Ridges in Nails, Horizontal, Vertical, Vitamin Deficiency, Beaus, Thumbnails Only and How to Get Rid

Ridges in Nails

An insight into ridges in Nails, horizontal, vertical, vitamin deficiency, beaus, thumbnails only and how to get rid

Horizontal Ridges in Nails

Your fingernails can reveal several things regarding the state of your health. Conditions which range from stress to kidney as well as thyroid disease can lead to changes in your nails. One common change is appearance of vertical or horizontal ridges. Many times, ridges in fingernails are not a cause of concern.

Deep horizontal ridges in nails, also known as Beau’s lines, are symptoms of a very serious condition. They can stop nail growth until the underlying condition is fully treated. Acute kidney disease can be present if Beau’s lines appear. Also, when Beau’s lines develop on all nails, it might be a symptom of:

  • thyroid disease
  • diabetes
  • syphilis
  • Chemotherapy is also said to cause Beau’s lines.

Trauma to your nails might also lead to red or brown spots forming underneath your nails. But, if you notice some dark brown or red color changes occurring under your nails and you haven’t experienced any nail trauma, this might be a symptom of a serious condition, like endocarditis or melanoma.

Ridges in Nails
Ridges in Nails

Diagnosing the cause of fingernail ridges

Sudden changes in your nails is to be examined by the doctor. If you damaged your nail in an injury, then you might have to wait so as to see how the nail and your finger heal for some weeks before consulting your doctor.

However, you should ensure that you see your doctor immediately if the injury resulted in:

  • a ragged cut through your nail
  • a nail being torn off
  • bleeding under nail

During your appointment, you might be examined of your nails and asked about any other symptoms which you’re experiencing.

Your doctor can also order urine as well as blood tests if they highly suspect that you have a kidney disease, or nutritional deficiencies.

If it appears that the ridges are due to a skin condition, then a dermatologist might start you on a treatment plan.

If the cause of your fingernail ridges is not known, then your dermatologist can take some fingernail clippings so as to have them analyzed in a lab for indication of any infection.

Treating ridges in fingernails

Because fingernail ridges are indications of other health problems, treatment is largely focused on underlying cause of changes that is happening to your nails. For instance, if you’ve developed the Beau’s lines due to diabetes, controlling your blood sugar can reduce the horizontal ridges in nails.

Treatment for some skin conditions like eczema include use of moisturizers for your hands or even application of topical ointments so as to reduce eczema symptoms. If low levels of vitamins are the cause, then you may be advised to alter your diet or even take some supplements so as to boost your vitamin levels.

Buffing your fingernails using an emery board might assist to smooth ridges. Ask your doctor for advice on treatment of your nails. You’ll be required to be careful not to press hard to avoid further damage.

Vertical Ridges in Nails Vitamin Deficiency

With the abundance of food in United States, you might think of nutrient deficiencies just being a problem of the undeveloped countries, but low intakes because of poor diet are not uncommon.

A deficiency in vitamin A, or the minerals such as calcium and zinc can cause ridges appearing on your nails. Some of the conditions that are unrelated to vitamin deficiency brings about nail abnormalities, so discuss all your concerns with your doctor.

Vertical ridges are furrows which run from the tip of fingernail down to the cuticle. They are also known as longitudinal striations.

Slight vertical ridges in nails develop in older people, possibly because of a slowing cell turnover. This happens when new skin cells are produced below the surface of skin, rise up thus taking the place of dead cells which are discarded from surface.

If you experience any other symptoms such as the color or even texture changes in your nails, it might be brought about by a medical condition. In trachyonychia, the ridges are be accompanied by a change in color to nails, or your nails can just become brittle

Vitamin A

Vitamin A are a group of fat-soluble vitamins which are crucial to formation and maintenance of cells and organs, which includes your nails. Two forms of vitamin A are normally found in your diet. Carrots, sweet potato, spinach and kale have beta-carotene, which is said to be the most vital form of vitamin A.

Animals foods, which includes dairy, meat and even fish are rich in retinol, which is the second form of vitamin A. Data on prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in United States are not available.

However, most Americans have failed to consume the recommended fruits and vegetables, which implies that you may not be getting enough amount of beta-carotene. The recommended intake of vitamin A for adults is supposed to be between 700 to 900 micrograms per day.


Calcium, just like vitamin A, plays a crucial role in formation of your skin and nails. Low intakes of calcium in the menopausal women can increase the risk for osteoporosis. You are required to take enough amount of calcium so as to keep your nails and several other tissues which rely on calcium healthy.

