Vertical Ridges on Nails, Vitamin Deficiency?

There are various reasons why you have ridges on nails, including kidney and thyroid disorders, stress, and many others. Fingernail ridges are typically not harmful.

Your fingernails can provide a wealth of information about your health. The emergence of vertical or horizontal ridges is one typical alteration. Find out more about the causes and potential meanings of fingernail ridges.

Vertical Ridges on Nails

Furrows that extend from the tip of your fingernail to the cuticle are known as vertical ridges. They are sometimes known as bands or longitudinal striations.

Age-related changes in cell turnover may explain why older persons’ fingernails frequently develop little vertical ridges. This occurs when fresh skin cells created beneath the skin’s surface emerge to replace the surface’s dead cells.

If you also have other symptoms, such as changes in the color or texture of your nails, a medical problem could be to blame. According to a study conducted in 2016, the ridges in trachyonychia (twenty-nail dystrophy) may appear glossy or brittle.

Vertical ridges and nail alterations that cause them to become concave or spoon-shaped can also be brought on by iron deficiency anemia, according to Trusted Source.

Horizontal nail ridges

Research from 2018 indicates that Beau’s lines, which are deep horizontal ridges, are frequently signs of a dangerous ailment. In some cases, they may even stop nail growth while the underlying disease is being treated. If Beau’s lines emerge, acute renal illness may also be present.

The 2015 study that was previously stated suggests that the development of Beau’s lines on all 20 nails may be a sign of:

Chemotherapy may also cause Beau’s lines.

Red or brown spots may appear beneath your nails as a result of nail trauma. Without having suffered nail injuries, if you see dark brown, black, or red color changes under your nails, it could be a sign of a more serious illness like endocarditis or melanoma.

How to identify the origin of fingernail ridges

Your nails should be examined by a doctor if they change. You can wait a few weeks to examine how your finger and your damaged nail heal after an injury before deciding whether to visit a doctor.

But, if the injury leads to any of the following, you should consult a doctor right away:

  • Your nail is cleanly or raggedly cut, or it is crushed.
  • A ripped-off nail with blood running under it

Your doctor will check your nails during the session and inquire about any additional symptoms you may be having.

If your doctor suspects renal disease, diabetes, or nutritional deficiencies, they may request blood and urine testing.

A dermatologist can help you get started on a treatment plan if it appears that the ridges are caused by a skin issue.

Your dermatologist could collect some fingernail clippings to have them examined in a lab for indications of infection if the reason for your fingernail ridges is unclear.

Treating fingernail ridges

Treatment focuses on the underlying reason for the changes to your nails because fingernail ridges are frequently indicators of other health issues. For instance, if you have diabetes and have Beau’s lines on your fingernails, controlling your blood sugar may help to minimize them.

Moisturizers for your hands or topical ointments to lessen eczema symptoms may be used as part of the treatment for skin disorders like eczema. It may be suggested that you change your diet or take supplements to raise your levels if low levels of minerals or vitamins are to fault.

See a dermatologist for guidance on how to care for your nails. You’ll want to exercise caution to prevent more harm.

Using the Healthline FindCare service, you may get in touch with a dermatologist in your neighborhood.


The majority of the time, fingernail ridges are a classic indicator of age. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to nail modifications such as fingernail ridges. These could be the initial indicators of a major medical condition.

Fingernail ridges are typically an indication of age. Older persons frequently develop little vertical ridges.

Ripples can occasionally be an indication of medical conditions like a vitamin deficiency or diabetes. Beau’s lines, which are broad horizontal ridges, can signify a dangerous ailment.


What do your nails' ridges indicate?

Although they are typically unimportant, nail ridges can indicate many things. Age-related vertical ridges are frequently visible. Horizontal ridges may be a sign of Beau’s lines, severe nail damage, or even undernutrition.

What causes nail ridges?

According to a study from 2022, ridges in nails are typically caused by aging but can also signify inappropriate nail care, nail trauma, vitamin deficiency, or even a more serious medical disease.

Which vitamins should I take to treat nail ridges?

Iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D are all vitamins that can benefit nail health. Biotin is also strongly advised to help with nail health, according to 2018 research from a reputable source (Trusted Source), but additional studies are still required to fully comprehend the advantages.

Can nail ridges be removed with a buff?

Some doctors advise gently buffing your nails to get rid of ridges. It is advised to continue nourishing your nails, keeping them clipped, and consulting a dermatologist for more guidance.

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