Vertical lines on finger nails

Has anyone else got vertical lines on their nails? I am wondering if this has anything to do with R/A

30 Replies

  • Yes mine are the same.

    They split and very short.

    Very dry and peel easily too.

    Much different to how they use to be.

    Long and nice looking

    No amount of clear polish will harden them up so I gave up trying, I actually thought it was drying them out more,

    Plenty of hand cream worked in to keep them hydrated I think


  • This is really interesting - especially Scouser's response! I have these exact nail symptoms too and increasingly wonder about vitamin D deficiency. I will ask my GP when I see him next time. Tilda x

  • Thanks for your replies. I find that interesting too Tilda especially when i have been a bit concerned about calcium and vit D deficiency xx

  • My nails are the same vertical lines and peeling and splitting. I wear nail varnish all the time now to cover them up, it helps them to grow...... Judith xxx

  • Thanks for your reply, it does seem a common problem x

  • Mine too, in fact I was just filing a split as I read this. You can actually buff most of the ridges off if you get one of those manicure blocks, then put on nail cream (not hand cream) and rub that in using the smooth side of the block. I do it every two weeks or so and it has really made a difference. Must mention the Vit D thing to the Doctor though; hadn't thought of that, and I'm not surprised we have a potential lack of it given the weather over the last twelve months!!! Helen xx

  • Thanks for your reply, i have often thought of doing that but always wondered if it would make them weaker but i think i will try it and also ask about the vid D xx

  • When mine first started to go this way (I've always had very strong nails), I went to a well-trained very good manicurist who told me to do this - not too often, as overdoing it can weaken them, but she likened it to exfoliating skin - apparently we need to remove dead nail cells from the surface, just as we do with our faces, legs, arms whatever...makes sense I guess, and as I has certainly made a difference to mine. Not cured it completely, but my nails feel lovely and smooth when I've done it. xx

  • Hi Marmaduke

    I have used those blocks and it is a quick fix remedy and they get worse after each use I find. I have taken my 3rd vitamin D3 tablet which I got from the health food shop at £2.99 per 100. Don't know if it's coincidence but I feel better today than I have in a long time. Maybe it's auto suggestion.

  • Hi Moallen

    Do you mean worse as in more ridged, or weaker? Mine seem as strong as ever, but they are gradually getting more ridged - I'd put this down to the effects of disease/drugs (whatever's causing it in the first place) gradually getting worse, but perhaps I'm just exacerbating the situation by buffing them!!!!

    I've also just got athlete's foot for the first time in my life - I am slowly falling apart (actually quite quickly if I stop to think about it!!!!!!!!!)

    Helen xx

  • Hi Helen

    Weaker initially, then more ridges - mine look awful and keep splitting down the length and i have to file them down daily as they catch on my clothing and tear the nail.


  • My nails have always been strong but I have noticed the ridges recently - but the nails are as strong as ever and grow at a very fast rate. I just had a test for Vit D deficiency and it came back OK -so should I pop the Vit D pills or not? I'll aske the rheumy when I see him in a couple of weeks. I only take Methotrexate so I wonder if that is the culprit?

  • How interesting. I too have those awful splitting, flaking ridges it looks as if I bite them! Have resorted to Gel nail varnish. . This is put on by operative like normal nail varnish but dried under uv light, several coats are applied. It never chips or flakes and every 2-3 weeks I have them back filled ie the re growth touched up. About every 4 months I have them taken off with acetone and start again. I know that this solution is only cosmetic but it has massively strengthened my nails and is hugely protective if them. It makes me feel better, it's bad enough having RA with all the pain, etc etc. but I don't need to look any worse than I have to. How vain is that? But it makes ME feel better. Lots of people comment on them.


  • I think it is important that we don't allow this disease to take all our confidence and anything that makes us feel better is good. thanks for your reply x

  • I too have these ridges but not the flaking. Vit D is defo one of the reasons because when I go to the sun in the winter months my nails grow like fury and are very strong but they still have the ridges. This started when I was very anemic, I still have the ridges even tho my iron is 10.5 which is on the low end of acceptable. So maybe iron levels are also something to think about.

  • My iron levels are low too so you could be right, my levels were 9.8 on the last test. x

  • I became curious about this question because I also have these vertical ridges running on all of my fingernails. I have found the following:

    Onychorrhexis is the presence of longitudinal striations or ridges (Figure 7). It can simply be a sign of advanced age but it can also occur with the following:

    Rheumatoid arthritis;

    Peripheral vascular disease;

    Lichen planus; and

    Darier's disease (striations are red/white).

    This was from the following website:


  • Thank you for your reply. I guess there could be a few reasons for it then. I didn't have them before RA so perhaps it is linked somehow. I have read it's not usually serious although horizontal lines can be. xx

  • Hi a

    ll re nails try perfect formula gel strengthener from qvc looks like pale pink lol mox

  • Thanks for your reply, much appreciated xx

  • I am awaiting starting vitamin D/calcium and I have had these little vertical lines on my nails too for many years. Not gross but visible.

  • Thanks you for your reply. It does seem like quite a few of us suffer from this. I will ask at my next hosp. appoint. about calcium/vit d xx

  • I was told I should be on it as I had a lot of hydrocortisone injections although my binescan doesn't show osteoporosis, but I believe it can help aching joints anyhow although I don't know how much. I just noticed that I couldn't get a smooth finish on mail varnish which made me notice my little nail lines some years ago. xx

  • Bone scan!!

  • I had actually put a question on here the other day asking about bone scans as it has been 12 years since my last one so i will definetly ask at my appointment soon. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. xx

  • I was just told to have one due to the many hydrocortisone jabs. It had been ten years since the first one I had. xx

  • I have just looked at my nails and I to have vertical line on them and they break easily also have RA so there must be a connection

  • Yes i think so, this horrible disease has a lot to answer to. x

  • I have them to and my vit d level is ok but when my rhumy was examing me at my first visit he commented on my nails and said that it was due to my R A.

  • Thanks Chrissy, It does seem to be common with us. x

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