General Question

segdeha's avatar

What causes ridges in fingernails?

Asked by segdeha (1715points) October 4th, 2007

I just noticed more pronounced ridges on my left thumbnail than usual. What causes these? Am I just getting old? Might there be a nutritional cause?

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4 Answers

mrtomservo's avatar

Medical sites suggest that nail ridges are normal. However, a sudden increase in nail ridges, deep ridges, or splitting of the nail may be indicative of a medical problem.

“The scientific term for what you are describing is ONYCHOSCHIZIA. It is a very common problem and occurs in women more than men. The term includes splitting, frail, soft or thin nails and ridges. The most common cause is repetitive and prolonged wetting and drying of the nails. Trauma to the fingers is also a cause. Using nail polish remover can cause it as well.

In some cases, abnormal fingernails may indicate a systemic disease such as one involving the heart or lungs. Some people may inherit their nails from their parents. Another cause could be vitamin or nutritional deficiency—that would be rare in our country. I hope this helps.”

In any event, it might be worth a call to your doctor to find out.

beliabukowski's avatar

Some years ago, I bought a trianglular shape tool to buff the ridges off from my fingernails. One side was gray, one black, and one white. When finished, the nail was smooth and looked like it had gotten a coat of clear nail polish. It worked great!!!! My son was always using it, and I let him take it with him to college. Where can I get another one?

Poser's avatar

I’ve had deep ridges on the thumb, index and middle fingers of both hands all my life. My mother was convinced it was some sort of vitamin deficiency, but no multi-vitamin ever fixed it. Multiple doctors all have said it’s nothing to worry about, which convinced us that they really had no idea. I used some nail cream for a while when I was a kid that seemed to make it better, but I couldn’t ever find any more of it when the tube ran out.

momsendmoney's avatar

the answer to ridges, soft nails that bend is that the person is lacking essential amino acids, how do i know? i’ve been seeing the best MD naturopathic doctor for 28 ys. and had the same problem, had the test and got on amino acids and corrected the problem.
anyone living in WA state can order their own lab tests. if you call the tahoma clinic in renton, WA someone will tell you that an amino acid test should be done because the person with the soft nails etc. has a requirement for the 8 essential amino acids.
their is no way we can eat enough food to get all that our bodies require, there probably are other missing vitamins/mincerals that need to be addressed also.
dr. wright has written many books on health, has written for prevention mag in the past.
and has seen at least 30,000 patients from all over the world at his clinic.
he also has a web site for those interested
if it hadn’t been for this doctor i would be in terrible health, he has saved me from a life of worry, because of him i know how to treat my brother who has hep C, brittle soft nails, back injury, headaches, asthma and brain damage.
keep this in mind and check it out, i know what i’m talking about. also it will be hard to find a regular MD who knows this about the nails, one would need to find a naturopathic MD. good luck, mom

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