Longitudinal fingernail ridges are signs of an aging nail matrix. As the matrix cells age, they produce nail that is less regular resulting in a longitudinal ridge as the nail grows. I tell my patients that nail ridges are analogous to gray hair, which seems to make the explanation easier to understand. While there is little that can be done from a medical perspective to improve the ridges, cosmetic improvement is possible. These ridges can be sanded smooth with the surrounding nail plate quite easily making them less obvious or possibly invisible. This is best done with a rotary nail sander hat can be purchased at any beauty supply store. Or, triangular nail files can be purchased for this purpose at any drug store. One side is for smoothing the nail ridges and is a fine grade sand paper. It is important not to sand aggressively or the nail may thin and fracture. The next side is for buffing the nail smoother and the final side is for shining the nail. The nail can be left natural or painted at this stage. Both men and women can use this technique for nail ridge removal.
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