Ridges in Fingernails: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

One of the body part that can reveal a lot of information regarding the health of a person are the fingernails. The person suffering from health conditions like thyroid disease or something else will get some sort of changes in your nails. The most common change seen in mass is the appearance of horizontal and vertical ridges.

Symptoms & Causes For Ridges in Fingernails

The living skin cells form the fingernails, so any condition like eczema or skin dryness can lead to arousal of fingernail ridges. Lack of zinc, calcium, Vitamin A or protein can cause the ridges to appear on your fingernails.

There are two types of ridges: Vertical Ridges & Horizontal Ridges. Vertical Ridges are also knows as longitudinal bands. The vertical ridges are mostly seen in older adults when the new cells take over the dead cells.

The iron deficiency anemia may also cause vertical ridges to arise on your fingernails. You may notice other changes like nails appearing spoon-shaped or concave.

On the other hand, horizontal ridges are known as Beau’s lines. They often act as the symptom for some serious underlying condition. They also won’t disappear until the health condition has been treated. One of the main health condition that can occur is the Acute kidney disease. If you notice the horizontal ridges appearing on all twenty nails then it can be a symptom for diabetes, thyroid disease, mumps or syphilis.

Diagnosis For Fingernail Ridges

Any immediate change in your nail should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. But if you encountered with a finger nail injury then you can wait for few days to weeks before you head for the doctor.
If the injury didn’t heal the nail and instead resulted in a torn off nail, crushed nail, or bleeding under your nail then you must consult a doctor.

Treatment For Fingernail Ridges

The treatment for fingernail ridges depends upon the underlying condition with which you have been suspected. If the Beau’s lines are caused due to diabetes, then there will be treatment for controlling your sugar level. If you have some other condition like eczema then you will be advised to use lotions and moisturizers.


Most of the times these ridges appear due to aging and don’t convey any major problem but sometimes other symptoms may also occur with ridges which can be a sign of some serious medical issue.