By LeafTV Contributor

Not only are nails a beauty statement--especially for women--but they can also tell a lot about a person's overall health. If your nails are covered in unhealthy, not to mention unsightly ridges, there are methods to remove the ridges for improved appearance and increased health.

white mug in hands
credit: Olezzo/iStock/GettyImages

Step 1

When working with dangerous chemicals or doing heavy manual work, like home-improvement projects or gardening, wear gloves. Protecting your nails will prevent further damage.

Step 2

Wait for your nails to grow out. Sometimes the best cure is time. In the meantime, you can coat your nails with a clear, protective polish to strengthen them while you wait for the ridges to disappear.

Step 3

Buff your nails with an emery board. Use a fine board and treat your nails gently, working in only one direction (not back and forth) along the ridge itself. Just be careful not to press too hard on your nail, or you may cause further damage.

Step 4

Apply a hydrating lotion several times a day to moisturize and strengthen your nails. Before bedtime, coat your nails with the lotion and put on a pair of cotton gloves to give your nails an intensive dose of moisture while you sleep.

Step 5

Take a vitamin supplement or eat foods that are rich in iron, zinc and B-12. Issues with fingernails are often related to nutritional deficiencies, so increasing your intake of key nutrients can help cure the ridges.

The Dont's:

Don't pick at your fingernails or use your fingernails to pick at other things. Don't spend too much time at the nail salon. While many products and treatments can strengthen your nails, some options (like acrylic nails) can weaken and damage fingernails. Learn more about the benefits of taking a nail polish sabbatical: here.