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How to Treat Ridge Nails

Updated on October 28, 2012
Clubbing Nails
Clubbing Nails | Source
Clubbing Nails Treatment
Clubbing Nails Treatment | Source

Get the Right Diagnosis

My son's thumb and index finger nails started turning weird oblique and bumpy shape when he was 8. I took him to his primary care doctor. At first his doctor said it might be iron deficiency and ordered few tests. But the results showed my son's iron level was normal. Then the doctor said it was fungi and prescribed a cream to treat it. It did stop its bumpiness on the new nail, but once my son stop using it, that weird oblique shape was back again. I asked my son's doctor whether there's an alternative way to treat that type of finger nails, she replied that if the cream my son was using work, just continue to use it, then hurried out to the next patient. But the cream contains steroids which is not suppose to use on kids, especially prolong use on kids (my son was 11 at that time). So we changed my son's primary care doctor. The new doctor believed my son had clubbing nails and referred him to a dermatologist right away. We were very happy and had high hope on this dermatologist because dermatologists are licensed and should have the expertise on nail problems, especially when I saw there were a lot of certificates hung on the walls of her office. However, our hope fell short. When we asked what cause my son's nail problem, the dermatologist said she didn't know and asked to see the cream the previous doctor prescribed. Then she had my son to try on a different cream and come back to see her in three week. Three days after using the new cream, the skin around my son's finger nails start to crack and bleed. I told him to stop using the new cream right way and called his primary care doctor for a new referral. This time, thank goodness, we got a good dermatologist. After asking for any other health problems with my son, the doctor concluded the cause of the problem was my son's habit of picking his cuticles. In order to stop that bad habit, my son was asked to put the toughest Gorilla Glue onto his cuticles. I was skeptical at that time, but didn't mind giving it a try because I didn't think a little glue on his fingers could do much harm.

The Right Treatment for My Son's Ridge Nails

I was worried that the glue might prevent the new nails from growing. To my surprise, the glue worked great. It didn't block the new nails from coming out, but stopped my son from picking his cuticles and protected his cuticles from being injured by other objects. We knew it worked when his new nails came out normal. Here is how to apply the Gorilla glue on the cuticles:

  1. Place a piece of paper on a table to avoid any unwanted glue,
  2. Rest the hand flat with palm facing down on paper,
  3. Squeeze out a dab of glue on the paper,
  4. Use a toothpick or other tool to help transfer the glue to the cuticle,
  5. Use tissue paper to remove any excess glue,
  6. Let the hand free of touching anything until the glue on the cuticle is dry,
  7. Repeat all the steps after the new nail push forward the glue.

This Gorilla glue is clear liquid when it comes out from the bottle but becomes solid and expands twice the size after it is dry. It also turns yellowish. If you worry about what other people might have to say about that wired looking stuff on your nail, you can cover it up loosely with a bandage.

Using Gorilla glue on ridge nail - apply a new layer of Gorilla glue on the cuticle after the old Gorilla glue has push forward by the new nail.
Using Gorilla glue on ridge nail - apply a new layer of Gorilla glue on the cuticle after the old Gorilla glue has push forward by the new nail. | Source
Using Gorilla glue on ridge nail.  New nail came out after using Gorilla glue to protect the cuticle.
Using Gorilla glue on ridge nail. New nail came out after using Gorilla glue to protect the cuticle. | Source

Find the Right Doctor

If you or someone you know has the similar shape of nail, you can give the Gorilla glue a try. It only costs you few dollars and it's easy and simple to use. Of course, you should check with your doctor first and make sure there is no other causes to the ridge nail. It is also worth the time and effort to get a second or even third opinion about your nail condition if you should have any doubt. It is very important that you have the good doctor who can do the right diagnosis and give you the right treatment.

I did a search on the internet and found out that people also called this type of nail brittle nail or a type of spoon nail or Koilonychia.

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    • kittyjj profile image
      Author

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      Thanks Brett.Tesol. What really scared me was the specialist prescribed the medicine when she didn't event know what was wrong or what caused it. And yes, I am sure I will definitely do more researches online before taking in doctors' prescription in the future.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Sorry to hear about your sister. Unfortunately GPs are literally overworked 'jacks of all trades'. They have a lot of knowledge, but can't specialize in every area or know everything. As the patient, it is important to research too and if needed, find a specialist. I have had terrible advice and medicine before, but luckily there are a lot of online resources now.

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • kittyjj profile image
      Author

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      That's true, Lu. Luckily your sister didn't follow her doctor's advice. :)

    • profile image

      Lu 5 years ago

      Doctors are still human. To be fair, they make mistakes too. I always think is good to get second opinion if the illness is serious. My sister nearly had an unncessary heart surgery. The doctor told her that she had to have it in that week itself or not she may live. Well, that was 10 years ago and todate, she did not have any heart surgery..

    • kittyjj profile image
      Author

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      Thank you, My Nurse Says, for sharing your views on inefficient doctors. Your experiences working closely with doctors validated my concerns.

    • My Nurse Says profile image

      My Nurse Says 5 years ago from Philippines

      I do agree that as a patient... you have every right to receive the best possible care, and knowing your doctor very well is one way to achieve that. I have had experiences with inefficient doctors (I won't name-drop) but it is really a burden in our part as Nurses because it is also our primary concern to maintain the safety of our patients. We will definitely be facing deep waters and fires once we interfere in a Doctor's action, especially when we know it's wrong or harmful. It is also somehow embarrassing when a patient comes up to us, seeking an explanation on why the doctor assigned to her seems to be inefficient.

    • kittyjj profile image
      Author

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      They way some doctors prescribe medicines to their patients without knowing the causes of the symptoms scared me. Thank you, cloverleaffarm, for coming by and commenting. :)

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Interesting hub. You are right, doctors have gone down hill...a lot. You are lucky when you can find one that doesn't have that "rush off to the next patient" mentality. Best of luck to you.