Most people get concerned about fingernail ridges because they are ugly. Few people realize that fingernails can be an excellent barometer of overall health - they can help your healthcare professional understand more about your health condition
Ridges of the fingernails, along with discolorations and contour changes, are important indications of undiagnosed medical problems. When you see these ripples, it is not always a cause for concern, however. Sometimes ridges are from previous injuries or are just there. Here are some of the different types of ridges that can occur.
Vertical Nail Ridges
When the ridges run vertically or length-wise, it is a common normal variant and usually not a sign of serious disease. The ridges that extend from the base of your fingernail to the tip in an orderly fashion are oftentimes just a sign of an aging nail. Vertical nail ridges do not indicate poor health, generally, so don’t panic if you have these.
Horizontal Nail RidgesIf you have ridges that go from one side and cross over to the other side of the nail, then you have horizontal ridges of your nails. There are many different types of these and they could signal an underlying medical condition. If you have recently noticed the development of horizontal nail ridges, consult with your healthcare professional to see what is advisable.
Beau’s LinesThese are the deeply grooved ridges of the nails. Sometimes they give the nail a darkened appearance. More often than not, these distinctive ridges are caused from previous injury to the nailbed, malnutrition, certain medications, or metabolic conditions like diabetes. Protein synthesis is interrupted and this leads to a ridge. When the nail growth is temporarily stopped, a ridge develops and this is known as a Beau’s line.
Read more: Six Diet Tips for Strong and Healthy Nails