How to get rid of ridges in fingernails

Abnormalities in nails are very much common which are ridges, white spots, discolored, brittle and spit nails with many others. This can lead to many conditions, trauma or not a thing at all of worrying. There are mainly two types of ridges – Horizontal and Vertical.

Longitudinal or vertical ridges: Small lines which are raised running from up to down in the length of the nail. These are very common are usually caused due to trauma, medical condition which is underlying and aging. These are mostly noticed when people starts aging. When brittle nails are associated with vertical ridges then it is known as Onychorrhexis.

Horizontal or transverse ridges: These are nothing but depressions on the nail which does not hint ridges but some medical condition underlying such as heart attack, diabetes, infections and metabolic problems.


Vertical ridges on fingernails

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Tiny vertical lines which are raised on the fingernails are very common and are declared with age. Studies proved many reasons for longitudinal ridges and aging is a common one among them. Nail matrix becomes atrophied in areas when people starts aging thus the vertical lines are formed.

The whole nail is full of vertical ridges spaced evenly and is not at all harmful. This problem is due to the nail failing to retain its moisture with old age.

Lack of vitamins and poor nutrition can lead to lengthwise lines. Injuries and conditions which are underlying like rheumatoid arthritis are also considered as the main reason. Formation one vertical line on your line is a sign of tumor which is developing at the nail root thus it should raise concerns.

Vertical ridges on fingernails can also be due to lichen planus which mainly causes skin rash. Ridges like this are seen and also form quickly and are declared within a short span of time.

The nails get a very bad appearance due to ridges for which nobody wants to have it. Most people buff them off due to this but that is not right as it as forms the thinnest line on the nail. The splitting of nail can become worse due to buffing causing pain, discomfort, infection and you can lose the nail too.

Horizontal ridges in fingernails

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These ridges are signs of serious diseases inside your body. Only one horizontal ridge means the immune system of your body is fighting that disease. But in case it’s recurring it will be due to some chronic disease like kidney, lung or liver disease and needs serious medical treatment.

Beau’s line is problem which has symptoms like indentations across the nail bed. This can happen due to uncontrolled diabetes, high fever such as pneumonia, measles, peripheral vascular diseases, scarlet fever, mumps and lack of zinc.

Causes of ridged fingernails

Main causes of ridged fingernails are listed below.

Lack of vitamins and minerals

When the consumption of nutrients is improper then it is called malnutrition. This can lead to lack of vitamins and minerals in the body. If nutrients are not properly absorbed by the body then it is called malabsorption.

Deficiency of some specific mineral iron and vitamin can lead to ridges on your fingernails and toenails. These include:

B vitamins

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Since these promote cell growth these are considered as important elements of our body. Vitamin B-12 increases nail growth and strengthening.


Lack of iron can also cause ridged fingernails and toenails. Koilonychias is what this is known as.

Vitamin C

This prevents infection on the skin and nails. It can be found in fruits and vegetables.

Zinc and calcium also are important mineral irons which promotes body cells as well as tissue development. Deficiency of them can also cause ridges.


Body cells also ages along with the people. Which suggests that there is negligible or no growth and replacement of tissues which are old and worn out. Deficiency of oil secretion in the bed of nail and cuticle can also affect the nails.

Insufficient moisture

Dryness of nails, hands and cuticle is caused due to low moisture content in the skin. This can be due to while washing usage of harsh products, manual work and harsh environment.

Lack of moisture can also cause cracked brittle nails, discolored nail beds and split cuticle other than nail ridges.

Diseases and conditions

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Nail problems can also be caused due to underlying medical conditions such as white spots on nails, ridges, cracking and brittle nails. Psoriasis is one of the diseases which can cause this. Nail ridges can be a symptom of nail fungus infections too.


There are a lot of ways using which we can cure ridged fingernails and toenails. It can be done using self-help treatments and also by the use of natural ingredients.

Nutritional diet

Balanced diet

It should contain proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates and mineral irons. To avoid malnutrition and malabsorption eat food full of nutrients.

Omega 3 fatty acids

These contain antioxidant properties which removes free radicals from the body. Fish and nuts are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. Including this in your diet will give your nails a healthy appearance.


Water ensures our body tissues proper hydration. Proper functioning of body organs is enhanced by consuming sufficient amount of water.

Nail care and hygiene

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  1. To avoid breakage and damages in fingernails and toe nails causing ridges. While doing manual labor wear gloves. Try to avoid contact with strong chemical irritants.
  1. Trim, clean and dry the nails to ensure good nail hygiene. Tearing and nail fungus infections are thus prevented.
  1. Use hand and nail moisturizer to regularly moisturize your nails especially after washing.
  1. Give slight pressure while buffering your nails so that it softens the appearance of the nail ridges. Too much pressure can cause breakage.


Coconut oil

Tackling nail and toe fungus can be done using coconut oil as it contains antifungal properties. It makes a barrier on the nail against moisture preventing multiplication of fungus. Apply this on nail, toe or finger which is affected at least three times per day.

Lemon juice

Treatment of infections related can be done by lemon as it has both antifungal and antibacterial properties. Mixing lemon juice with a small amount of iodine and apply it on your nails three times everyday to prevent symptoms of fungal infection.


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Fingernail ridges can cure by garlic as it contains strong antifungal ingredients. Crush the fresh garlic clove and apply it directly on the area which is affected or you can also add any base oil such as olive or coconut oil.


Nail fungus can be treated by yogurt as it contains Lactobacillus acidophilus. Apply it on the nails keeping it for 15 minutes before washing and drying the nails. For effective results apply it twice or thrice everyday.

Lavender oil

Due to its antifungal properties it is suitable for curing nail fungal infections. The oil also protects the nail against moisture preventing further formation of fungus.

Tea tree oil

Apply it on the affected area to prevent activities of fungus as it comprises antifungal properties.