What Are Those Ugly Lines On My Fingernails?

As I’ve gotten older, those vertical ridges on my nails seem to be getting more and more prominent. I really noticed those ugly lines recently in the pictures on my pumpkin cheesecake dip recipe where my thumb is on full display holding a Nilla wafer. That’s when I decided to do some research to see if those ridges meant anything about my health, and if there was anything I could do to get rid of them.

What They Mean About Your Health

After a lot of research, I did find that there is a small, rare possibility that those ridges can mean an underlying medical condition or possibly even nail trauma, but for most of us, it’s completely normal as we age to see them getting more noticeable, especially if you have dry skin or skin conditions such as eczema.

I’m 36, and they’ve only recently started bothering me, but I’m relieved to find that they are most likely harmless. I’m just getting old. : )

But Why Are They There?

They’re basically like wrinkles of the nails! As we age, the nail matrix gradually starts to lose it’s effectiveness in some areas, causing your nails to grow out uneven, resulting in what we see as lines or ridges that run from the cuticle all the way up to the tip of the nail.

However, there are some deficiencies that can also cause these ridges or make them worse:

If your body is low in protein, zinc, calcium or vitamin A, a deficiency can sometimes be revealed by those annoying vertical ridges in your nails. If you have deep ridges or any other health issues, it wouldn’t hurt to get a blood test to check for possible deficiencies.