How to Get Rid of Nail Ridges

Posted 4 months ago by Prakhar Parihar in

Every woman wants to look beautiful and stunning and to achieve that effect a lot of elements of beauty, skin, hair, and health care have to come together and create an image which is attractive and enviable to others. In the face of a situation such as this, a small shortcoming can cause a fracture in the well cultivated and cultured looks which women work so hard and meticulously to achieve. We are here to help you with your issues as we always like to do. In this article, we are going to talk about nail care. Like every other part of the body, our nails also need upkeep and maintenance to avoid any deterioration and to keep them looking healthy and pretty. Our nails can also suffer from a variety of issues and conditions which are generally a sign of other health problems like deficiencies elsewhere in the body. Various human and bodily factors like stress, trauma, aging, kidney and thyroid disease, and more can bring about sudden changes in your nails' appearance and condition. One of the more common changes which are noticed by people in their nails is the formation of ridges on your nails. These ridges can be either vertical or horizontal. Generally, these ridges do not signify anything major and are usually benign. Still, we are going to look a the common causes behind the occurrence of ridges in nails and the solutions and remedies which you can utilize to treat them in this comprehensive article. Basically, you will be able to learn all you need to know regarding ridges in nails and what to do to get rid of them effectively and efficiently. So, without further ado, let us get right into the innards of this topic.

How to Get Rid of Nail Ridges

Differences Between Horizontal and Vertical Ridges in Nails

In this first section, we are going to differentiate the two most common types of ridges [1] seen on fingernails and the individual causes which could be behind them. Your fingernails[2] may seem like dead stuff on your skin but it is actually made up of living cells which are in your fingers. Hence, conditions and effects on the skin can ripple onto causing some changes in our nails too. Various deficiencies like Calcium[3], Zinc[4], Vitamin A, proteins, and even water can lead to the formation of ridges on the nails. Let us dissect the differences behind the two types:

Vertical Ridges on Nails

This type of ridges on the nails is by far the more common type among the two. These appear as small vertical lines or furrows on the nails' surface which run from the tips of the nails to the cuticles[5]. These are also sometimes known as longitudinal striations or bands on fingernails. These type of ridges are most seen as they appear on many people's nails naturally as they age. Hence, natural aging is considered a common cause behind the formation of this kind of ridges. That happens because of the nail matrix decaying and shriveling with passing time. Hence, aging commonly also causes ridges to form on your fingernails along with a whole host of other changes, most of which seem more significant than ridges on the nails. The turnover rate of the cells in our body also slows down with increasing age of the body which also results in the formation of these vertical ridges on the nails. Furthermore, the skin and nails become less efficient in retaining moisture too which also adds to the formation of vertical ridges.

There are reasons other than the ones mentioned previously which could lead to the sudden appearance of ridges, like nutritional and vitamin deficiencies[6] in the body. Other diseases, illnesses, and health conditions can also result in the formation of these vertical ridges;  Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the disorders which can result in the formation of vertical ridges on your fingernails. If there is just one vertical ridge or line on your fingernail, it could be because of a cancerous tumor[7] which could be developing at the base or cuticle of your nail. So, it is a good idea to get that checked out immediately if you see anything close to that.

There are also external factors like the intrusion of foreign microbes like fungus[8]; Lichen planus is one such fungus which commonly causes rashes on the skin but can just as easily cause the formation of ridges in your nails also. This kind of ridges can appear quite suddenly on the fingernails and are generally easier and quicker to treat and go away too. However, if your fingernails exhibiting other symptoms like a change in their color or texture, it is generally caused due to some underlying medical issue. Issues like trachyonychia[9] or 20-nail dystrophy can make your nails brittle and rough and also bring about the mentioned changes. Nutritional deficiency related disorders like Iron deficiency anemia can also result in the formation of ridges on the nails. A common symptom to spot that deficiency disorder is that it makes the nails a bit concave or spoon-like in shape.

Horizontal Ridges on Nails

This type is less commonly seen between these two kinds of nail ridges. The horizontal ridges on the fingernails are generally deeper and point to some serious condition, disease, or disorder within the body. This type of ridges on the nails are also called Beau's lines, named after the scientist who first analyzed them and the causes behind them. Beau's lines[10] can actually hamper the growth of the nails and even stop it altogether. Diseases and issues within the body are the most common reasons behind these though. Any of the following diseases can cause the formation of horizontal ridges on the nails as symptoms: Thyroid disease, acute kidney disease, diabetes[11], syphilis, Mumps, and even chemotherapy[12] and certain medications can result in the formation of horizontal ridges. So, if you see horizontal ridges on your nails, especially if they are on all 20 of your nails, consult with your doctor immediately to run some tests and figure out the root of your problem. 

Serious skin conditions like melanoma or endocarditis can also result in the formation of these types of ridges along with changes in the pigmentation of skin under the skin. Trauma and stress on nails can also discoloration or appearance of brown, black, or red spots under the nails so if your fingernails have not suffered any of that, get your skin checked out by a good dermatologist to figure out the cause and solution of your problem. Basically, if there is some underlying serious problem within your body, then only you will see horizontal ridges on your nails. Some other disorders and disease which can cause these ridges are: Lung diseases, liver disorder, high fever like cause from pneumonia, measles, peripheral vascular diseases, scarlet fever, and deficiency of zinc in the body. So, get your health and body checked out by your family physician or trusted doctor as soon as you can for any underlying cause if horizontal ridges appear on your nails.

