“When repeated over time, this can lead to overall dehydration of the nail and surrounding skin, thereby weakening or increasing brittleness of the nail.”. Dana Stern, MD, says ridges are akin to wrinkles in the nail (fingernails and toenails), and things like aging, genetics, compromised circulation, and excessive exposure to chemicals and water can cause these ridges to appear. Keep nails short. When it comes to fingernails, lots of rumors make the rounds about what things like white marks or ridges can indicate regarding your health. Real Talk: Are Gel Manicure UV Lamps Actually a Cause For Concern? "Not only can infection cause damage to the nail matrix, but the actual pushing can bang it up, creating a permanent ridge template for all future nail growth." Why I Insisted on Getting a Mammogram at 35. Aim to minimize by appearance of ridges by buffing gently. However, in the majority of cases, changes in our nails are caused by everyday wear and tear. Another common cause of ridges is dehydration of the nail plate—say, from frequent manicures or excessive water exposure. Try the following home remedies to get rid of ridges on fingernails: Moisturizing; Moisturizing your skin and nail cuticle is the best home remedy to remove vertical or horizontal ridges on fingernails. As you get older, your body's natural oil production slows down, and this lack of moisture can cause your nails to become brittle, thin, and prone to peeling—and cause ridges to form. Just be aware in case you experience a sudden onset of ridges or observe discoloration that's not related to bruising. File that under "longstanding beauty myths debunked" because it turns out those marks actually have nothing to do with a lack of calcium. If you have recently hit your nails hard against something or injured your fingers or toes, Beau’s lines could form at the injured areas. The nail cells absorb water, expand, and then contract when they dry out, which can weaken the bonds between nail cells over time, says Dr. Hart. For at-home treatment, look for a keratin-infused nail strengthener to use in between manicures. Dr. Dendy Engelman is a board-certified dermatologic surgeon and lecturer both in the U.S. and in the global arena. Exercising regularly also helps get rid of horizontal toenail ridges, as this contributes to various illness prevention. It's also great for pedicures. Appropriate Food and Herbs Help Get Rid of Ridges on Nail or Vertical Lines on Nails: Foods and herbs naturally enhance the nail health and helps in treating the abnormal appearance like ridges or the vertical lines on the fingernails. Iron deficiency anemia can even lead to vertical ridges and modifications to the nails that make them spoon-shaped or concave.. 2. Buffing your fingernails with an emery board may help smooth ridges. If you prefer to get manicures at a salon, ask your manicurist to incorporate a ridge filler into your service. The skin, including nails, responds to outside stimuli by thickening. Though, be careful because buffers are highly variable when it comes to their level of abrasiveness. This is because, dehydration and lack of moisture are among the possible causes for such nail ridges. 5. Be it any illness or health problem; diet plays a big part. Get insights of the meaning of white, dark, horizontal or vertical lines on fingernails and how to get rid of them. Manicurists Say Dip Powder Is One of the Most Durable Manicures—Here's Everything You Need to Know. Consider giving your tips a hand (pun totally intended) by applying a keratin treatment to your nails when you’re between manicures, like CND RescueRXx. If your nails are becoming dry or brittle and you’re noticing increased ridging, it’s recommended to take a three to four week break from manicuring to allow the nail to grow out and regain its strength, says Dr. Zubek. If your hands are constantly immersed in water, consider wearing cotton-lined rubber gloves to protect your hands and nails—and when that’s not practical, moisturize regularly. “If the condition is sudden in onset or causes splitting of the nail at the free edge, it would be beneficial to see your doctor,” says Dr. Zubek. Think: dairy products (milk, cottage cheese, plain greek yogurt), biotin (veggies, eggs, nuts), and zinc (lean meats, fish, spinach, mushrooms). Ask your dermatologist for advice on treating your nails. Whatever you do, do not use a file as this will thin the nails. This article was medically reviewed by Caroline Chang, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and member of the Prevention Medical Review Board, on July 25, 2019. (Just make sure to stop taking your supplements a few days before getting lab tests done, as biotin interference has been known to skew test results, according to the National Institutes of Health). Filing snags or irregularities post-haste also helps to prevent future trauma. Plus, think about how often you wash your hands. It’s not that gel is necessarily making ridges worse; it's really the damage nails undergo during the removal process that strips nails of oils and keratin. The science-backed formula is said to immediately reveal a healthy, hydrated, youthful shine in 10 minutes sans polish. Stay updated on the latest science-backed health, fitness, and nutrition news by signing up for the Prevention.com newsletter here. This might not be something you'd think about on an everyday basis, so to speak, but excessive exposure to water and harsh chemicals (like those found in cleaning supplies or sometimes—ugh—hand soaps or hand sanitizers!) A Top Neurosurgeon’s Best Tips for Brain Health, Meghan McCain Shares First Photo of Her Daughter, Buddy Valastro Made a Huge Cake for Hospital Staff. “In-store hardeners typically contain formaldehyde, which can temporarily harden nails in the short-term, but ongoing use can actually cause the nails to become more brittle and weak,” says Dr. Zubek. Just as your skin needs proper protection, your nails deserve that same level of care. The same goes for prolonged water exposure, like when washing dishes. Although on the rarer side of the spectrum, nail ridging can be a sign of an internal problem, such as a thyroid disorder, nutritional deficiency (iron, for example), or an autoimmune disease, says Dr. Zubek. You’ll want to … In this article, you’ll discover the meaning behind the ridges on your nails, and how to eliminate them naturally. Can the COVID-19 Vaccine Cause Allergic Reactions? It’s rare, but ridging can sometimes be a sign of an underlying systemic condition or vitamin deficiency, says Dr. Hart. "Usually, a long soak in acetone is required for a soak-off gel to be removed, and that amount of acetone exposure will exacerbate brittle nails," Stern says, "Other methods of removal, such as aggressive scraping or filing, can also damage the nail but in other ways.". “Your primary care doctor can screen for internal causes of ridging, or refer you to a dermatologist who can evaluate for skin conditions that might be causing it.”. To get rid of white spots on your nails, start by moisturizing your nails daily with a nourishing lotion or vitamin E oil. In most cases, nail ridges are benign and nothing to worry about, but there are certain characteristics to keep an eye out for, especially when it comes to Beau’s lines unrelated to trauma. He also recommends cutting nails after bathing when they're softer and less likely to break. These issues could be indicators of illness or medical conditions, so it's best to consult your doctor. Here’s What Sugar Really Does to Your Brain, Yay! Why trust us? “Washing your hands too often strips your skin of its natural oils and emollients, resulting in dryness and even hand eczema, which can cause nail changes,” says Dr. González. Unfortunately, manicures are only as good as the nails underneath them; ridges in nails look even more pronounced if any polish is applied 2.Most nail ridges are more of a nuisance than a signal of a health problem, and are often a genetically-inherited trait. You need to increase your intake of nutrients to fix this problem of how to get rid of nail ridges. Changes in color or texture, such as your nail turning a dark color (brown, black) or a surface change that’s new also warrants a visit to your doctor, says Dr. González. But don’t fret: The ridges aren’t permanent, and once they grow out, your nails will be back to business as usual. 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