Nails are mainly made up of hardened dead cells.
Like other parts of the body, they can be affected by different conditions. One of them are the famous lines or stretch marks, which, although usually harmless, generate concern and discomfort. Find out here why their appearance is due and how to eliminate them.
The small grooves that cross the nails are known as lines or stretch marks. These can be:
Also called Muehrcke’s lines, the furrows are practically null, run from top to bottom, and have a pale or whitish color. They are usually a sign of low protein levels in the blood, as a result of liver disease or poor nutrition.
For example, iron deficiency anemia not only causes grooves in the nails, but also changes in their shape, making them concave or spoon-shaped.
When the lines are not colored, but the grooves are deeper, it may be due to the slowdown in cell turnover of the nail that occurs naturally as we age.
Although less common, it can happen that the lines appear from side to side on the nails. This is known as Beau’s lines and they are often symptoms of a serious condition, such as:
- Malnutrition: mineral deficiencies, such as calcium or zinc, vitamins, such as A or B, and proteins.
- Skin diseases: such as eczema or psoriasis.
- Thyroid disease
- Kidney diseases.
Some cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, can also cause Beau’s lines.
How to remove lines on nails
It is important to go to a dermatologist when nail changes occur. This will make a diagnosis and determine the best treatment, which is usually aimed at controlling the condition causing the furrows.
- How to make nails grow healthy and strong
You can complement the recommendations of the health professional with the following measures:
Maintain a healthy diet
Nail lines or grooves can be due to poor nutrition. Faced with this situation, experts agree that it is best to incorporate a diet rich in healthy carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and cereals, mono and polyunsaturated fats, such as avocado, nuts or olive oil, and proteins, such as beans and meats. lean.
It is also advisable to pay special attention to cheeses, dairy products, yogurts, fish, mushrooms, spinach, eggs, cucumbers, onion and garlic. The reason? They are foods that are associated with the nails growing healthy and strong.
Hydrate yourself properly
Proper hydration does not only mean drinking between 2 and 2 ½ liters of mineral water a day. Using moisturizing creams or oils helps to strengthen the skin and therefore protect the keratin in the nails.
Experts often recommend moisturizers that contain ceramides or alpha hydroxy acids, and preferably apply before bedtime. However, it is best to consult a dermatologist to find out which is the best option for your case.
Hygiene and healthy habits
Maintaining good hygiene and nail care is essential to prevent the appearance of lines or grooves.
Try to keep them relatively short (not too long) to avoid injury during your routine. Start by making a straight cut and then round the ends into a smooth curve with a fine file.
Avoid biting your nails, as this causes irregularities in the surface and weakens them, favoring lesions or grooves, or pinching and pushing the cuticle back.
In cases of weakness or fragility, nail hardeners can be used. It is important that these products are only used under the recommendation and supervision of a professional, as over-the-counter hardeners can provide strength in the first place, but ultimately weaken the nail.
Another product that dermatologists recommend after evaluating the lines, are nail fillers.
With regard to the use of enamels or nail polish removers, experts point out that, when lines or grooves appear, often giving the nails a break is the best option. Try to avoid using these products for a couple of months to allow your nails to grow and regain their strength.
Another option that can be effective (only when recommended by a professional) is the use of supplements, specifically biotin or vitamin B7. This is a substance that plays a key role in carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and regulates gene expression.
There are different studies that found that biotin can help hair and nail growth, as well as strengthen the nail plate.
Until there is significant scientific evidence from human trials, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should exercise extreme caution.
Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, first talk to your doctor about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.
Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.
Sources consulted: Comprehensive Natural Medicines Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.