Nail ridges is the most frequent complaint about both fingernails and toenails. In some cases, these ridges are definitely visible that even applying nail polish is not going to cover it up, but instead, make it more prominent. Nail ridges have been related to variety of things, from the natural process of aging to serious health problems. A lot of people also seek for a correct way on how to treat nail ridges or at least, to minimize the resulted effects.
How to treat nail ridges
See the signs and symptoms of the nail ridges
Nail ridges that occur on your fingernails or toenails can be either light or more severe. Looking at the signs and symptoms closely will help you determine its degree of severity. This will help you decide whether or not you need to talk to a doctor. Fine lines might indicate lighter nail ridge problems, while depression in the fingernails or toenails might require further attention.
Determine possible causes of the nail ridges
Once you understand the signs and symptoms on the occurring nail ridges, it is important to start determining any possible causes. Nail ridges on your fingernails and toenails are divided into two major categories; the vertical and horizontal nail ridges. Based on the occurring signs and symptoms, you might be able to tell its possible main cause, such as lack of moisture caused by aging, malnutrition, poor circulation, or some more severe health issues, such as liver problems, lungs deficiency, or heart illnesses.
Perform proper treatments
It is important to observe early signs and symptoms shown by any occurring nail ridges and to determine possible main cause of the issue in order to find out the most suitable treatment you can perform or seek for to minimize any harmful effects.
Taking care of nail ridges
Although nail ridges may indicate some serious health problems, such as liver problems and diabetes, most of the occurring problems bring more nuisance than the underlying health problems. Thus, a lot of people seek the most suitable treatments to minimize the visibility of these fine lines occurring in the nails. Vertical nail ridges, which are often resulted as a natural part of the aging process can be treated at home with proper tools and techniques, while horizontal nail ridges might require professional advice to make sure they are not conveying any health issues. It is important to treat any nail ridges carefully, so that you will not damage the nail itself while trying to improve the nail ridges.
- Cleansing—Make sure you do not leave any nail polish on the nails. Before doing any treatments for nail ridges, therefore, it is important to remove the polish thoroughly using a cotton ball dipped in nail polish remover.
- Moisturizing—Nail ridges are caused by lack of moisture that happens during aging. Hence, moisturizing the nails will inhibit the occurrence of fine lines on the nail surface. To moisture the nails, you can apply nail oil, olive oil, or vitamin E oil from the cuticle to the nail tip in daily basis. This will also prevent the nails from cracking and peeling, which may worsen nail ridges. Applying moisturizer does not only give positive effects to the nail surface, but also the fingers and cuticle. It will also minimize hangnails.
- Buffing—Buffing the nail will get rid of dirt on the top of nail surface. This will also remove the fine lines eventually and thus, minimize the visibility of nail ridges. However, this treatment needs to be done with caution, because buffing the nails with careless strokes may damage the nail itself, which may result in cracked and peeled nails. Nail buffing can be done once a week with a fine-grit cushion nail file. Moisturizing can also be done after every nail buffing to help the nails restore its moisture.
When to see a doctor
Generally, nail ridges are harmless and do not cause any health disturbances. However, you might need to consider seeing the doctor if your nails deepens or darkens suddenly and significantly, as this may be a sign of underlying health issue, such as a thyroid, kidney disease, or even diabetes. In addition, some nail ridges are resulted as a genetic consequence and thus, may not be able to be gotten rid of. In this case, stop buffing the nails as it may instead damage the nail surface.