vertical ridges on fingernails causes and cures

Do you have vertical lines on your nails?

They’re totally normal. They’re just another sign of aging (like we needed another one…).

By the way, they’re called onychorrhexis. Here’s all you need to know about them:

What causes vertical ridges?

Think of vertical ridges as wrinkles. As you get older, they’re gonna get you.

Cosmetologist Jen Atkins says it better: “as you age, the growth of your nails slows down and ridges can form from lack of moisture from your body’s natural oil.”

By the way, you don’t need to be that old to get them. They can show up announced on your nails as early as in your ’30s. But it’s after 50 that they multiply.

Why? Lawrence Gibson, M.D. and Dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic thinks it’s because of “variations in cell turnover within the nail.”

Basically, when you get older, your nails can’t renew themselves as fast and well as they used to.

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How do you deal with vertical ridges?

Do you want the bad news or the good news first?

Ok, bad goes first. There’s no cure for onychorrhexis.

Yep, once you get it, you get it. But – and this is the good news – you can do something to make your nails look better:

  1. A healthy diet is a must here. Your nails need biotin to stay in good condition, so gobble down foods rich in it. The best ones? Soybeans, sweet potatoes, cheese, brown rice, and, you guessed it, green leafy vegetables.
  2. Use your hand cream daily. Reapply it after every wash. Yes, it’s a pain, but vertical ridges are caused by lack of moisture. So, put as much moisture back into your nails as you can. (FIY, if you’re looking for a natural alternative, a few drops of olive oil will do the trick).
  3. Wear gloves when you wash the dishes. Dish washing detergents can be harsh on the skin and dry it out. And that just makes it easier for vertical ridges to develop.
  4. Already stuck with vertical ridges? Your best bet is to use a ridge-filler to smooth out the nail bed. I guess you could gently buff the nails too, but I don’t recommend it. Your nails are already weak. You don’t want to make things worse.

When to see a doctor

You don’t need to see a doctor if you have vertical ridges on your nails.

But if you get horizontal ones or your nails change colour, consult your doctor ASAP. Changes in nails are often the symptoms of underlying health conditions so you want to get checked out, and the sooner the better too.

If you have onychorrhexis, how do you deal with these vertical ridges on your fingernails? Share your tips in the comments below.