Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Nail ridges: Cause for concern?

Are nail ridges in fingernails a sign of a health problem?

Updated: 05-09-2017

Answer

Answer Section

It depends on the direction of the nail ridges.

Vertical nail ridges, which are fairly common, extend from the cuticle to the tip of your nail. They often become more numerous or prominent with age, possibly due to variations in cell turnover within your nail.

If your fingernails change color or you develop horizontal nail ridges across your nails, talk to your doctor. These changes could indicate an underlying health condition.