ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have vertical lines on my fingertips?

Question

Why do I have vertical lines on my fingertips?

I never had them before i saw them i was getting them on my fingers.

Answer

Thank you for your question concerning vertical lines on your fingernails. I recommend that you speak with your doctor about your concerns. In most cases, these vertical lines or ridges are a normal part of the aging process. It can be likened to the wrinkling we observe on our skin as we grow older and are completely benign. These vertical ridges can also be associated with onychorrhexis, brittle nails, which is a common condition affecting females more than males. With brittle nails, you will see splitting or peeling of the nail and this can be due to excessive exposure to harsh compounds such as nail polish remover or detergents. If you are experiencing brittle nails, talk with your doctor, as this can be associated with certain diseases such as Raynauds, hypothyroidism, or skin diseases like psoriasis. If the vertical lines on your fingernails are tan or brown in color, it will be important to visit your doctor so that they may differentiate a benign pigmentation of the nail (nevus, or mole) from a melonoma, or cancer of the skin. In this situation, a biopsy will usually be necessary in order to conclusively determine whether the lesion is malignant or not. Rarely, it is also possible for tumors of the nail bed to produce compression along the nail which forms a vertical groove. Therefore, speak with your doctor about any concerns you may have about the appearance of your nails and what this may mean for you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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