Dairy foods are the richest source of calcium in diet. Sardines are one of the best non-dairy calcium-rich foods. Some other foods have calcium in smaller amounts, which includes sweet potatoes, white beans and also the sesame seeds. Beyond that, it’s very difficult to get enough amount of calcium from other foods.

The aim for daily calcium intake is recommended to be at 1,000 milligrams. Women who are over 50 require slightly more, which is about 1,200 milligrams, to assist guard against bone loss.


Your body relies heavily on zinc from diet for various functions which includes memory and regulating of the immune system. It also plays a crucial role in maintenance of healthy skin and nails, and is commonly used in soothing of the skin irritations.

Animal foods, which includes lean beef and pork, are some of the best sources of zinc in diet. Whole grains and beans are good sources of zinc in your diet. It’s also recommended that adults get about 11 milligrams of zinc each day.

Nail Ridges Not Always a Cause for Concern

If you notice that you have raised lines on your nails and you are concerned, then just know that vertical nail ridges are very common and aren’t a cause for concern. While vertical nail ridges can reveal a nutrient deficiency, they happen as a normal indication of aging.

Just like your skin and bones, your nails undergo several changes as you get old. Cell turnover within the nail decreases, leading to alterations that are associated with aging process. On the other hand, horizontal nail ridges are more of a health concern.

If you’re eating a diverse diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables, nutrient deficiency is a cause for concern. You are, at risk for deficiency if you have a condition which reduces your ability to absorb enough amount of nutrients from food, like inflammatory bowel disease.

Seniors are also at an increased risk because of a lower nutrient absorption rate and also reduced food intake. Talk to your doctor if you’re at risk of deficiency in these nutrients.

Beaus Nails

Beau’s lines are indentations running across the nails. The indentations appear when growth at the area under the cuticle is largely interrupted by severe illness.

Conditions that are associated with Beau’s lines include uncontrolled diabetes as well as peripheral vascular disease, and also illnesses that are associated with a high fever, like scarlet fever, mumps and pneumonia. Beau’s lines be an indication of zinc deficiency.

However, Beau’s lines may result from any disease condition which is severe enough thus affecting the growth plate of nail. Malnutrition and chemotherapy drugs that are used for cancer can also lead to ridges in nails.

Trauma or injury can also be a cause of nail ridges. The timing of disease are estimated by measuring the distance from the Beau’s line to nail bed.

What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Ridges in Fingernails?

Fingernails indicate health problems by appearance. Nail abnormalities involve shape, color and also the thickness of nails.

Depression lines that are found in fingernails, also called beaus lines, happen because of malnutrition or even an injury to nail. Other possible conditions that can lead to ridges in nails include koilonychias, leukonychia, and fingernail pitting.

According to doctor, liver diseases, kidney diseases as well as vitamin deficiencies can all lead to nail abnormalities which includes fingernail ridges. Contact a doctor if your nails are appearing blue, clubbed or even horizontally ridged or if you having some white color under your nails.

B vitamins are vitamins with crucial functions including the cell growth. Vitamin B-12 of B vitamin complex is used to strengthen nail growth; thus, a deficiency in B vitamins can lead to fingernail ridges.

Iron deficiency lead to ridges in fingernails usually accompanied with the white spots; Koilonychia is a condition that is mostly associated with iron deficiency. Other vitamins as well as minerals that leads to other nail abnormalities are the vitamin C, zinc as well as calcium.

Poor absorption of the vitamins or an unhealthy diet will cause vitamin deficiencies. Consult a doctor if the horizontal ridges persist or you also notice some discoloration like yellowness or green nails.


A balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals as well as protein can assist to prevent fingernail ridges. Eat wholegrain foods and fruits regularly so as to achieve the recommended intake levels for vitamins. Consider supplements if your diet is lacking some vitamins and the nutrients.

To avoid nail abnormalities do not pick the nails. Clip hangnails, keep nails short and avoid the use of nail polish.

Ridges in Nails Thyroid

Your fingernails is a good barometer of your health. There are two types of ridges which can appear on your nails: vertical and horizontal. Vertical ridges usually runs from the cuticle to tip of nail and are common, especially as you get old. These ridges are usually no cause for concern.

Horizontal ridges in nails run from side to side on your nails and are also known as Beau’s lines. Horizontal ridges are brought about by trauma to nail and might be deep or even discolored. The may also indicate malnutrition or a thyroid problem.

