Fingernails can say a lot about your health condition beginning from thyroid to kidney problems. However, have you ever asked what vitamin deficiency causes ridges in fingernails and why ridges are formed in fingernails? If not then it is time to know as fingernail ridges are a replica of what your health is.
What Do Ridges In Fingernail Mean?
Ridges in the fingernails are most often normal symptoms of aging. Slight vertical ridges on fingernails are common in aged adults. However, in rare instances, they could be a symptom of health ailments such as diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. Deep horizontal ridges on fingernails known as Beau’s lines could signal a serious health condition.
Causes And Symptoms Of Ridges In Fingernails
Many reasons lead to ridges in fingernails. At times skin conditions such as eczema and skin dryness can also lead to this condition. If the body doesn’t have sufficient calcium, zinc, protein, or vitamin A can even lead to fingernail ridges.
1. Vertical Ridges
These ridges are furrows that begin from the tip of the fingernail and run down to the cuticle and are at times termed as longitudinal bands or striations.
Minor vertical ridges are common in old people probably due to cell turnover slowing. This happens when new skin cells formed below the surface of the skin come up to replace the dead cells that are cast off from the top.
If you see other signs such as texture or color changes in nails, it could be due to health conditions. In 20-nail dystrophy or trachyonychia, the ridges could be seen with alteration in color to the nails, or the nails could become brittle or rough.
Iron deficiency anemia can even lead to vertical ridges and modifications to the nails that make them spoon-shaped or concave.
2. Horizontal Ridges
The Beau’s lines or deep horizontal ridges are generally signs of a grave condition. They could halt the growth of the nail until the existing condition is cured. It may also indicate acute kidney disease. Besides, when horizontal lines are present on all nails i.e. 20 nails it can be a sign of:
- Thyroid disease
Chemotherapy can even lead to this condition besides ridges in fingernails due to thyroid are also common.
Trauma to nails can cause brown or red spots to occur below the nails. Nevertheless, if you find dark brown, red, or black color changes below the nails it is not a nail trauma and is a symptom of a more serious health condition like melanoma or endocarditis.
What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Ridges In Fingernails?
Fingernails are made of keratin-a protein. But many vitamins and proteins are essential for the good health of nails. Any deficiency in them can lead to ridges. In general, lack of vitamin A, folic acid, biotin, calcium, and zinc can lead to ridges in nails.
How To Diagnose Ridges In Fingernails?
The sudden appearance of fingernail ridges with any other sign should be immediately examined by a physician.
Nail injuries typically don’t need treatment but if the damage is extensive one should see a doctor as soon as possible.
[Also Read: What causes white spots on nails]
The doctor at the time of diagnosis will check the symptoms and find out the medical history. If a health provider suspects something unusual further tests may be done besides collecting urine & blood samples.
Treatment For Ridges In Fingernails
As fingernail ridges are generally symbols of other health conditions treatment is aimed at curing the underlying condition. For instance, if the condition is due to diabetes treatment focuses on controlling diabetes, and if the condition is due to some skin problem the treatment procedure aims at treating the same.
Tips To Get Rid Of Ridges In Fingernails
- Moisture nails often
- Keep nails clean
- Don’t bite or pick at nails
- Don’t irritate cuticle
- Don’t expose them to much water
- Eat healthily
- Use cosmetics that aren’t hard
- Use nail strengtheners
Ridges and bumps in fingernails are common and they are nothing to worry about; however, remember that this condition is trying to tell you something about your inner health. While a lack of proper care and a healthy diet can lead to this at times serious underlying conditions may also be responsible for the situation.
So, now you are aware of what vitamin deficiency causes ridges in fingernails in case you find them first try to focus on healthy eating, and even after this if they don’t go away consult your doctor.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.