If you have whiteness on nails? You are not alone. Leukonychia, also known as white spots, is a very common nail modification. They are so ubiquitous that there are dozens of myths regarding their origin.

Some of these beliefs are manifestly absurd. For instance, white patches do not indicate that you recently lied or will soon receive a letter containing money. However, other common misconceptions, such as those regarding vitamin deficiencies, are closer to the truth. Here are the true causes of white patches on nails, as well as treatment options. 

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What is leukonychia?

Mee’s lines in a chemotherapy patient

White spot on fingernail are called leukonychia in medicine. It is the most common kind of darkening on the nails. 

There are many layers of keratin that are pressed together to make up your nail. Most of the time, these layers are clear so you can see the nail bed beneath. So, that’s why your nails look pink. But if the layers of keratin get split, hurt, or broken, air can get stuck between them. Because of this, the area looks white. 

In fact, there are three kinds of leukonychia:

  • Punctate leukonychia: small white spots here and there
  • Longitudinal leukonychia: Terry’s nails have white lines that go up the length of the nail.
  • Transverse leukonychia is when white lines (Muehrcke’s lines) run across the nail.

What causes white spots on your nails?

1. Mineral Deficiencies

One of the common causes of whiteness on nails is mineral deficiencies, particularly zinc and calcium. Insufficient intake or absorption of these essential minerals can lead to the development of white marks on nails or streaks on the nails. It is important to maintain a balanced diet rich in minerals to promote healthy nail growth.

2. Trauma or Injury

Physical trauma or injury to the nail bed can also result in whiteness or discoloration. Stubbing your finger or hitting your nails against a hard surface can cause temporary white spots to appear. These spots usually grow out over time as the nails heal.

3. Fungal Infections

Fungal infections such as onychomycosis can cause white patches or spots on the nails. This condition is more common in toenails, but can also affect fingernails. If you suspect a fungal infection, it is important to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.

4. Allergic Reactions

Nails can turn white or discolored due to medical diseases like psoriasis or dermatitis. These conditions usually require medical treatment. If you suspect a medical condition, see a healthcare expert.

5. Medical Conditions:

Some allergic reactions cause nail whitening. Chemicals in nail polishes and artificial nails may cause allergic reactions in sensitive people. Avoiding these irritants prevents nail discoloration.

Symptoms

Some people may see the white spots as tiny dots all over their nails. Some people may have white spots on nails that are bigger and cover the whole nail plate. The spots could be on one or more nails.

There are many ways that partial leukonychia can show up. They might resemble:

The most common type of leukonychia is marked by tiny dots about the size of a pen point.Trusted Source larger “lines” across the nail (longitudinal leukonychia) larger dots or horizontal bands that run parallel to the base of the nail (striate or transverse leukonychia)

How the white spots on your nail look may depend on what caused them. A big white dot in the middle of a nail can be caused by an injury. If you have an allergic response, you might have a few dots on your nails.

The dots or lines of white paint may look different on each nail.

Prevention and Treatment

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Ensuring a well-balanced diet that includes essential minerals like zinc and calcium can promote strong and healthy nails. Incorporate foods such as dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, and lean meats into your meals to support optimal nail health.

2. Protect Your Nails

Taking preventive measures to protect your nails from trauma or injury can minimize the risk of developing white spots on nail. Avoid excessive nail biting or picking, and use proper tools when engaging in activities that may pose a risk to your nails.

3. Practice Good Nail Hygiene

Maintaining good nail hygiene is essential for overall nail health. Keep your nails clean and dry, and avoid prolonged exposure to harsh chemicals or water. Regularly trim and file your nails to prevent any potential damage or infections.

4. Seek Professional Advice

If your nails are persistently white, see a dermatologist or health care expert. They can evaluate your illness, diagnose it, and provide treatment that fits your needs.

Conclusion

Many people worry about nail whiteness, but understanding its causes and taking preventative measures can help keep nails healthy. You can avoid and treat nail discolouration by following this article’s advice. If you have persistent questions, consult a specialist.

FAQs

what do white spot on your nails mean

Punctate leukonychia causes white nail patches. Punctate leukonychia causes little white patches on the nails. These dots appear randomly on the nail.

Several reasons may induce punctate leukonychia. Minor nail bed injuries, zinc or calcium deficiency, allergic reactions, and underlying medical disorders are common reasons.

Punctate leukonychia is innocuous and rarely requires treatment. New, healthy nail tissue replaces the white spots as the nail grows. If you’re concerned about white patches on your nails, see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and advice.

What do white spots in fingernails indicate?

If you’re lacking vitamins or minerals, your nails may have white spots or dots. Zinc and calcium deficits can cause this condition. Your doctor can assess your mineral deficiency risk.

How do I get rid of the white spots on my nails?

Dr. Stern suggests gently scrubbing the nail surface and applying Vaseline or moisturizing oil to remove white spots from long-term nail paint wear. “A nail polish break for several weeks will also help treat keratin granulations,” she explains.

Are white spots on your fingernails calcium deficiency?

This ‘fact’ is actually a hoax. Zinc deficiency causes white patches on your nails, not calcium.

What are the milk spots on my nails?

Leukonychia is nail whiteness caused by numerous causes. The usual nail is pale pink with a white lunula. Nail color is most frequent. White nails, fortune spots, and gift spots describe this condition.