Nails are not just a platform for creative nail arts but they actually are like a window to our inner health. The appearance, texture and color of nails may give several indications about what is going inside one’s body. They reflect the nutritional status of your body.
Nails are indicative of our body’s overall state of health. Any sudden change in the texture, color or appearance of nails and nail bed should not be neglected, as these changes in the nails can indicate nutritional deficiencies which may further lead to more serious health conditions.
Trauma to nails may also cause red or brown spots on the nails but if you have not had any nail injury or trauma and are still observing dark brown or red spots on your nails, then you must immediately get yourself examined by your Doctor.
Nutritional Deficiencies And How Nails Reflect Them
Nutritional Deficiencies are mostly reflected by nails in form of brittle nails, occurrence of ridges on fingernails, discoloration of nails etc. are the most common indicatives of deficiencies in our body.
Ridges on Fingernails
Vitamin deficiencies and fingernail ridges are one of the most searched queries regarding fingernails, Vitamins are essential nutrient they help in growth and maintenance of cells thus having a vitamin deficiency very likely to be reflected through the nails in form of ridges or any other nail abnormalities
Horizontal Fingernail Ridges : That run across the nails are also called Beau’s Lines, these nail ridges may be caused due to the deficiency of Vitamin B1. These are generally deep grooves that run from one side to the other side of the nail.
Vertical Ridges On Fingernails
There are several ways to reduce or minimize the appearance of Vertical fingernails ridges like buffing them up, using ridge fillers, eating a diet rich in vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, zinc, protein, in short a well balanced and nutrient rich diet.
If your nails breaks too easily or keep chipping off and breaking from the tips, you probably have brittle nails. Vitamin deficiencies or other underlying diseases can be a cause of brittle nails, but this is not the only cause sometimes external factors like excessive exposure to water and cleaning solutions, nail polish removers etc. may also make your nails brittle.
Deficiency of Biotin which is a part of Vitamin B group aka Vitamin H can lead to brittle nails. Biotin metabolizes Fats, Protein and Carbohydrates, our body needs biotin for growth and development and it its also an important nutrient for healthy Hair, Skin and Nails. A recent study has also found that Biotin Supplementation improved the condition of participants who had brittle nails.
Vitamin E capsules can help in recovering from brittle nails problem, just prick one capsule and massage the nails with the Vitamin E oi. Staying hydrated is a thumb rule for your overall health and nails are not an exception.
White Specks (Spots on Nails)
‘Calcium deficiency and White Specks on nails’ is the most common conception across the world but a study conducted in Nov 2010 and March 2011 suggested that “there is no correlation between the presences of Leukonychia and calcium or zinc intake scores”. However the possibility of nutrient deficiencies causing white spots on nails cannot be ruled out completely. Iron deficiency is also considered a possible cause of Milk Spots on nails
It is thought that the white spots on nails are a result of any trauma or injury that happened to the nail. This condition is normally not considered as a serious issue and the white spots will disappears as the nail grows out. If the white spot
Flat And Concave Nails
If you observe that your nails have become abnormally thin and even have become concave in shape you may be suffering from Iron Deficiency Anemia. This condition is called”Koilonychia” commonly known as “Spoon Shaped nails. There are different conditions that may lead to nails losing their convexity and appear like a spoon. Talking about nutritional deficiency this condition is usually associated with Iron insufficiency.
If you have recently observed these strange vertical lines on your nails, I am sure you are wondering “what are these lines on my nails and How To get rid of these Vertical Ridges”. Worry not, you are not alone, there are many on-board with you as these ridges on nails are quite common.
“Vertical Nail Ridges are the bumpy lines which extends from cuticles to the tip of the nails. These vertical lines will have an uneven texture caused due to raised lines which are called nail ridges”. Getting rid of nail ridges can be a daunting task as you first need to determine the cause of ridged nails
What are The Causes of Vertical Ridges On Nails And How To Get Rid With Home Remedies
The occurrence of these vertical lines that run from cuticle to tip of your nail can be because of following reasons
- Aging Fingernail Ridges : The ridges may become more prominent with age.
- Injury to nail bed or nail plate : if you have had an injury in your nail bed in the past, occurrence of ridges on nail doesn’t come as a surprise.
- Nutritional deficiencies : If the food eaten lacks balance you are likely to have these lines on your nails. The sources of nutrients should also be balanced for eg : if you rely a lot on animal protein and ignore the other sources you may have brittle nails.
These are the most common causes of vertical finger nail ridges and these do not indicate any serious issues.
