Are there ridges on your nails? If you’re scared of shaking hands or letting people look too closely on your nails, your ridges are a problem.
Not only can they be embarrassing, but they’re also a sign of unhealthy nails or other underlying health conditions.
While you may be able to cover them up with nail polish and acrylic nails, they aren’t long-term solutions to solve the problem.
Here are some other methods you can try if you want to know how to get rid of ridges on nails and feel confident about your hands or feet again.
What Are Ridges On Nails?
Firstly, let’s talk about what nail ridges are. They’re usually horizontal or vertical, raised lines that go across your nail, either length or width wise.
They can be accompanied by discoloration and rough or dry nails that break easily.
While vertical nail ridges are usually harmless and not a sign of concern, horizontal ridges may be hinting at a more serious underlying problem.
It could be a condition like anemia or lack of proper nutrition, but it could also be a heart or kidney problem that you need to have checked by a doctor as soon as possible.
Change Your Diet
It’s highly probable that your nails are weak and brittle because you aren’t getting the right amount of nutrients to keep them healthy.
You need vitamins, protein and water to keep your nails in shape.
If a change in your diet does nothing to improve your nails, a doctor may be able to guide you towards supplements that will boost your nutrient and vitamin intake.
A biotin supplement may be helpful, but make sure it’s safe for you to take first.
Staying hydrated is also extremely important, because as you age, your nails start becoming rougher and more brittle.
One of the reasons this happens is because your body isn’t able to retain as much water as it used to. You can prevent brittle nails by drinking an ample amount of water.
Eating almonds is a healthy and convenient way of keeping your nails in shape.
Keep a bag of almonds with you and substitute them for your other snacks, because the magnesium in them makes your nails stronger.
Keep your nails moisturized by using an essential oil or a hand cream on a daily basis.
Whenever you wash your hands, it’s best to reapply moisturizer because soap can dry out your nails.
Go for a moisturizer that has ceramides and alpha hydroxy acids that keep your nails hydrated for longer periods of time.
For people with extra brittle nails, you might to consider investing in a pair of soft, breathable gloves that you can wear after moisturizing your hands before bed.
This helps your nails absorb more of the cream, which can slowly reduce the intensity of ridges.
Buff Your Nails
Buffing your nails is a better way of treating ridges than covering them with nail polish or fake nails.
While nail polish dries out your nail further and fake nails can cause an infection, buffing is a harmless alternative.
Don’t be aggressive while buffing your nails, because they’re already weak and may break or result in an injury.
However, if you gently buff them every month, your nails will look smoother and the ridges will be less prominent.
Make sure you buff them in the direction that your nail grows and not back and forth, because this could result in a split nail.
Don’t Expose Your Nail To Too Much Moisture
If you’re a fan of long baths or spend too much time in the swimming pool, you’re going to weaken your nails.
The chemicals in dish soap as well as in swimming pools are harmful and weaken your nails. They become dehydrated, rough and are easy to break or split.
If you can’t reduce the amount of time you spend around water, another alternative is to wear waterproof gloves.
Whenever you’re out of the water, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and apply moisturizer.
Use Nail Serums
It’s important to talk to a doctor about using nail-strengthening serums or nail-hardeners when your nails have gotten very brittle.
A serum locks in necessary moisture and adds nutrients to the surface of your nail, which are important in reducing ridges.
A nail-hardener is exactly what it sounds like: it makes your nails stronger so that they don’t bend out of shape or get injured if you’re lifting heavy objects or opening a jar.
Sometimes, as you age, it’s necessary to take extra precautions to keep your nails safe, because your body is no longer able to retain the same amount of keratin as it used to.
This is one of the main reasons why older people have thinner nails with ridges lining their surface.
Change Your Nail Polish
Of course, if you’re going to go for a manicure or pedicure, you’re going to want to get nail polish.
Having nail ridges doesn’t mean you can never use nail polish again, it just means that you need to change the kind of nail polish you’re using.
Acrylics are very bad for your nails and damage their surface. The adhesive that is used to keep them on is harsh and abrasive, becoming a primary contributor to nail ridges.
They also mess with the composition of your nails, making them more susceptible to damage.
The measures listed above will help you manage your nail ridges, and even get rid of them completely over a matter of time.
This can take from 6 months up to a year. However, if you feel like your nail ridges aren’t getting better no matter what you’re trying, it may be time to see a doctor.
There are many hidden conditions that your nails are trying to warn you about, but you have to watch closely.
You could have anemia, a heart condition, or be severely lacking in proper nutrients that only a doctor would be able to guide you about.
To stay on the safe side, get a doctor to examine your nails to make sure you aren’t suffering from any diseases.
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