Question from Lucia

Question

Hi there. I have lines that look like ridges that run down my ring finger nail on my left hand and the same on my right hand but on my pinky finger – what is this? I have had it all my life – I’m 45 now. The rest of my nails look fine, all smooth.

Submitted by Lucia on 9 May 2016

Answer

It is indeed true that certain signs on the nails may indicate underlying health issues, however vertical ridges on the nail (running from the nail bed to the tip of the finger) does not have any association with illness.

Many healthy people have these ridges on their nails and it is thought to be caused by differences in cell turnover in the nails.

Horizontal ridges (running from side to side) and pitting of the nails are associated with a period of illness or poor nutrition during the time of the nail growth. They normally grow out of the nails completely when health improves or nutrition is improved.

White spots on the nails may be associated with a Zinc or vitamin B6 deficiency, but can also be caused by minor trauma to the nail (even from little bumps to the nail).

I don’t think the vertical ridges on your nails are a cause for concern. If however you notice a sudden change in your nails, come and see a Health Renewal doctor for a more thorough investigation.

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