How to fix dry ridges in nails

Written by ashley friedman
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The condition of our fingernails can often give us insight into our own health. Some ridges on the nails are indicators of poor nutrition, emphysema or even poisoning. However dry ridges in the nails, the ones that extend vertically from the nail plate, are usually only a symptom of dryness in the nail plate. As we age, the natural oils in our nail plates begin to dry up and our nails are not as moisturised as they should be. As a result they can develop rough, dry ridges. Fortunately, with only a few basic products it is easy to restore your nail bed to its optimum state.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Nail oil containing vitamin E
  • Cuticle oil containing vitamin E
  • Hand moisturiser
  • Rubber household gloves

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  1. 1

    Rub cuticle oil into the cuticles and nail beds. Make sure that you massage the oil deeply into the cuticle on each finger. Repeat this action twice daily.

  2. 2

    Brush a coat of nail oil containing vitamin E over the nails every night before bed. Follow with a coat of hand moisturiser in order to lock in the moisture and prevent nails from drying out overnight.

  3. 3

    Wear rubber household gloves when doing dishes, heavy cleaning or any other activity where your hands and fingernails will be exposed to high levels of moisture. Wetting the hands repeatedly can dry the skin and the nail bed out, causing vertical ridges to appear in the nails.

Tips and warnings

  • Horizontal ridges in the nail, more commonly known as Beau's lines can be indicators of a serious health condition. They are darkened depressions in the nail and can be caused by major illness, malnutrition or a severe metabolic condition. If you have horizontal ridges in your nails, you should consult a doctor.
  • Raised ridges in the nail are usually indicative of an iron deficiency. However, taking an iron supplement without the advice of a physician can be dangerous so consult a doctor if these are present in your nails.

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