Bumpy Fingernails

Things You May Not Know About Bumpy Fingernails

Although bumpy fingernails may be unsightly, they are generally not a cause for concern.  The ridges that appear in bumped form beginning at the cuticle and usually running to the nail's tip are pretty much just signs of aging.  Bumpy fingernails are often thought to be genetic and very common.  However, these should not be confused with bumpy lines that run horizontally that could be a sign of serious health problems.


Bumpy fingernails are mainly a result of lacking moisture.  With age, the oils found within your body are depleted so they need to be replaced if you desire smooth, youthful looking nails again.  It is recommended that you invest in a high quality lotion that will aid in replacing oil back in your hands and nails.  Look for one that contains vitamin E and jojoba and rub the oil into your cuticles a few times per day.  You should always heavily oil your hands at night and if possible, sleep with soft, lightweight cotton gloves on to help retain the moisture throughout the night.

You need to be consistent with your moisturizing routine.  It will take approximately seven or eight months to grow out completely fresh nails and even after you have nice smooth nails you must remain consistent in your oiling.


Coarse buffers can work miracles on bumpy fingernails.  Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly.  Rub your buffing file from side to side over each nail until the ridges disappear.  Then, you should get in the habit of using a curved cuticle tool and pushing the cuticle back and then run your buffer over that area that is now exposed, closest to the skin.  Always rub a nourishing cuticle oil into your nails after filing.


Believe it or not, diet plays a contributing role in those bumpy fingernails.  Crash diets may look good on your waistline but they are doing tragic things for your nails and hair.

While there are supplements available that promote healthy nails, the best way to keep your nails durable and looking healthy is by consuming a nutrient abundant, well-balanced diet.  Most fad diets result in your body being nutrient deficient, causing malnourished symptoms such as limp hair and bumpy fingernails.

To keep your nails looking young and healthy, you need to consume plenty of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, inositol, biotin, niacin, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.  So even if you are not participating in a diet, perhaps your daily eating habits are poor and are taking their toll on your nails.  Vegetables, fruits and lean protein consumption will shine through in your nails.

Causes Of Horizontal Ridges

If your bumpy fingernails have lines running horizontally rather than vertically, it could be a sign of a more serious health issue or caused from a trauma.

  • Beau's Lines – These horizontal lines usually appear in the nail plate area.  They become present during a serious illness such as diabetes or systemic infection.  Many cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy get these lines.  Malnutrition and nail trauma can also be causes.
  • Mee's Lines – These white bands that are found on multiple nails are a result of serious systemic illness or arsenic poisoning.  The lines will move closer to the nail's tip as the nail grows out.
  • Muehrcke's Lines – These lines are a result of a vascular abnormality that is in the nail bed.  These lines look like they are part of the nail but they are not.  They are in the bed of the nail and are common in patients suffering from malnutrition, liver disease or kidney disease.