Our fingernails can tell a story about the state of our health. Various adverse health conditions ranging from thyroid disease to kidney distress can cause changes in the way your nails appear and how they grow.
Some people might find that they start to develop vertical or horizontal lines in their nails, also known as ridges. In most cases, fingernail ridges are harmless, and these furrows will run vertically from the bottom of your nailbed to the tip of the nail.
Vertical ridges are typically not anything worth stressing about, and they’re not a sign of a life-threatening condition. However, horizontal ridges, also known as Beau’s lines, are a sign of an underlying health issue that needs immediate attention. Beau’s lines can be a sign of severe kidney disease, liver dysfunction, and a variety of adverse health conditions that require treatment.
Here are 14 common causes of ridges in your fingernails.
1. Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune disorders are conditions where the body’s immune system starts to attack healthy cells. Autoimmune diseases can affect all systems within the body, including the muscular, skeletal, digestive, and respiratory systems. Medical science is still unclear about the biological pathway that causes the development of autoimmune disorders in people.
One of the more common autoimmune diseases affecting the skin is eczema and psoriasis. Some patients with eczema may find that they start to develop the condition on their hands and fingers. Eczema takes the form of redness and irritation around the skin and may form bumps filled with a clear fluid.
As the bumps burst, they cause itching and even further irritation of the skin. One of the other complications of eczema is that it may cause the nails to become brittle and breakdown. The patient will also notice the development of vertical lines. These vertical lines may split, and the patient may lose parts of their nails.