Horizontal Ridges on Toenails Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Remedies & Treatment


Image Product Weight Price
Nail Polish Remover - Natural and Plant Based Nail Polish Remover - Natural and Plant Based 10.4 ounces $
Bee Natural Best Cuticle Oil - Nail Oil Bee Natural Best Cuticle Oil - Nail Oil 1.12 ounces $
Elon Lanolin Rich Nail Conditioner for Healthy Nails Elon Lanolin Rich Nail Conditioner for Healthy Nails 1.8 ounces $
Stainless Steel Nail File with Anti-Slip Handle and Leather Case Stainless Steel Nail File with Anti-Slip Handle and Leather Case 3.2 ounces $
Biotin (10,000mcg) with Organic Coconut Oil Biotin (10,000mcg) with Organic Coconut Oil 3.2 ounces $

Nail health is an accurate indicator of your overall health. Horizontal ridges on nails, also known as Beau’s lines, are a sign that you might be suffering from an unknown underlying health problem. A ridge is a groove or an indentation in the nail that shows up without apparent cause. They can be vertical or horizontal. The horizontal ridges are growing across the nail and should not be confused with vertical ridges going from the bottom or cuticle of the nail out to the fingertip. Nails, be it fingernails or toenails, grow very fast and might point out to a health issue much earlier than the rest of the body. Horizontal nail ridges often indicate a deficiency of vitamins or minerals but they might also imply the existence of a more serious underlying condition. They can also become an important cosmetic issue as nails and toenails, especially during the summer months, are very visible parts of our bodies. Many times they are the first thing others see. Read on to find about some possible causes for the appearance of horizontal ridges and how to get your beautiful and healthy nails back! 

What causes horizontal ridges on toenails?

Horizontal ridges on nails might appear due to a host of different issues. Any type of crushing injury such as hitting it with a blunt instrument, like a hammer or dropping a book on your nails, might produce horizontal ridges. Chemical substances, such as nail polish or a particularly harsh nail polish remover, when used regularly over long periods might be a cause. Sometimes, repeated exposure to trauma, such as a bad running shoe creating friction in the same spot, might be the culprit. Arsenic and silver are two poisons that, when ingested, might lead to horizontal ridges forming on your nails. Bacterial infections, such as yeast or other fungal infections, have also been known to create horizontal ridges on nails but we cannot ever completely discount a serious illness as an underlying condition. If you are not sure and suspect that the cause to horizontal ridges might be serious, the best course to follow is to talk to your doctor. 

How common are ridges on nails? 

Horizontal ridges are quite common! It is not a subject we feel comfortable discussing but nails suffer a lot of wear and tear during the day especially if we regularly do sports or are on our feet for a big part of a 24 hour, thus becoming vulnerable to damage. All these activities create constant trauma on toenails and the end result might very well be horizontal ridges! In a majority of cases, ridges on the toenails do not constitute a reason for concern. Most of the time they are just a cosmetic problem since, especially during the summer months, toenails are quite visible. However, it is important to pay attention to fingernail ridges and other nail changes. Always be on the safe side and if you have any cause for worry do not hesitate to speak to your doctor. 

Treatment for horizontal ridges 

The treatment for horizontal ridges on nails naturally depends on the underlying cause and should be tailored accordingly. Injuries might clear up by themselves if allowed enough time to recover and the traumatic event is removed (always wear proper shoes!). The most important help you can offer your toenails is a good nail care routine that will keep them moisturized. Dry toenails have a tendency to turn brittle, a state in which they can be easily damaged. Make sure you help them recover by taking a vitamin and minerals supplement! You may also want to use a buffer to rub-down the ridges on your toenails. If they are due to a more serious condition, your doctor will be able to prescribe an appropriate treatment to reduce the ridges and improve the appearance and, more importantly, the health of your nails. Keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure. Following these simple steps will help prevent the development of horizontal nail ridges:
eat a healthy nutritious diet and make sure it contains plenty of vitamins and minerals.
use multivitamin supplements if you feel your diet is lacking.
follow a proper nail care routine.
avoid wearing very tight-fitting or bad fitting shoes which might cause horizontal ridges in toenails.
reduce or eliminate the usage of nail polishes and other harsh chemicals.

How to deal with horizontal ridges on nails

As long as medical intervention is not required, the best way to deal with horizontal ridges on toenails is by following a good nail care regimen. Here are a few easy tips and tricks for a routine you can follow at home to help mitigate or prevent the issue:

Assuming that you are using nail polish, remove it with the help of a nail polish remover.
Do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly and carefully dry the nails with a cotton cloth after you have removed the nail polish with the help of the nail polish remover. 
Apply a little amount of nail oil or cuticle cream on each nail. Carefully rub the oil or cream on the nail beds. This step also helps prevent nail issues like hangnails, peeling or cracking.
Follow this with a serious buff to the nail using a cushion file, moving in a pattern from the nail corner to the central area of the nail. Remember to limit the number of strokes to under 4 to 6 times per nail. Perform the process regularly until you eliminate all ridges.
Last but not least, let’s not forget the tremendous effect of diet on nails health. It never is a good idea to underestimate the effect of a varied and highly nutritious diet on every aspect of your health but adding a dietary supplement can make the difference between overstressed nails, prone to damage and healthy, easy growing and easy to maintain ones.

