How to Get Rid of Ridges on Nails

by Shirlyn Ramos

Seeing ridges on your nails can be alarming. They can make your nails look weird, abnormal, and unhealthy.

The truth, however, is that ridges on nails are normal in most cases. And if you are looking for some tips on how to get rid of ridges on nails, you're in luck. This article has some of the best remedies you can try right away.

How to Get Rid of Ridges on Nails
How to Get Rid of Ridges on Nails

But before that, let's talk about nail ridges first.

What Causes Ridges In Nails?

There are so many things that can cause ridges to develop on your nails. If you see that the ones you have run vertically from the cuticles to the tips of the nails, there's really nothing to be concerned about. Vertical ridges are common and aren't typically linked with any serious health condition.

 What Causes Ridges In Nails?
What Causes Ridges In Nails?

One of the most common reasons for vertical ridges on nails is aging. As you age, your body's natural ability to produce oil slows down. This results in a lack of moisture which causes your nails to become thin, brittle, and prone to peeling. This dryness also causes ridges to form.

Apart from aging, there are other health conditions that cause vertical nail ridges. Crohn's disease, for example, can cause a lack of sufficient nutrients and malnutrition that leave the nails dry and brittle.

Anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, eczema, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease are common causes, too.

 What Causes Ridges In Nails?
What Causes Ridges In Nails?

If you see a brown line running along the length of your toenail, it's best to get it checked. In some cases, it can indicate melanoma.

Beau's lines or ridges that run across your nails, on the other hand, can indicate more serious health issues. If you notice that they are affecting more than one nail or if they aren't a result of bruising, make sure to get them checked as soon as possible.

If you see horizontal lines in all of your 20 nails, it could be related to any of the following conditions:

Thyroid disease
A side effect of chemotherapy

An injury can also change the way your nails look. Dropping a book on one of your nails, for example, can cause bruising which can alter their form. Eventually, the spots should go away gradually as your nails grow and your cells heal. If the dark spots on your nails don't go away on their own, it's best to get them checked.


Since ridges on nails are often linked to an underlying condition, one way to get rid of them is to treat or resolve the condition that's causing them to appear. See your doctor if you're unsure about what condition is causing those ridges.

For example, if eczema is causing vertical ridges on your nails, see a dermatologist who can prescribe topical medications to control it. You may also be asked to apply moisturizers on your hands.

For vertical ridges that aren't linked to any health problem, you may try to conceal them while your nails are growing.

Take note, however, that ridges on nails aren't easy to hide even with a regular nail polish. The ridges will reflect light which can catch more attention.

If you really want to hide your nail ridges, look for special polishes for such purpose. Nail polishes that are formulated to be ridge fillers settle and fill in the ridges to even out the way your nails look.

Remedies for Nail Ridges

  • Moisturize


    One of the most common reasons why nail ridges develop is dryness. Because of that, you need to regularly apply a hand and nail moisturizer, particularly after washing. This is because water can strip off the moisture in your skin and nails. There are also soaps that are too drying.

  • Practice Proper Nail Hygiene

     Practice Proper Nail Hygiene
    Practice Proper Nail Hygiene

    Make it a habit to trim and clean your nails as well. They are helpful in preventing fungal infections. In case you have an existing fungal infection, applying coconut oil, lemon juice, and garlic can help ease its symptoms.

  • Protect Your Nails

    To avoid damages and breakage, do manual labor while wearing gloves. Also, try to avoid exposing your nails to strong chemicals that can weaken them.

  • Use a File

     Use a File
    Use a File

    Another option is to use a 4-way nail fail to smooth away the ridges. Make sure to file in one direction only and don't apply too much force on your nails. Doing so will cause trauma.

  • Massage

    Massage your nails and nail beds regularly with olive oil, coconut oil or vitamin E oil. Regular massage can boost the blood circulation to your nails. Those oils, meanwhile, possess great moisturizing properties. Apart from strengthening your nails, they can also prevent hangnails and cracks.

  • Watch Your Diet

    Believe it or not, your diet plays a huge rine on the health of your nails as well. So, make sure to eat a balanced diet that contains protein, carbohydrates, mineral irons, and vitamins.

    It's also a good idea to eat foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. They have great antioxidant properties which are essential in removing free radicals from your body.

    Don't forget to drink a lot of water, too. Proper hydration can enhance the way your body functions and the way your nails look.


In general, vertical ridges on nails are normal. They happen due to aging, dryness, and trauma. In some cases, they can indicate minor health issues such as diabetes and vitamin deficiencies.

Deeper horizontal ridges, on the other hand, can indicate more serious conditions. If you notice them on your nails, make sure to see your doctor as soon as possible. It's best to get checked early so that you can be treated right away.

Preventing ridges on nails is possible. As long as you know how to take care of your nails properly and you're eating the right types of food, you should see fewer ridges on your nails. Additionally, you should also be careful with the products you are using on your nails. Make sure that you nail polishes don't contain harmful chemicals that can wear out your nails and leave them brittle.

About Shirlyn Ramos

Shirlyn Ramos has worked as a manager for a famous nail salon chain for over 10 years. She's seen it all, and now she likes to share her experience with others in the hopes of helping them create beautiful nails. When she's not busy with work, Shirlyn enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves going on walks and exploring new places.

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