Common Causes Behind Fingernail Ridges

Now, in this section, we will look at the common reasons which can result in the formation of ridges on your nails and why it happens. 

How to Treat and Prevent Fingernail Ridges: Tips & Tricks

By this point in the article, we have learned about the factors which are commonly behind the formation ridges on the nails and the different kinds which can come out of that. Now, we are in the actionable phase and that is why here, we will learn all tips and tricks which will help you avoid the ridges on the nails and to treat them to get rid of them if you already have them. No point in waiting now, let us dive right in the topic:

Other than these points, you should also follow proper procedures for nail care to keep them healthy and hygienic. You can enhance the care and support you give your nails by perusing and then using the following instructional tips.

Home Remedies to get rid of Nail Ridges

Now, in this section, we will look at a bunch of home remedies which can help you get rid of the ridges in your fingernails to return to you the smooth and shiny nails which you had or always wanted. These remedies can also help make your nails healthier and better looking and stronger too. So, peruse these remedies closely and try them out to find out the best option which fits your needs. First up in the list of remedies for nail ridges is:

  1. Coconut Oil 
  2. Garlic 
  3. Home Made Exfoliator 
  4. Tea Tree Oil 
  5. Lavender Oil 
  6. Yogurt 
  7. Lemon Juice

Coconut Oil

Coconut is one of the most versatile and beneficial fruits to the whole human race. Every part of the coconut tree provides tons of uses to us and our society. The oil from the fruit of the coconut is great for the body, the skin, hair, you name it. Coconut oil is quite commonly used in skincare, haircare and even cooking but not many people use it to improve the health and condition of their nails. But it certainly can also be used in that way. The nail improving properties comes from it possessing anti-fungal properties and hydrating and nourishing qualities as well. Hence, it can eradicate any harmful fungus from the nails and help keep them hygienic and clean. It can also help moisturize the nails to keep them healthy and strong. To harness its nail benefiting properties, just take a little bit of coconut oil and massage it onto your nails and cuticles. You can apply coconut oil up to three times every day, that will help keep your nails in top shape.


Garlic can also help keep the nails clean and hygienic owing to its strong antifungal properties. Hence, it can aid in keeping the nail area hygienic and clean and consequently avoid the formation of any ridges on there. To use this natural ingredient as a nail remedy, just take a fresh clove and then apply it onto the nails after crushing it into a paste. You can also crush the garlic[15] to make a paste and then combine it with some other oil which will act as a base. You can use coconut oil or olive oil etc.

Home Made Exfoliator

You can get some help in removing the uneven looking ridges on your nails by making your own gentle exfoliator using simple home ingredients. This exfoliator will work great in smoothing out the nails and reducing the appearance of any ridges or furrows on there. You just need some baking soda and some water for this remedy too, which is terrific. Just take 3 parts baking soda and mix it with one part baking soda. That is all you need to make this gentle exfoliator of the nails. After you have created the exfoliator, just gently massage it onto your nails and fingers using circular motions. This will help cleanse and smooth out your nails and with regular usage, you will see your nail ridges fading away in front of your own eyes.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is also a highly medicinal plant which has many beneficial characteristics for a ton of different parts of the body and the ailments that plague them. It is very antifungal and antimicrobial hence it is very effective in keeping your nails hygienic and free from pesky fungus and other microbes. Moreover, Tea tree oil has properties which can help stimulate the regeneration of skin cells. Consequently, tea tree oil is one of the most beneficial and effective oils for the skin and the whole body and it can also help with the ridges on your nails.

Lavender Oil

This is another oil which is great for the health of the nails. It also has a heavenly aroma which soothes and calms the people down real quick. It is also anti-fungal and so really effective in keeping your nail area free of harmful and pesky microbes which just want to cause some chaos and deteriorate the health of your nails. Hence, this is quite an effective remedy to treat the nails and prevent any further growth of harmful microbes on the nails which could result in the formation of ridges on there.


Yogurt is a probiotic hence it contains the bacteria called Lactobacillus acidophilus in it. This can prevent the onset and kill off any harmful fungi on the nails which can help a lot with the nail ridges. Moreover, it is mighty easy to find and use. Just take some yogurt and apply it all over your nails for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off. If you decide to go for this remedy, use it a couple of time every day to get rid of your ridges on your nails quickly.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice also has properties which can help keep the nails clean and hygienic. It can kill off any and all fungi and other microbes residing on your nails. Lemon juice can also be great for the skin when used appropriately. Finding and using it is easy as pie too as lemons are never too far from finding if you are looking for them. Take some freshly squeezed lemon juice and apply it onto your nails after mixing it with a little bit of iodine for great and beneficial effects on the nails' health and hygiene.

That is about it for this post. We hope you have found useful information and solutions here which help you understand and treat the ridges on your nails. All the best and stay Healthy!

This article has been medically reviewed by Dr.Nagakeerthana S, MD (Dermatology) on 18/06/2019 

How to Get Rid of Nail Ridges

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