Many of us find it difficult to follow a daily set routine but with the help of some products and tools this can be turned into the perfect self-care moment and will soon become one of the most comfortable moments of the day. In support of the nail care regimen described above, here is a list of products that will help you maintain or recover the health of your toenails if they are afflicted by horizontal ridges:

This is a nail paint remover that has a dropper format which makes it so easy to use! On top of that, it is also completely acetone-free. Not only is it free of any other harmful substances but it actually helps moisturize and strengthen dry, brittle nails. After using it your nails won’t feel dry or dull - which might sometimes happen when using acetone-based nail polish remover. Avoiding damage to your nails and helping create a stronger nail bed is well worth the trouble of having to wait slightly longer for the remover to work when compared to a regular acetone-based paint remover - 5 minutes as per instructions. It is devoid of any strong odors and it is also the perfect product for the environmentally aware user as well as being produced by following cruelty-free values. Its oily consistency turns out to be very helpful as it enables you to continue using your smartphone while waiting for it to work! 

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Bee Naturals Cuticle and Nail oil are made with Tea Tree Essential oil formula and a host of other natural oils like avocado, olive and grape seed which help tremendously with the moisturizing of rigidly dry sharp cuticles. Its specially formulated content helps revitalize damaged nails and cuticles. Regular use is always recommended but in this particular case the results won’t take a long time to make themselves known: a week of regular use is enough to work wonders and will help to rapidly heal damaged cuticles. Usage over a longer time is also going to strengthen the nails and it is especially beneficial to those who work in environments where they wash their hands repeatedly throughout the day, thus exposing their nails and cuticles to a lot of stress. Its convenient size and special applicator make it a perfect addition to your bag or make-up purse! 

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This is a great cream alternative for those who do not enjoy the consistency of an oily product. While Elon Lanolin Rich Nail Conditioner might seem pricey in the beginning, if used in judicious amounts and with the help of the tiny hole the tube is endowed with, it becomes quite the economical product! Its thick consistency also goes a long way to prevent overuse. Applying it daily helps keep your nails and cuticles moisturized and well-nourished. Lanolin works miracles on moisturizing and beeswax helps sealing in the moisture and preventing fungal infections. It is specially formulated to take care of different levels of damage. All you have to do is adjust the quantity used. This cream is the darling of dermatologists and has been recommended by them for quite some time! 

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As the name suggests, this nail file is made from stainless steel from Japan. It has two sides, one coarser and one with finer grain, which work wonders on grinding and shaping the nails. The shape of the nail file has rounded corners which make it a favorite with those who fly a lot! The non-skid handle and the leather case are just added bonuses to this fantastic nail file. Its size and the addition of the leather case turn this nail file into a highly portable tool making it easy to carry it along with no matter where you go. High quality and attention to detail at a reasonable price with a lifetime warranty. 

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This is a supplement product that helps promote hair, skin and nail health. With the help of Biotin, which is the name of vitamin B7 or B8 depending on the country, brittle and dry nails become a thing of the past! It also helps promote nail growth, as well as hair growth and glowing, healthy skin. The results of using this supplement regularly are quite visible due to its high dosage of Biotin and the addition of coconut oil, which is of organic quality. Another important aspect of this supplement is the GMO-free quality of its ingredients as well as the fact that it is entirely vegan. Dietary supplements are a great help in supporting your health but they should not replace a varied and nutritious diet.

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Prevention is key

As always, the best cure is prevention. A thorough nail care routine with the help of some easy to use products can make a huge difference in what concerns your toenails and fingernails health. By following this routine, you can avoid the appearance of horizontal ridges on your nails or mitigate their uncomely sight and enjoy a wonderful, carefree summer season! Last but not least, if you suspect a more serious cause to the horizontal ridges on your nails, do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider.

Table of Contents

How to choose the Horizontal Ridges on Toenails Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Remedies & Treatment of the market?


1. Nail Polish Remover - Natural and Plant Based
2. Bee Natural Best Cuticle Oil - Nail Oil
3. Elon Lanolin Rich Nail Conditioner for Healthy Nails
4. Stainless Steel Nail File with Anti-Slip Handle and Leather Case
5. Biotin (10,000mcg) with Organic Coconut Oil

Final words about the Horizontal Ridges on Toenails Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Remedies & Treatment

Review Author

The author of this review is Zoe Carter, an experienced Nail Technician.

Zoey Carter

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1Nail Polish Remover - Natural and Plant Based
Nail Polish Remover - Natural and Plant Based
2Bee Natural Best Cuticle Oil - Nail Oil
Bee Natural Best Cuticle Oil - Nail Oil
3Elon Lanolin Rich Nail Conditioner for Healthy Nails
Elon Lanolin Rich Nail Conditioner for Healthy Nails