Horizontal Ridges in Nails – aka Beau Lines: Causes and Treatment

Horizontal Ridges in Nails – aka Beau Lines: Causes and Treatment

Our nails work as perfect indicators of our health. Anything wrong or unusual with them, is a sign that our health may be affected.

From yellow nails to ridged nails, all of it can be due to underlying issues with our health. Yellow nails can particularly be very annoying and hideous to look at, so here is How to Get Rid of Yellow Nails.

As for the ridged nails, there are two types.

One is where your nail has a vertical ridge, starting from the cuticle and moving towards the top end. This type is particularly common but harmless and occurs usually due to aging.

Second type is the horizontal ridge, which is also known as Beau lines. In this type, ridges occur horizontally, i.e. from side to side. Unlike vertical, horizontal ridges in nails can be a serious cause of concern.

Horizontal ridges in nails can occur due to many reasons, some being complicated while others may be fairly simple. Stated below are a few examples:


Physical trauma and Horizontal Ridges on Toenails

Injury to the nail, can cause huge impact on the underlying nail and skin tissues, resulting in a horizontal ridge. This type of ridge may fade by time, as the area of injury heals.

Most common in athletes, especially in toes, due to the friction caused between shoes and toe nails.



Infections and Horizontal ridges in nails

Horizontal lines can often appear due to infections in the nail, such as fungal infection and yeast infection.

They are also an indication of bacterial infections affecting the valves of the heart.



Chemical poisoning

Excessive intake of arsenic or silver can also result in Horizontal ridges in the nail, indicating our body to seek help as soon as possible.



Can Thyroid problems cause Horizontal Ridges in Nails?

Yes, they very well can. While a horizontal ridge on one of the nails be due to trauma, a reoccurring horizontal ridge on two or more fingers may have a greater reasoning. One such being, thyroid.


Other diseases that leave Horizontal ridges in nails

Other diseases causing ridges in the nails include – mumps, heart disease- especially those that result in low oxygen levels, uncontrollable diabetes, skin cancer, liver or kidney malfunction.



Chemotherapy and Horizontal ridges in nails

Drug used to cure cancer in chemotherapy is a very harsh drug that along with burning the cancer cells, results in loss of all hair and sometimes also leads to ridges on the nails.



Horizontal Ridges in Nails due to Vitamin Deficiencies

Like any other body part, nails too require the right amount of nutrients and are affected when the body doesn’t have enough nutrients. Especially vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin B-12 is a key vitamin that helps cell growth. Deficiency of Vitamin B-12 can result in horizontal ridges.

Too much or too less of Iron can also lead to ridges and other nail problems.

Zinc is also known for good hair and nail growth. According to research insufficient zinc levels can also result in the appearance of transverse ridges, across the nails.



1. Diet

Be it any disease or health issue, diet plays a major role. A proper diet that includes right amounts of protein, fats and all the other vitamins and minerals is the only way to prevent or even heal the horizontal ridges on your nails. Nutrition is the major key here.

Include the following in your daily diet to achieve stronger, healthier and better nails within no time:

    • leafy greens – such as spinach


    • Beans


    • Milk and cheese


    • Lean proteins – fish, meat and poultry


    • Dried fruits and seed – such as Sun flower seeds


    • Oats


2. Hydration

Lots and lots of water will help keep your body working right. From lowering stress levels to keeping the nails afresh and away from turning dry and brittle due to dehydration.


3. Good Nail Care

    • Keep away from chemicals, such as harsh nail paints and removers.


    • Hand sanitizers also dry out the nails, leading to nail problems.


    • Manicures can help fight the damage.


    • Keeping long nails may also result in the decreasing quality of nails.


    • Just as it is necessary to keep the skin and body hydrated, keeping the nails moisturized is also as important. Use cuticle oil over them as less as three times a day to as much as after every wash. (Yes, it’s that important.)


For more on nail care, here’s an amazing Nail Care Regime by College Fashion.


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