Nail Issues: ridges in nails
As we age, our bodies may not digest nutrients as efficiently as they did when we were young. When we are not absorbing the nutrients required for healthy nails, parts of the nail plate become thinner. These thinner areas look ‘sunken’, like tiny valleys between the ridges of stronger, thicker nail material.
People whose nail surfaces are ridged or pitted may be tempted to smooth them out using emery boards. This is not advisable. For a start, emery boards are too harsh; secondly, any form of abrasion is going to harm your nails.
Ridges in nails are really the strong, thick, healthy areas of the nail. It is the valleys between the ridges that are weaker, thinner and less healthy, whether due to problems with the nail matrix, a dietary deficiency, impaired nutrient absorption or an underlying illness.
Because the valleys are thinner and weaker, they are less resistant to damage. If you sand down the ridges to the level of the valleys, you are really removing the strong portions and reducing the nail plate to its most fragile and vulnerable state.
This is why is is not advisable to file or buff ridged nails as a way to ‘improve’ their appearance. Read more about how to treat ridges in nails in ‘Beauty: The Ultimate Cosmetic Makeover Guide. Book 2: Body, Teeth & Hair’.