As I’ve gotten older, those vertical ridges on my nails seem to be getting more and more prominent. I really noticed those ugly lines recently in the pictures on my pumpkin cheesecake dip recipe where my thumb is on full display holding a Nilla wafer. That’s when I decided to do some research to see if those ridges meant anything about my health, and if there was anything I could do to get rid of them.
What They Mean About Your Health
After a lot of research, I did find that there is a small, rare possibility that those ridges can mean an underlying medical condition or possibly even nail trauma, but for most of us, it’s completely normal as we age to see them getting more noticeable, especially if you have dry skin or skin conditions such as eczema.
I’m 36, and they’ve only recently started bothering me, but I’m relieved to find that they are most likely harmless. I’m just getting old. : )
But Why Are They There?
They’re basically like wrinkles of the nails! As we age, the nail matrix gradually starts to lose it’s effectiveness in some areas, causing your nails to grow out uneven, resulting in what we see as lines or ridges that run from the cuticle all the way up to the tip of the nail.
However, there are some deficiencies that can also cause these ridges or make them worse.
If your body is low in protein, zinc, calcium or vitamin A, a deficiency can sometimes be revealed by those annoying vertical ridges in your nails. If you have deep ridges or any other health issues, it wouldn’t hurt to get a blood test to check for possible deficiencies.
How To Lessen The Appearance Of Vertical Ridges On Your Nails
The best way to help lessen the appearance of those lines in the first place is to make sure you are moisturizing your hands and fingers throughout the day with a thick cream, oil or petroleum jelly, paying special attention to your cuticles. Basically, treat your nails like you would your wrinkles!
Also, I may sound like I’ve been living under a rock or something, but I didn’t realize you could buff and polish them with a simple $8 tool that makes them smooth and shiny, almost as if you’re wearing clear nail polish. I found this shape and shine tool on Amazon, and now I feel like I have a brand new set of hands! This seems to be the quickest solution, just be sure not to get carried away with all that buffing and sanding, especially if you have thin nails.
Painting your nails will obviously help disguise your ridges as well, especially if you use a ridge filling base coat. It also helps create a bond with your nail polish so that it lasts a little longer.