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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes ridges on the nails?

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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2849 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 24 Apr 2018 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: What can you tell from fingernails. I have fine ridges running down all my fingernails they until recently were smooth. also recently my right testicle has grown large(3-4 months)don't think there's a connection but I have just noticed.. I had a complete physical in May.all good then
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 57 minutes later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Vertical (longitudinal) ridges that run the length of the nail are usually nothing concerning. There can be a genetic predisposition to developing these, and they can increase with age and with small traumas to the nail bed. Some dermatologists recommend taking biotin, and putting lac hydrin on the nail bed daily to try to keep the nails from getting too dry. But they usually don't cause a problem. Correlations with medical problems are not specific. Horizontal lines however can be a sign of illness. I do not know why your nail ridges began at the same time as the testicular enlargement, and perhaps there is a correlation, but it is not clear.

I do recommend that you go in to have your right testicle examined, even if you had a healthy complete physical. Any time there is an increasing growth, it should be evaluated. Your doctor will do a physical exam and then will send you for an ultrasound of the scrotum. Depending on the results of the ultrasound, your doctor may have you see a urologist. I recommend not waiting. It may be a simple cyst or fluid collection but there is also the possibility of malignancy. Testicular cancer is more likely to affect younger men (18-40 yrs) but it can occur in men older than that age range too. So make an appointment and have it checked out.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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