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What has caused my thumb nail to have ridges and is painful to touch?

By Anonymous May 20, 2014 - 7:04pm
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My thumb has horizontal ridges across the Lunula part of my fingernail and is very painful. I don't know the underlying cause, but I do have medical conditions such as Myasthenia Gravis, heart murmur, bulging discs and am in menopause. Could any of these be the cause of this medical condition.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thank you for your question! 

Vertical nail ridges are generally associated with getting older (not menopause, per se) but since yours are horizontal let's talk about that.

Have you had your blood sugar checked? If not, I suggest you do since some people with unchecked diabetes can have these kinds of lines. A nutritional deficiency could also be at play here - a multi-vitamin may help.

I have not read anything horizontal ridges being connected to Myasthenia Gravis but your kind of ridges can come from general illness so there may be a connection. 

Have you had recent fevers? This could cause those horizontal lines. 

Other causes could be arthritis and poor nutrition. 

I'm not trying to scare you (at all, as this could be nothing!) but generally horizontal lines are a symptom of some kind of illness or condition, as opposed to vertical lines often being due to getting older. 

Regarding the pain you also have - this could be due to an infection or even a nerve injury. Do you recall having hurt your thumb recently?

I would recommend you call your doctor about this rather than wait things out. If you do have an infection or nerve injury, you will need help with that. And your doctor can check out your overall health (perhaps some blood tests, talking to you about nutrition as well as your blood sugar) to see what is causing this.

There is also a condition you may want to look into called Beau's Lines. Do you have any indentations too, as well as the ridges? I'd like you to read about this condition in an article by one of our HerWriters, MC Kelby. You can click here to read: 


Anytime you have pain, it's your body doing you a great favor because it's telling you that something is wrong and that you should seek help if no reason can be found. Please put a call into your doctor, particularly since your lines are horizontal. Thank you for giving us such detail, it really helps us to help you more! 

Has this helped you, Anon?



May 21, 2014 - 11:18am
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