Having vertical (longitudinal) ridges on the fingernails refers to the presence of tiny raised lines or ridges that run up and down the length of the nail. Ridges are among the different kinds of nail abnormalities that can develop due to aging, nail injury, or trauma, or underlying medical conditions. Many people notice an increase in vertical ridges of the fingernails as they age, and this can be a normal development. Aging has been described as the predominant cause of vertical ridges on the fingernails. Onychorrhexis is the medical term used to describe longitudinal ridges on the nails that often accompany brittle nails.
In contrast to longitudinal ridges, Beau's lines are horizontal or transverse depressions in the nail that may be confused with nail ridging. These are caused by diseases that affect the entire body, including malnutrition, heart attack (myocardial infarction), severe infections, and metabolic disturbances, including poorly controlled diabetes.
Other causes of vertical ridges on the fingernails
- Nail Bed Tumor
- Overuse of Nail Solvents
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Nail Disorders: What Nails Say About Your Health
Nail disorders problems may be a sign of disease in the body. Nails can be spoon-shaped, blue, or have white lines. Some nail...
Picture of Fingernail Anatomy
A fingernail is produced by living skin cells in the finger. See a picture of Fingernail Anatomy and learn more about the health...
Skin and Makeup Quiz: Test Your Skin and Makeup IQ
Are you doing right by your skin? Take the Skin and Makeup Quiz to learn how to make the most of your beauty regimen.
Skin Quiz: Acne, Dry Skin, Dandruff & More
What's that all over you? Skin, of course! Test your knowledge of your most amazing organ with the Skin Quiz!
Causes of Vertical Ridges on the Fingernails
Eczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from oozing blisters to crusty plaques of skin. Treatment varies depending upon the type of eczema the person has.
Lichen planus is a common skin disease that features small, itchy pink or purple spots on the arms or legs. The abnormal areas on the skin in lichen planus are typically flat-topped (hence the term planus), itchy, and frequently have a polygonal or angular shape.
Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales. There are several types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis the patient has. Treatment of psoriasis may include creams, lotions, oral medications, injections and infusions of biologics, and light therapy. There is no cure for psoriasis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease. The 16 characteristic early RA signs and symptoms include the following. Anemia Both sides of the body affected (symmetric) Depression Fatigue Fever Joint deformity Joint pain Joint redness Joint stiffness Joint swelling Joint tenderness Joint warmth Limping Loss of joint function Loss of joint range of motion Many joints affected (polyarthritis)