Are Vertical Ridges on Nails A Cause of Concern
In most cases no, you only need to worry if you have nutritional deficiencies. Leading a healthy lifestyle will certainly help in achieving overall fitness. Eat a balanced diet and ensure that the nutrients supplied to your body through the food are absorbed as well. Mal absorbtion of nutrients will also lead to deficiency and will possibly be reflected through your nails.
According to Mayo Clinic
“Vertical nail ridges are fairly common and nothing to worry about.Vertical nail ridges extend from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Vertical nail ridges often become more numerous or prominent with age, possibly due to variations in cell turnover within the nail”
What Should You Do If You Have Vertical Ridges on Nails?
Although vertical lines do not indicate in any serious health conditions, you must still not ignore it as it may be a result of imbalanced diet, which in itself is a unhealthy practice. In longer run it will lead to health issues.
So you can meet a doctor and and get his opinion on your nail’s vertical ridges. Following a regime to maintain the health of fingernails is of equal importance. Keeping Fingernails healthy naturally isn’t difficult at all clip, buff and moisturize your nails from time to time to keep them healthy and avoid uneven and unhealthy nails.
Vitamin Deficiencies And Ridges On Nails
Vitamin B which is a group of 8 vitamins collectively referred as B-Complex. One of the key functions of Vitamins is cell growth. Vitamin B-12 and Folic Acid (B-9) are considered to affect the growth of nails therefore, a deficiency in B vitamins may cause abnormalities in nail health like slow growth and even fingernail ridges. Other vitamins like Vitamin C is also considered helpful in damage repair owing to its anti-oxidizing properties. Vitamin deficiency is not always about under nutrition or inadequate intake of vitamins, it can also be a result of poor absorption of vitamins.
So it is very clear that having Vitamin Deficiency may show up through the nails in the form of fading moons, nails ridges, slow growth, excessively dry nails etc.
Home Remedies To Reduce the Vertical Ridges on Nails
Gently buff your nails with a three way or four way buffer to get rid of those ugly bumps on your nails. Do not go overboard while buffing, deeper ridges cannot be removed completely by buffing. Aim to minimize by appearance of ridges by buffing gently. Aggressive and frequent buffing will weaken your nails so be very gentle.
Eat A Balanced Diet
Throughout this article I have emphasized the importance of eating a balanced diet and once again I repeat ” Eat a Well Rounded Diet ” to keep your fingernails, hair, skin and whole body healthy. This definitely help in reducing vertical ridges on nails.
Use A Ridge Filler Base Coat
While buffing your nail ridges may not be the best bet to smooth out the corrugated nails, and eating a balance diet will not work instantly, Ridge Filler Base coat works as a quick fix for nail ridges. Keep one handy to cover the uneven nails on the go.
While getting rid of vertical nail ridges is something that is achievable, your focus should be more on attaining overall healthy body. Determining the cause of ridges on fingernails is of prime importance, as only then you will make the best choice of treatment for those vertical lines on your nails, Horizontal nail ridges are altogether a different subject and is more serious that the vertical line.
Use A Hydrating Oil
if you suffer dry skin and dry scalp there are fair chances that your nail ridges are due to dehydration. jojoba oil is a very good hydrator and thus used in several nail / cuticle nourishing oils.
Jojoba oil is also antifungal and thus can help in preventing fungus in nails and can also help in repairing damaged nails.
Vitamin E oil, Coconut oil and Olive oil are also hydrating in nature and thus can help in fixing dehydrated nails.
JOJOBA OIL For Nails
Coconut Oil For Fingernail Ridges
Coconut oil is also very hydrating thus used in several lotions, soaps and creams. A good reason for keeping your nails moisturized is to prevent nail ridges. Nail ridges are likely to appear when the nails are too dry. Massaging coconut oil on the nails regularly will help in reducing the appearance of nail ridges.
Homemade coconut oil or virgin coconut oil are ideal to use.
FINGERNAILS can reveal a lot of information about a person’s overall health. Nails of a healthy person have a peachy pink nail bed. Fingernails also protect the nerves of the nail bed. If a person is suffering from any health problem or any kind of deficiency the fingernails will reflect it. Maintaining healthy fingernails is not very difficult but like any other part of our body our fingernails also require to be pampered and taken care of.
Take a close look at your nails do they look peachy pink and smooth or do they have bumps, dents, ridges, white spots ? Yes all these are the most common problems of fingernails. Any change in the appearance, texture, color of you nails can provide clues about your inner health. Thus such changes in the appearance of fingernails should be given immediate attention. Proper nail care and healthy diet is the best way to avoid these undesirable nail conditions. Keeping a check on nutritional deficiencies will also help in keeping fingernails healthy and strong.
