to ten glasses of water a day. This is because, dehydration and lack of moisture are among the possible causes for such nail ridges.
- Adopt a balanced diet with lots of veggies. You may also take vitamin supplements, if needed. It is advisable to take supplements, as per the advice of your doctor.
- Some people use olive oil as a remedy for fingernail ridges. Dipping the fingernails in olive oil on a daily basis is said to be beneficial for making them strong and smooth.
It is always better to prevent this condition by proper nail care. Even a balanced diet and sufficient intake of water may prove useful in preventing the nails from developing ridges. Once they appear, consult your doctor to find out whether there is any underlying cause. If yes, treat it promptly. Otherwise, resort to the above said remedies for getting rid of fingernail ridges.