For many people, nails are mainly associated to physical beauty, although in fact, the condition and appearance of your nails might be able to tell something important about your health. One of the most common indication you can spot on the nails is the nail ridge. Nail ridges refer to the uneven surface of the nails, which can occur either vertically or horizontally. Nail ridges are often accompanied by a touch of rosy or brownish color of the nail surface that many people think unattractive.
What nail ridges mean
Fingernail ridges are very common and are experienced by a large number of people. Although often neglected, fingernail ridges can tell you a great information about the entire health condition. So-called nail ridges are signed by a couple of common symptoms, such as:
- The presence of tiny raised lines or ridges along the length of the nails.
- The occurrence of rosy red or brownish line color visible on the nail surface.
- A depressed nail area that lay along the width of the nails.
Nail ridges are the condition that may develop as a result of natural aging, nail injury or trauma, or an underlying health issues. The occurrence of nail ridges may convey an information about a problem in the lungs, liver, or even heart. Based on the appearance of the nail ridges, there are some possibilities you can draw, such as:
- Lengthwise or vertical nail ridges are common and generally harmless. The occurrence of tiny colored lines vertically on your nails is commonly connected to the nail’s inability to retain moisture. This is commonly experienced along with aging. Very severe vertical nail ridges that is signed by dark-colored lines that occur lengthwise may indicate poor nutrition or the lack of certain vitamins. Despite this, the latter is rare and thus, vertical nail ridges are mostly connected to the natural effect of aging. As you get older, your body’s natural oil production is inhibited and thus, slows down. As a result, you will experience drier hair, skin, and nail, because of this lack of moisture. Nail ridges that run vertically from the cuticle to the nail tip can be minimized by maintaining a healthy diet plan and keep the body well-hydrated.
- In contrast to vertical nail ridges, nail ridges that run horizontally can be a sign of a more complicated health condition, especially if dented nail surface presents. The most common cause of horizontal nail ridges is damaged nail bed, which may occur due to trauma or injury to the nails. However, horizontal depression in the nail may also indicate malnutrition, severe infections, liver problems, metabolic disturbances, diabetes, and heart diseases. Persistent horizontal nail ridges, thus, should not be neglected, as it may tell useful information about things related to your health.
What can be done about nail ridges?
As stated, one of the main causes of nail ridges is the absence of body’s natural oil due to aging. Hence, nail ridges will keep occurring along with the aging process and its other effects on the body. Although it may be impossible to prevent nail ridges completely, some remedies can be used in order to minimize the effects of this oil absence to the nails. Among the most effective ones are olive oil, vitamin E oil, or nail and cuticle oil that is applied onto the affected nail in daily basis. This will not only improve the vertical nail ridge-affected fingernails and toenails, but also moisture the cuticles and the entire hands.
As to horizontal depression in the nail, you will need to see a doctor to see what underlying health condition you are experiencing that is signed by the ridges. Changing the diet into healthier ones and exercise regularly will enhance your body circulation and eventually improve your entire health condition. Keeping the body hydrated is also crucial for improving nails affected by the ridges, as this will nourish the cells and thus, promote sufficient body oil production.