Vertical ridges and streaks on your fingernails are caused by different things. Your nails need blood, just like the rest of your body. Dark brown, black or gray streaks may occur on your fingernails or toenails as vertical, rather than horizontal lines.
If they are particularly dark in color, running from the tip of your nail to your cuticle, they may be because of dilated or burst capillaries. In most cases, lines like these typically occur because of an injury and are usually completely normal.
However, if you haven’t recently hurt your finger or toe and have lines like these along your nails, it may be unrelated to blood-flow issues. Some of these dark lines may be a sign of melanoma. Unlike other types of melanoma, this type — known as acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) — isn’t related to sun exposure. ALM is a specific type of melanoma that appears on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, or under the nails.
Vertical lines in fingernails are most likely to be of concern when you haven’t had any injuries or impacts but the area surrounding the streak has damaged your nail. If you see any vertical, brown lines that run into your cuticle, contact your dermatologist as soon as possible to have a professional exam and diagnosis.
“Every person passing through this life will unknowingly leave something and take something away. Most of this “something” cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours. Memories. The census doesn’t count it. Nothing counts without it.” ― Robert Fulghum
The fingernails and toenails are made up of keratin, just like your hair. Keratin is a protein, and healthy oils and fats are also needed to keep the skin, hair and nails moisturized and strong. A varied diet rich in vitamins, antioxidant fruits and veggies, protein and minerals is key for healthy skin, nails and hair. Minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, sodium and zinc are particularly important for your nails. However, it’s not just these minerals that make a difference — other nutrients like biotin, folic acid and protein are just as important to nail health.
If you’re deficient in certain nutrients or have ongoing health issues, you may see changes in your nails that include discoloration, ridges or lines in fingernails. Some lines in fingernails can signal serious health problems, while others are simply due to impact or injury. However, with the exception of zinc, folic acid, iron or protein deficiencies. nutrient deficiencies are unlikely to be the cause of your fingernail ridges.*
“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.” ~MLK
Your fingernails can say a lot about you, including whether or not you’re consuming enough vitamins and minerals. Getting insufficient amounts of certain B-complex vitamins can cause ridges in your fingernails. However, lack of certain minerals and protein, as well as various health conditions, can cause these lines in fingernails too.
Deficiencies in zinc, folic acid, iron and protein may cause fingernail ridges. The appearance of your nails may also indicate that you’re experiencing other health issues, like psoriasis or kidney problems. ~LivingStrong
**Should you have any issues or concerns with skin, hair or nails, please consult your physician.