Keeping your Fingernails Healthy
Don’t be Harsh On Your Nails
Detergents and other harsh chemicals that come in contact with our nails during various household activities can damage our nails. Always try to wear gloves while doing house hold work.
Check the ingredients while buying a cleaning product, buy the ones with least amount of chemicals. There are many herbal and organic and non toxic dish detergents available in the market you can try these to minimize the exposure of your nails to the toxins.
Moisturize the fingernails
Dry and brittle nails tend to crack and break easily. Use a good moisturizer after washing your hands. You may also use herbal or homemade hand cream for better results. You can use any moisturizing cream or you can also massage the nails with jojoba oil especially after exposure of fingernails to water. There are two ways of moisturizing fingernails first is by applying moisturizer (ointment or cream) and the second way is by soaking the nails in natural oils.
Trim and File the fingernails
Trim and file your nails from time to time. This can be done after bath so that the nails are soft. If you have very thick nails then you can soak the nails for few minutes before filing them (do not soak the nails in soap water).
Massage your fingernails
Use nail and/or cuticle oils to massage your nail so that they remain soft and well moisturized. natural oils like olive oil and castor oil are good for keeping fingernails healthy.
Be careful while choosing your nail paint
Do not buy cheap nail polish as they may leave your nails pale and dull. There are many good brands that offer chip proof nail polish, strengthening nail polish etc. Always apply a base coat before applying colored nail polish. Apply moisturizer to the fingernails after using any nail polish remover.
Take proper diet
Diet plays a significant role in keeping the finger nails healthy. Ensure that you take good amount of vitamin in your daily diet. Drinking carrot juice makes the nails strong. A well rounded diet i.e a diet comprising of all the vital nutrients will not only result in healthy nails but will also help you attain a state of overall good health.
Do not cut the cuticle
Cuticle gives protection from fungus and bacteria so do not remove them. Apply cuticle oil and then gently push back the cuticles to make them look tidy. Use orange wood stick instead of using metal.
Get a Manicure
A weekly manicure is suggested for a healthy nail care regime. If you find a salon manicure too heavy for your pocket you can do manicure at home also. Get a step by step tutorial on how to do a basic manicure yourself or you can also treat your nails with a shellac manicure by following this DIY Shellac Nails Tutorial
Keep your fingernails dry and clean
Moisture in the nails will provide and ideal environment for the bacteria to thrive. If you work in water for long hours dont forget to wear the gloves as much as possible. Avoid cleaning dishes and utensils with bare hands, wear gloves instead. Keeping fingernails in water for too long will also result in weak and broken fingernails.
Diet to keep Fingernails Healthy
To keep fingernails healthy following food must be incorporated in diet
Eat Protein rich food
Deficiency of protein may lead to hard and brittle nails. Eggs, chicken, meat are good sources of protein however these foods must be avoided if suffering from high cholesterol levels.
Eat lots of fruit and fresh vegetables daily
A healthy diet must contain fair amount of fruit and vegetable in it. Fruit and vegetables like apples, cucumber, asparagus etc. make good diet for healthy fingernails
Vitamin B is said to be helpful in keeping good fingernails health.
Consume food with antioxidant properties like blue berries, pineapples, oranges, squash etc.
Calcium and zinc are also vital nutrients for healthy fingernails. Deficiency of zinc is a cause of white spots on fingernails.
What Not To Do With Your Nails
Do not bite your fingernails
Avoid using harsh chemical based nail care products
Don’t pull off your cracked/broken nails instead clip it and cover with band aid and let it grow out
Do not ignore any visible change in the appearance of your nails
Do not pull off hangnails, you may damage a live tissue
Do not use your nails as a tool to scratch things
We try out almost every possible way to attain a sculpted body and undergo a bunch of cosmetic treatment to become as gorgeous as the silver screen divas. Sadly most of us ignore the part which is as important as our face or figure i.e our fingernails.
Fingernails can be used as proof to determine the nutritional state of our body. There are certain tests that can be conducted to find out the nutritional state by measuring the hardness of nails.
There are many ways through which we can beautify our fingernails, like applying nail arts, nail polish, false fingernails etc. but the actual beauty lies in being natural. we must try to keep our nails naturally beautiful.
Protein is one of the most important nutrient for keeping our fingernails healthy as our fingernails are made up of tissues that are almost pure protein. Along with regular balanced diet there are a lot of external treatments also that we can perform on our fingernails in order to keep our nails healthy and beautiful.