The smallest features of our body are probably the ones that sometimes matter the most when it comes to our overall appearance. The shape of our brows, the colour of our eye shadow, the quality of our hair and even the texture of our skin. These factors in a way, affect both – our outward appearance and our inner ‘feel-good-about-yourself’ feeling. One of such features that we often tend to overlook is the health and quality of our nails.
The health of our nails is extremely important. It may seem insignificant but our nails actually tell us more than we tend to hear. The colouration of our nails in itself is a signal and measure of our overall health. Blue nails signify lack of oxygen in the body while yellow nails may indicate the presence of a fungal infection. This is why it is important to care for them:
- To prevent their dehydration.
- To avoid bacterial or fungal infections under the nail beds.
- Nail care also prevent yeast infections.
- To avoid accumulation of dirt, food or dead skin.
- As a simple rule of thumb: healthy nails are beautiful nails!
A common irregularity associated with nails is ridges. These can either form vertically or horizontally, and can cause roughening of the nails and even disorient their natural shape. While vertical ridges are super common and are associated with aging, the horizontal ones are not that common and can occur due to stress caused to the nail matrix.
Ridges are a common consequence of dehydration, and can also be caused if you have dry skin.
Here is a list of easy and quick steps you can take regularly for healthy nails and to get rid of any ridges.
How to Get Rid of Fingernail Ridges
- Moisturise your nails regularly. Hydration is a must when it comes to nails to retain their natural smoothness and keeping them supple. Moisturising also provides nourishment to the nails which keeps them from being brittle.
- Keep them short and neat, but don’t over trim. Over trimming of nails can cause excessive trauma to the nail bed which can give rise to ridges. Keep your nails clean and maintain them for as long as you while scaling back on trimming.
- Avoid getting acrylic or gel nails as they disturb your natural nail bed, mess with the integrity of the nail and also can cause the surface to roughen.
- Let your nails breathe. After removing pre-applied nail polish, leave your nails free and without polish for a few days before applying a new polish. This will strengthen the nails, let them get the oxygen they need, reduce chemical exposure and also avoid yellowing of nails.
- Don’t bite or pick at them as it can cause nails to thicken. External disturbances usually cause nails to thicken and biting them or picking at them can lead to major irregularities on the surface of the nails.
- Eat well. Maintaining a healthy diet has direct benefits related to the well-being of nails. Eat lots of fruits to maintain a good vitamin intake, as vitamins strengthen nails and prevent the formation of ridges.
- Don’t fiddle with your cuticles. Pushing cuticles back or changing their natural orientation can case permanent ridges and also potentially deform the nail.
- In case of extreme ridge formations, switch to biotin supplements. Biotin helps strengthen the nail plate.
- Maintain water balance. While hydration is extremely important for the nails, over washing them may actually lead to lack of moisture and wash away essentials oils from the nail bed. As the nails absorb excess water, they expand but later contract which can cause dryness. Thus, try not to expose them to water too much and switch to a moisturising hand wash.
- Use ridge filler for even looking nails and apply them before applying your nail polish to fill in for any irregularities.