• Brittany Conroy

Ridges in the fingernails: Why do I have them? Are they Normal? Should I worr

A very common complaint that our clients at ATiR Natural Nail Care Clinic have about their fingernails are the ridges in their nails. There are so many speculations as to why people get them, from aging to nutritional deficiencies, but what's the real answer? What causes them? Should I worry? Can I prevent them? And what can I do to hide them? The truth is that fingernail ridges are very common. They do tend to be more visible as you age, but they can happen to people of all ages! Here are the most common questions answered when it comes to understanding and getting rid of those pesky ridges. Does having ridges mean that I'm missing something in my diet? Probably not, as you get older your body's natural oil production slows down. Your natural nail is comprised of small vertical grooves that transfer the moisture out of your skin and up into the nail plate. When your skin is dry, your nails then also become dry and build up extra dead cells. Lack of external moisture from washing your hands, cold/dry weather and hand sanitizers can also cause the nail plate to become brittle and start peeling. The good news is that by adding external creams and lotions to the fingertips especially at the cuticle area, where your nails roots are, can boost the level of hydration to the skin and certainly make a difference in improving not only your skin but also the nails. Should I worry about my ridges? If your ridges run vertically on your nails, then no, this is completely normal and a symptom of external dehydration. However, if your ridges run horizontally, then it could be related to a medical condition, a vitamin deficiency or nail trauma, so be sure to see your doctor if you think you have reason to be concerned. More often than not, if it is related to a medical problem or vitamin deficiency, then you will notice a pattern to more than half of the nails experiencing the same symptoms. If you notice the grooves on only one nail or perhaps both thumbs, then it could be from picking at the cuticles or being too aggressive to the cuticle area resulting in trauma to the nail plate. The trauma should grow out within 3-5 months. Is there anything I can do to get rid of my ridges? As noted, one of the primary reasons why ridges form in the first place is due to the lack of external hydration in the skin surrounding the nail. Moisturizing your nails with a good cream such as ATiR's Nail-trition or Cuticle EMT can help prevent the ridges from building on your nails. Should I buff the ridges out? Absolutely, just be careful not to buff too hard or for too long or you could cause the nail to become thin. We recommend a natural nail buffer which is very soft to exfoliate away the extra dead cells. As an added bonus, this will also buff away any discoloration to the nail plate and create a smooth nail perfect for nail polish to adhere to! I have buffed my nails and I still have small ridges, what can I use to make them completely smooth? ATiR offers a wonderful product for filling the ridges and smoothing the nail plate. ATiR's FLAWLESS is a silk protein enriched Ridge Filler that not only works to smooth the nail but also to protect the nail from drying out. This Ridge Filler also comes in tints of Pink and Beige or you can stick with the au' natural Clear option.