Grooves that go left to right rather than from the tip to the nailbed
These are known as Beau’s lines that form after an illness has occurred, or due to an injury to the nail. They can also happen to those that have Raynaud's disease. These grooves tend to grow out without issue.
Grooves or ridges that go up and down, from the tip down to the nail bed
Despite their appearance, these are often normal signs of aging which can become more pronounced with time.
Make sure to evaluate the health of your toenails in addition to your fingernails. Many women may not realize the condition of their nails (both fingers and toes) due to nail polish. So, periodically, you should go without color, or fake nails, and make sure to do a thorough evaluation showing any concerns to your health care provider.
It can take about six months to completely grow out a nail so check to see if the irregularities are a part of the new nail or simply growing out slowly over time.
Reviewed April 18, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
1) Tully, A. Trayes, K. and Studdiford, J. (2012). Evaluation of nail abnormalities.
2) US National Library of Medicine. (2015). Nail Abnormalities.
3) Zaiac, M. and Walker, A. (2013). Nail abnormalities associated with systemic pathologies.