Ridges in the fingernails are often normal signs of aging.
Slight vertical ridges commonly develop in older adults.
In some cases, they may be a sign of health problems like vitamin deficiencies or diabetes.
Deep horizontal ridges, called Beau’s lines, may indicate a serious condition.
What do horizontal ridges on toenails mean?
Beau’s lines are nail ridges that run horizontally across the fingernail. These ridges are often deep, and multiple lines may appear across the nail. Horizontal ridges are often a sign of an underlying condition that requires diagnosis and treatment.
What causes fingernail ridges?
Vertical ridges run from the cuticle to the tip of your nail and are very common, especially as you age. These ridges are typically no cause for concern. Horizontal ridges can be caused by trauma to the nail and may be deep or discolored. The can also indicate malnutrition, psoriasis or a thyroid problem.
What diseases cause Beau’s lines?
The indentations can appear when growth at the area under the cuticle is interrupted by injury or severe illness. Conditions associated with Beau’s lines include uncontrolled diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, as well as illnesses associated with a high fever, such as scarlet fever, measles, mumps and pneumonia.
Are Beau’s lines a sign of cancer?
However, Beau’s lines can result from any disease process or illness that is severe enough to affect the growth plate of the nail. Malnutrition and chemotherapy drugs for cancer can also cause Beau’s lines. The timing of the disease can be estimated by measuring the distance from the Beau’s line to the nail bed.