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Might the ridges on my nails mean something?

Hi, in the last few weeks I have noticed some prominent horizontal ridges on my finger nails which weren't there before. I can remember reading that this may be a deficiency in something or stress related? Do you know if this is true and if so what do you suggest? Thanks.


Our expert says...

There are many things that the fingernails can tell you, but only some markings are regarded abnormal at least by the orthodo medical profession.

Pale nails, for example, may be a sign of anaemia, whereas blue nails could reflect heart or lung trouble. A fungus infection will be reflected in thickened nails with a yellowish tinge.

The medical view is that white lines and horizontal ridges, although in exceedingly rare cases due to arsenic poisoning, are almost certainly normal. The nails grow from the nail bed and in most people the growth across the nail bed is a little up and down, which results in a corrugated appearance.

However it's worth knowing that some alternative therapists state horizontal ridges can occur as a result of severe stress, either psychological or physical, such as from infection and/or disease.

You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...

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