Have you ever asked yourself, why do I have white spots on my nails? First off, know that having white spots on nails is no rare occurrence. However, many people get worried when they appear. But is there a reason for concern? What do white spots on nails mean? And what steps can you take to prevent them? Today, we’ll examine this issue to answer any and all questions that you may have.
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White spots on nails–what are they?
The medical term for white spots on nails is partial or punctate leukonychia. Partial, because only small areas on your nails turn white and not the entire nail. These round dots can form all over your nail plate and are mostly round in shape. They are usually harmless and typically aren’t a cause for concern. However, the size of the dots and their amount can suggest the underlying cause. Most people have experienced white spots on nails at a certain point in life, as they can appear regardless of age or gender. Moreover, their appearance can vary from nail to nail.
There’s a few common misconceptions related to the question, why are there white spots on my nails? Many people think that the cause is calcium deficiency. However, this is rarely the case. Most commonly, white spots result from nail bed damage stemming from dryness or trauma. So, don’t be alarmed if you stub your toenail or hit your fingernail and then see white dots appear—the injury is the cause. The improper removal of a gel manicure or acrylics can also lead to the emergence of these spots. Your nail bed can become easily damaged during such a process.
Systemic illness may be another cause of leukonychia spots, although that’s rare. If you struggle with anemia, diabetes, scarring of the liver, or kidney disease, you may experience the appearance of white spots on your fingernails and toenails.
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Finally, fungal disease or infection could have caused these spots to emerge, especially if you have been exposing your nails to a warm and moist environment.
Why do I have white spots on my nails?
If you observe leukonychia spots on your nails, you need to look at the last few weeks of your daily routine. Did you undergo any trauma? Or maybe you gave in to the temptation of peeling off your manicure? Also, did your dietary habits change? Have you been omitting fruits and vegetables? Excessive amounts of stress may also be the culprit if you are prone to nail biting, as this may result in trauma.
White spots on nails–vitamin deficiency
Although many still believe in this misconception, vitamin and mineral deficiencies rarely cause leukonychia spots. This stems from the fact that the deficiency levels would have to be extremely high, which rarely happens among U.S. citizens. The reason for this misconception can be found in the causes of white lines or ridges. Both can be, in some cases, traced back to nutrient deficiencies.
How to get rid of white spots on nails?
Possible ways to rid your nails of white spots depend on their cause. If you suffered an injury and your leukonychia spots result from trauma, you will simply have to wait for your nails to grow. If an allergic reaction caused the spots, you will want to determine the allergen, and try to avoid it. Once this allergen is eliminated from your surroundings, yet again, you will have to be patient and wait for the spots to grow out.
If you want to improve the condition of your nails, you can always try to include more foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. They will help strengthen your nails and possibly aid in faster growth.
Treatments for white spots on my nails
Although in most cases, leukonychia spots are caused by trauma and don’t need any additional treatment, there are still more serious cases. With fungal or bacterial infections and situations in which you cannot determine the cause on your own, we highly recommend you schedule an appointment with a doctor. They will help find the reason behind your white spots and develop a personalized treatment plan.
How to prevent white spots on nails?
Start by determining the cause of leukonychia spots on your nails. Once you know the cause, preventing them will become much more manageable. You should also try to avoid damaging situations, biting, and exposure to chemicals. If you get regular manicures, give your nails time to breathe every once in a while. And always make sure your nails are getting enough hydration. Remember to also use hand lotion and opt for cuticle oil. Finally, tweak your dietary habits and consider taking a biotin supplement, as this will strengthen your nails and make them less prone to damage and, thus, leukonychia spots.