Signs of Ageing Nails

Ask the Raffles Medical Group Experts


What are the signs of ageing nails? What should we do to prevent or slow down the onset of these ageing signs?


As we age, the nail plate becomes paler, dull and opaque. Longitudinal ridging may occur and this may lead to cracks in the nail. Occasionally, this sign may also be seen in younger individuals. In addition, nails grow slower in old age, with nail growth being inversely proportional to age. Both the toenails and fingernails would be affected the same way.

These signs and symptoms occur due to impaired blood supply to the nails as one ages, and also possibly due to the effects of UV (ultraviolet) radiation. Healthy nails which are not prematurely aged can be achieved through proper care, although sometimes an unhealthy nail may indicate an illness that requires attention.

How can you care for your nails?

Don’t abuse them! To prevent injury, don’t bite your nails or use them to poke or pry at things. Protect them by wearing gloves when using soap and water for long periods or when exposed to harsh chemicals.

Perform nail maintenance by trimming them regularly and moisturise them on a regular basis together with your hands. In addition, nails can become dry just like the skin. Your nails also need to be moisturised regularly. You can rub lotion into your nails when you are moisturising your hands.