Information on ridges in fingernails

Ridges on the fingernails can be caused by several different reasons. The most common types that are seen particularly amongst the elderly are the vertical ridges that run along the length of the nail. These can be potentially serious if they are connected with changes in the color of the nail. Horizontal ridges on the other hand are generally considered to be indicative of an underlying health issue, for which you will need to seek immediate medical attention. However, just because you have noticed the appearance of ridges in your nails, does not justify a panic situation. It is a good idea though to consult your doctor and chart the way forward.

Indeed, one of the most common reasons for the development of ridges is malnutrition or poor absorption. Deficiencies in various vitamins can lead to ridges on fingernails as the production of the nail material in the body gets disrupted. Studies have shown that ridges can be eliminated by following a healthy well balanced diet along with a regular intake of necessary vitamin supplements. Gelatin, which is beneficial for hair as well, can be added to your diet to ensure strong and healthy nails. You would be well advised to seek a medical expert who will identify any underlying disorders, if the changes in your diet do not clear the ridges in your fingernails.

Yet another reason for the appearance of ridges on your fingernails is moisture deficiency. If you notice that your nails are cracked or have ridges, you can use a moisturizing cream or oil to massage the nails and the cuticles. It is also highly advisable to increase your daily consumption of water. Nails also tend to dry, if you are resident in an area with a hot climate or are involved in any sort of manual labor. Keep your nails well moisturized as this will ensure that they remain healthier and will also benefit the skin of your hands.

There could be several underlying disorders which could also be responsible for ridges on your fingernails. Respiratory ailments and circulatory issues as well as autoimmune disorders are generally the reasons why there are sudden changes in the nail structure. Exposure to toxins such as arsenic can lead to changes in the color and the appearance of ridges in the fingernails. Skin ailments such as psoriasis have also been known to lead to ridges in the fingernails. Paying attention to the condition of your nails is a good idea as they are they display early indications of any abnormal changes in the health of your body. This will offer you an opportunity to seek medical assistance sufficiently early enough to treat any serious disorders.

answered by G M

Ridges on the fingernails can be entirely harmless, but sometimes they do indicate deficiencies or other, slightly more serious conditions. One point to consider though, is in which direction the ridges go. Do they run across the nail (horizontally) or along the nail (vertically)? Mild vertical ridges are rather normal, unless they are particularly pronounced, in which case they may be a symptom of some disease. Some people consider horizontal ridges to be an early indication of the development of arthritis. Horizontal ridges, on the other hand, usually mean that something is wrong.

Sometimes these ridges could simply be the result of an injury or even unnoticed, mild trauma to the nails, in which case they will disappear as the nails grow, as long as the cause of the trauma does not recur. The ridges may also be due to certain medication that you are on. Again, if this is the case, once you are off the medication, the ridges should gradually disappear. Horizontal ridges can also indicate stress. Other, more serious causes include calcium or iron deficiencies, heart disease, skin disease, and diabetes. If the cause of the ridges you have noticed is not obvious, it will be better to get your doctor's opinion.

answered by G M

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