Having ridges on your fingernails doesn’t seem like a big problem. In fact, most people simply think that it is a cosmetic problem and that they just need to file their nails to get rid of the ridges. But the truth is, having ridges on your nails can be indicative of a bigger problem. Depending upon the way that the ridges go, and the look of the ridges, they can mean lots of different things and indicate everything from stress to kidney disease.
Understanding that nail ridges are potentially serious will allow you to take steps to solve the problem. One of the most common causes of nail ridges is a nutrient deficiency. That means that you need to replace the nutrients that you are lacking. However, there are other causes as well, but you can usually solve nail ridges with some of the strategies listed below.
1. Take Care of Your Nails
You should definitely take care of your fingernails if you want to prevent nail ridges or heal the ones that you have. That means developing good nail habits. One of the things that you can do is make sure that your nails are trimmed regularly. You should always trim your nails straight with a slight curve at the very end. The thing about having nail ridges is that if you have long nails, your nails can crack or break pretty easily.
The best time to cut your nails is right after a bath when your nails are soft and pliable so that they do not break while you’re trimming them. You also want to make sure that you are keeping your nails clean. Normally, a daily shower will keep your fingernails pretty clean, but you should still wash your hands with soap and water making sure to scrub under the nails when you wash your hands.
2. Don’t Bite Your Nails
Make sure that you don’t bite your nails. A lot of people have a bad habit of biting their nails, and especially pulling out hangnails. But this is a bad idea when you have nail ridges for the same reason that it is a bad idea to keep your nails long – the ridges make for extremely thin spots within the nail where nails could easily crack or break wide open and that will make it a lot harder for your nail to heal.
You will have to wait for the entire fingernail to grow back in fact. If you have nail ridges, biting your nails can be one of the worst things that you can do. That’s also why trimming is so important. If your nails are trimmed, then you’re much less likely to bite them, even if you are in the habit of doing so. You can replace your biting habit with hard candy, toothpicks or other oral stimulants.
3. Use Lotion to Moisturize Your Nails
You can use lotion to moisturize your nails and make them softer and more pliable – which makes them less likely to break. There are lots of different choices out there when it comes to lotions that you can use, but when it comes to nails, you really want the lotion to get down deep inside, so you want to use thick oil or lotion. You also want to dab a little bit on your thumb or finger and rub it into the nail completely.
Don’t just spend a couple seconds rubbing it in; make sure that you’re getting it way down deep into the nail itself and all the way around it. You should also moisturize your cuticles the same way. This will go a long way towards treating your nail ridges.
4. Don’t Buff or File the Ridges
Don’t buff or file the ridges. A lot of people tend to file their nails when they have ridges in an effort to get rid of them. But this is not advisable. The ridge in your nail has very little fingernail between the surface and the nail bed. Buffing can easily go through those ridges and the very thin layers that are present there that lead to a painful exposition of the nail bed. Plus, when you do this, there is a good chance of your nails cracking and breaking.
There are other solutions out there for treating the nail ridges or making them not as noticeable when you go out to a party or something. But you definitely want to avoid using an emery board to file them. It can make the whole situation a lot worse. The last item on this list is a ridge filler which is a much better solution.
5. Use Rubber Gloves When Cleaning
Make sure that you are using rubber gloves when you’re cleaning. That’s because some of the chemicals that you made be using in your house can contribute to these nail ridges or make them worse. You should obviously avoid harsh chemicals whenever you’re cleaning, but even the standard chemicals like bleach or 409 can be really harsh on your nails, and that is especially true when it comes to nails with ridges on them.
Wearing rubber gloves will definitely help. You can get a cheap pair of rubber gloves from the department store for a couple of dollars, and you should wear them whenever you’re using bathroom cleaner, anything antibacterial or strong smelling; and basically for any cleaning-related chore except for washing dishes. Washing dishes is perfectly fine because dish detergent is really gentle and you can even use the dishwashing as an opportunity to trim your nails while they are soft.
6. Spend Time without Nail Polish
You should spend some time with natural nails instead of always going with nail polish are using nail polish remover all the time. As you probably know, nail polish remover is pretty strong stuff, but what you may not be aware of is that nail polish is also pretty destructive. Most of the time, you do not notice because your nails are thick and the nail polish only sits on the top surface layer.
But when you start having ridges in your nails, then when you put the polish on the polish drips down onto the surface of those ridges which is really close to your nail bed. This can cause holes in those ridges which can lead to major problems. Plus, if you do use nail polish remover then you definitely want to go with the nail polish remover the does not have acetone in it.
7. Get Your Proper Nutrition
Make sure that you are getting proper nutrition. That means making sure that you are adding fruits and vegetables to your diet as well as all of the other recommended foods like grains, cereals, bread, the right fats and more. If you are not sure whether you are getting the right nutrition, then you may want to consult with a nutritionist.
Eating a well-balanced diet is difficult for many people, because they are so used to the diet that they have been using for so many years. But getting the daily recommended allowance of vitamins and minerals is absolutely vital when you have nail ridges. Nail ridges can be indicative of some major problems like kidney failure, so you want to make sure that your lack of nutrition is not causing your internal organs to fail.
8. Add a Multivitamin to Your Diet
If you cannot get enough nutrients in your diet, then you should definitely consider adding a multivitamin instead. There are lots of multivitamins out there, and most people need them anyway because they aren’t getting the right nutrients. They even have gummy vitamins which make them really easy to take. Check out your nutritional plan or regular diet and try to determine if you are getting the right nutrients.
Even if you are, adding a multivitamin to your diet is not going to do you any harm. You can go over a little bit on the daily recommended amount of most vitamins and minerals, and typically, people do not get enough as it is.
9. Don’t Cut Your Cuticles
Make sure that instead of cutting your cuticles, you are pushing them back. This is recommended by dermatologists because it is a lot less destructive and will not cause you problems if you have nail ridges. The way that you do this safely is by taking a washcloth and gently pushing back the cuticles after bathing. They’re pliable and a lot easier to manage right after having been soaked in water.
Cuticle removers damage the protective seal of the cuticle and they can also contain alkaline materials that destroy the keratin in your nail. This means that there is a good chance that you will cause your nail to split because of how unhealthy it is. Of course, you can always use a tool to push back your cuticles, but you want to make sure that you do it very gently so that you do not gouge or damage your nails in any way.
10. Use a Ridge Filler
You can use a ridge filler if you want to make the ridges less prominent on your nails and help them heal naturally. A ridge filler is a specific type of nail treatment that is intended to fill in the spaces between the ridges and protect that thin layer of nail that is at the bottom of the ridges and can lead to problems.
There are lots of different ridge fillers on the market, and you can find them in department stores and boutiques in every city and town. The bottom line though is that you take care of your nails and you do is much as you can to address problems like nutritional deficiencies so that you actually fix the root of the problem and not just cover it up. Treating the symptoms of your nail ridges is only a temporary fix.