What you are seeing as vertical ridges are actually the 'rails and grooves' upon which the nail plate rides forward on the nail bed. The 'rails' are on the nail bed and act much like train tracks, whereas the 'grooves' are on the underside of the nail plate and act much like the wheels on a train. This is how the nail plate rides forward on the nail bed - much like the train rides forward on its tracks.
As we age, or if our nail plate does not contain the proper levels of oil and moisture, the 'rails and grooves' will appear on the surface of the nail plate as ridges or 'lines' that run vertically from the cuticle to the free edge.
Now, if they are running from side to side 'across' the nail plate, this is an entirely different matter and is usually the result of some sort of trauma to the matrix (where the nail plate cells are born), or is some sort of genetic malformation.
If they are indeed running from the cuticle to the free edge, this is easily changed. The nail plate is constantly being 'bathed' by an upward todal flow of oils and moisture that transmit from the nail bed, up through the layers of nail plate to the surface, and are what create the natural 'matte' shine to the nail plate surface. This same oil and moisture will keep the nail plate cells flexible so they will 'slide' across and over each other under pressure. If the oil and moisture levels are depleated or reduced for any reason or from any outside source, they can be replaced by applying a good quality nail and cuticle oil at least 3 times a day, and ALWAYS at night.
Once the nail oil penetrates all 3 layers of the nail plate, your nails should begin to look better and the lines should begin to reduce in size and depth. You will have to continue to use the nail oil for as long as you want your nails to look healthy and smooth.
I recommend either Solar Oil (available in fine nail salons or in Ulta Cosmetic outlets nationwide) or Botanical Oil (available in the nail department of Sally Beauty Supply nationwide). Both oils contain Jojoba oil, Vitamin E oil nad other essential cionditioning/moisturizing oils. Jojoba oil has the tiniest molecular structure which can penetrate the surface of the skin and the nail surface, open up the pores/cells and then draw the large molecules of the other essential oils in after it. Without the addition of Jojoba Oil, the other oils would just sit on the surface and not penetrate as deeply as needed to condition the nail plate cells and replenish the oil levels deep within the nail plate layers.
For more information on your natural nails, please visit my website http://www.hooked-on-nails.com (site link approved by Moderator 1) CLick on the Nail Disorders link and look at the picure of Nail Ridging which is toward the bottom of the page. I suspect your nails may look something like this, and if so, the oil will help dramatically.
If the ridges are NOT TOO DEEP, you can rub them away. I can't recall the name of the file but it has three different colors to it. On one side it is pink, white, and the other side is all gray. You use the pink, then white, then gray for a buffed high shine finish on bare nails.
I just looked it up on the net and it's called a micro-mesh buffer. You can buy it at any drugstore or supermarket.
I also found on a health site that ridges are not of particular concern:
"Vertical nail ridges, which run from the cuticle to the tip of the nail, are fairly common and not a reason to worry. They don't indicate serious illness. These ridges typically increase with age. The exact cause isn't known. But heredity may play a role.
If your fingernails change color or develop horizontal ridges, see your doctor. This may indicate an underlying health problem."
[This message has been edited by sawbuck44 (edited 09-03-2003).]
[This message has been edited by sawbuck44 (edited 09-03-2003).]
[This message has been edited by sawbuck44 (edited 09-04-2003).]
If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.
Buffing the ridges away will only lead to over-thinning of the nail plate, which will result in increased breakage.
In over 35 years of 'doing nails' in the Beauty Industry, buffing off the ridges has not been a good idea - HEALING the dried out nail plate is a much better idea, as the results are longer lasting and will increase the toughness of the nail plate, rather than thin it out by filing off vital nail plate layers. http://www.hooked-on-nails.com
The Following User Says Thank You to Marti For This Useful Post: maylynn55 (03-25-2012)
My nails have red half-moons coming from where my matrix is on about 4 nails, atleast 1/3 of thumbs.
I was told it could mean early sign of an illness or
lacking a vitamin. I to have ridges on a few & started
using E-oil at night on cuticles. This has helped.
I never use polish, only clear sometimes. Anyone know
what this red `under' nail could mean?
Please go see a dermatologist as a 'red' lunula can signify quite a few different illnesses/diseases/disorders that first manifest themselves as a change in the matrix of the nail plate.
It could signify a liver problem, psoriasis of the nails or some other internal disorder. Please remember that 'any' change in the nail plate is cause for concern.
As for the ridges, some say it is due to a trauma to the matrix/lunula; however, age is the most common contributing factor next to a dried out nail plate from overexposzure to water or other chemicals. Paper and textiles can also dry out your nails as they will also wick the natural oil and moisture from the nail plate.
Marti, Sounds like you're more familiar w/ problem
nails as a professional. When red started I showed it
to 3 Int.MD's. & they laughed @ concern. Said stuff
like that just happens. 3 yrs., suffering w/ autoimmune
disorder of unknown. Went to Derm. for sm. skin diag.
of wart. He said `red' means nothing. Now it's farther
up on both thumbs. I think it means something also. Is
there a special Dr. that reads nails? Lots of blood wk.
has been done. Said if nails were blue they'd talk. I
think it's lack of their training & need to punch the
clock! I appreciate you taking the time to help answer
these boards. Very nice of you.
Ok, lets see - by "farther up" the nail, do you mean it started at the free edge and is working its way back toward the matrix/cuticle? Or do you mean it started at the matrix/cuticle and is working its way toward the free edge? This can mean a significant difference between what 'may' be suspect with your nails.
If you are suffering from an autioimmune (sp) disorder, it may just be a side effect of the disorder. The redness is usually a sign of something wrong internally, and that may be it. I would watch for significant changes in the amount and depth of the color.
I would also call around to different dermatologists in your area to see if any of them are 'up' on nail problems, then book an appointment.
I have shrinking (lesser than yr. ago) white marix.
Then red @ end of that started faint going wider `up'
the nail towards edge tip. Cuticles appear normal. Red
is all around sm. matrix & spread to abt. 1/3 of thumbs toward nail tips & goes across the nail, cuticle
side to side.