Woman baffled after spotting 'waves and bumps' on nails sparking health concern

A woman has been warned by others online about what her unusual nail pattern could mean (stock image)
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

A woman has been left bewildered by ridges on her nails - sparking health concerns.

The lady explained how her left thumbnail "grows bent" and ribbed, a condition that has persisted for years. "It's been like this for years but I can't remember if it's always been like this or if it used to be fine," she stated. In addition to the baffling growth pattern, she saw her nail change colour to green and yellow, prompting a doctor's visit.

The doctor attributed it to a fungal infection and prescribed an anti-fungal cream, which she admitted to not using consistently. As she shared her predicament, she wrote: "It's ribbed only in the centre, all my other nails are fine, it grows more bent than other nails and sometimes will look even more bumpy that this. It's been like this for years."

Reddit users were quick to respond with advice and similar experiences. One commented: "They are called Beau's lines. Damage at the nail matrix. Could be a sign of illness or more than likely trauma. Can take years to grow out. I have them because of my eczema."

Another suggested consulting a doctor as it might indicate a more serious health issue like psoriasis. One person revealed: "Pick my cuticles - anxiety sucks - and have these ridges on my thumb nails too. These comments are the first time I'm learning that the ridges are caused by trauma to the cuticle."

Another chimed in: "Same thing happened to my nail after it got smashed. The nail fell off slowly and grew back wavy." Meanwhile, someone else commented: "My dad used to bite his nails as low as possible until they bled, he doesn't anymore but all of his nails look like this.

"He thinks it's because he used to work on cars a lot but I would assume the biting did more damage."

What the experts say

The NHS has stated that it's quite normal for nails to thicken or become more prone to breaking as we get older, or undergo changes during pregnancy they might get harder, softer, or more brittle. If you've had an injury, you might see your nail change colour, start to loosen, and eventually drop off.

If you notice a nail changing shape, colour, or falling off without any clear reason, or if the skin around your nails gets sore, red, swollen, and warm (paronychia), which could indicate an infection or an ingrown toenail, it's recommended to consult your GP. Nail issues can sometimes signal more serious health conditions such as psoriasis, anaemia, diabetes, thyroid problems, or even heart, lung, or liver diseases.

Dr Ross Perry, from the skin clinic chain Cosmedics, previously dished out to the Daily Star that those pesky vertical ridges on your nails might be more than just a beauty blip; they could be screaming vitamin deficiency or dehydration, or even flagging up a skin condition.

He explained: "Nutritional factors such as deficiencies in vitamins such as Vitamin A, or if your body is low in protein or calcium then you may notice ridges. Severe iron deficiencies could also create ridges and other changes to the nails."

The skin guru went on to warn that while severe, deep ridges are a rarity, they could be the tell-tale signs of an organ disease, meaning medical tests would be in order. He also spilled the beans on how a bit of nail trauma can lead to these unsightly ridges.

Worried about what your nails are telling you? It's best to pop over to your GP regarding the matter. There's also a lot of information on the NHS website.

Do you have a story? Get in touch at Lucy.Marshall@reachplc.com.