Horizontal Ridges in Thumbnails Only

Beau’s lines are horizontal depressions in nail plate which run parallel to shape of white, moon-shaped portion of nail bed seen at nail’s origin. They result from a sudden interruption of nail keratin synthesis and grow distally with nail plate. As the nail increases in size, the Beau’s lines can disappear.

Beau’s lines are brought about by trauma or just a local disease which involves the nail fold. They can vary largely based on width or even the depth of depression, thus reflecting the extent of the damage. When Beau’s lines are found in all nails at a similar location on nail plate, they can have a systemic cause. They might also result from metabolic or traumatic influences.

How to Get Rid Of Nail Ridges

Most people pursue smooth, well-groomed nails as their aim. Unfortunately, manicures are only as good as the nails below them; ridges in nails can appear more pronounced if any polish is well applied.

Most of the nail ridges are a nuisance than a signal of a health problem, and are normally a genetically-inherited trait. Use the right technique to get rid of them without damaging your nails.

Step 1

Get rid of any existing nail polish by use of a cotton ball that is saturated in nail polish remover. You can also buff the actual nail to get rid of the ridges, which can’t be done if they are polished.

Step 2

Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and pure water to get rid of any dirt, or nail polish remover. Dry them on a clean towel.

Step 3

Apply a small amount of cuticle cream or even a nail oil, such as almond, directly to the tip of each of the affected finger nail.

Step 4

Massage the oil or even some cream over the entire nail bed so as to moisturize it and thus prevent cracking as well as peeling. This will also assist to soothe any dry skin.

Step 5

Pick up one fine-grit cushion nail file in a hand and hold it over the top of one of nails. Gently buff the nails from the corners towards the center with an “x” pattern. Lift up the nail file after each stroke, and apply about six strokes so that you don’t file through the nail. Repeat the process of buffing each of the remaining nail.

Step 6

Repeat the process at least once per week until all the ridges are not longer visible.

Step 7

If using the polish, then apply a ridge filler product first.

Things You’ll Require

  • Cotton ball
  • Nail polish remover
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Cuticle cream
  • Fine-grit cushion file


  • Light, vertical ridges in nails are usually inherited or because of aging. If your nail ridges are genetic, then they will return if you stop the process.


  • Ensure that you make an appointment with a doctor if the ridges in nails darken, as this can shows a serious medical issue like thyroid or even a kidney disease. Do not try buffing your nails completely smooth at one session. This damages your nails and might also file through to the nail bed below it.

Nail Ridges Treatment

Ridges in nails which appear with any other symptoms are supposed to be examined by a doctor immediately.

Usually, nail injuries do not need treatment. But, if damage to nail is very extensive, then a person should see their physician as soon as possible.

During diagnosis, the doctor will ask an individual how the injury happened or also how long they have noticed the symptoms. They can also ask about your medical history and other symptoms which they may have.

If doctors suspect any underlying disorder is leading to the ridges in nails or any other symptoms, then they will order additional tests of blood or urine samples.

Ridges in fingernails are an indication of an underlying condition. Treatment focuses on resolving the condition which is leading to the nail ridges to appear.

For instance, if a skin condition like eczema is leading to the ridges in fingernails, the dermatologist can reduce the symptoms of eczema through prescription of topical treatments.

In doing so, the cells that are controlling fingernail creation can be healed, which assists the ridges to completely disappear.


Although not all people develop ridges in nails as they get old, unfortunately, there is no known that can be used to prevent them from forming.

Eating a healthful diet can be a positive step towards giving the body with the fuel it requires in creating strong, healthy nails and also preventing fingernail ridges.



  1. All you need to know about ridges in fingernails: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319867.php
  2. How to Fix Dry Ridges in Nails: https://www.livestrong.com/article/76304-fix-dry-ridges-nails/
  3. Beau’s Lines: https://www.skinsight.com/skin-conditions/adult/beaus-lines
  4. Do ridges on your fingernails indicate a thyroid problem: https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/do-ridges-on-your-fingernails-indicate-a-thyroid-problem
  5. Beau’s Lines: Symptoms & Signs: https://www.medicinenet.com/beaus_lines/symptoms.htm
  6. Fingernails: Possible problems: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/multimedia/nails/sls-20076131?s=5
  7. Do Vitamin Deficiencies Cause Fingernail Ridges: https://www.livestrong.com/article/495235-do-vitamin-deficiencies-cause-fingernail-ridges/
  8. Why Do I Have Ridges in My Fingernails: https://www.healthline.com/health/ridges-in-fingernails#pictures
  9. Do Vitamin Deficiencies Cause Fingernail Ridges: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/vitamin-deficiencies-cause-fingernail-ridges-3123.html
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