What are white spots on the nails?

Despite popular belief, white marks on nails are rarely a sign of vitamin or mineral deficiency, and you don’t need to drink more milk. The most common cause of these spots is actually damage to the nail bed.

White marks on your nails are harmless and usually nothing to worry about, but they can ruin a good manicure or you may have a fungal nail infection, which is easy to treat.

Why are white spots on the nails?

White spots, also known as leukonychia , are a condition in which white lines or dots appear on the fingernails or toenails and sometimes form white bands across the width of the nail. There are three types: longitudinal (appears as a white line running through the nail plate), dotted (white point on the nail plate), or striated / transverse (horizontal line across the nail plate).

However, the main causes of these spots on the nails you will know below.

Trauma to the nail

If you’ve ever hit your nail with something, you may have developed white spots from the trauma to the nail. Also, this can also happen if there is trauma to the base of where the nail is formed. In this case, the spots may take a while to disappear, as the nails grow slowly. This type of minor trauma can also cause nail wrinkles instead of white spots.

Nails grow at a variable rate; they grow more in winter and in the colder months. But it can take several months to a year for nails to grow out. So if they were damaged or there was a clear inciting injury, it is reasonable to monitor it and wait several months if there are no other symptoms.

Manicures and artificial nails

You may have ever had an amazing manicure and realized that those artificial tips that you had stuck to your nail did you some damage. This also counts as trauma to the nail.

It’s not just the nail tips that are to blame, but a variety of beauty treatments. There can be an allergic reaction to something topical on the fingers, from nail polish to false nails and other topical applications.

Psoriasis or eczema

Nails are an extension of the skin. So some conditions that can affect the skin can also affect your nails. Psoriasis and eczema are conditions characterized by itching, rashes, and redness. These can manifest on both the nails and the skin, resulting in whitening of the nails.

Nail psoriasis can look like thickening and whitening of the nails. It can also be seen as white dots with holes. Eczema can cause wrinkles, discoloration, and thickening.

Fungi that create white spots

If you’ve spent any time in the shower at your gym, swimming pool, or other damp place, you may be experiencing nail fungus, especially your toenails. Fungi can look like thickening of the nails and a white coloration. If it is extensive, then the whiteness and thickening can affect the entire nail.

The fungus is also commonly mistaken for psoriasis. To properly diagnose the condition, a doctor can cut or scrape the nails and send it to a lab to identify if a fungus is causing an infection. Oral, topical, laser, and surgical treatments can help treat a nail fungus problem, depending on the severity.

Vitamin / mineral deficiencies

Your grandmother may have told you that those white spots are due to a calcium deficiency and need to drink more milk. Doctors and researchers disagree on whether it is true or not. Some say that vitamin and mineral deficiencies may be the cause, while others say this is a myth that has been disproven.

Vitamin D, calcium, and zinc deficiencies can be the problem. There is a lot of controversy and literature on both sides of the argument. In general, calcium and other mineral deficiencies are not believed to cause leukonychia.

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Treatments for leukonychia

Treatment will vary depending on the cause of these white spots. In the event that it is due to an allergic reaction, stop using the polish, glitter or nail product that you think may be responsible for the allergic reaction. If you continue to have symptoms after you stop using the products, see your doctor.

In the case of fungus, an oral antifungal medication is the most common treatment and many doctors will also prescribe a topical antifungal treatment. The average treatment time is three months and it is important to use the treatment for the prescribed period of time. Otherwise, the infection may not be fully treated.

If the white spots are due to nail injuries, most just need time to heal. As the nail grows, the damage will move up the nail bed. Over time, the white spots will disappear completely.

Lastly, if nail discoloration is a problem or if you are looking for a temporary way to cover your nails, use nail polish. Skin-colored nail polish is a natural way to hide stains. And colored nail polishes are fun and offer a lot of personality.

There are also other products that can be used to reduce or eliminate white areas. Some examples are:

  • Antifungals. If leukonychia is caused by a fungal infection, then an antifungal medication, topically or orally, can be used to treat it. Leukonychia can also be polished off with the use of a topical antifungal or nail solution.
  • Revitalizing nail gel . If the cause is due to trauma or the use of nail polish and the damage is superficial, the use of this type of gel is recommended. They can be effective in treating white spots as it contains an optical brightener to remove discoloration, as well as urea to soften thickened nails and keratin to condition and restore nail quality.
  • Anti-nail biting solution. Nail biting can also cause significant damage. If this is the cause of the white spots, the use of an anti-nail bite solution is recommended. This is a natural product that creates a bitter taste in the applied area and can prevent biting.
  • Water-based nail polish. Water-based nail polishes are recommended as an alternative for those with nail polish allergies.
  • Imedeen. If you are looking for a supplement to help your nails grow, vitamins that help them grow faster are recommended.

uñas cuidadas sin manchas blancas

Tips to prevent white spots on nails

The truth is that the appearance of these white spots on the nails depend on various factors. It would be necessary to find out why they appear to adopt new habits that take care of the nails. In most cases, whitish spots are not a problem and will disappear over time.

However, some tips are:

  • The direct hit on the nail plate can be caused by polishing the nails, pushing the cuticles up too hard and too often, so try to avoid this whenever possible.
  • To prevent an allergic reaction to the chemicals in normal nail polishes, try using a water-based nail polish that will reduce the risk of problems.
  • If you are prone to fungal nail infections, using a topical nail polish can help prevent infections from developing.
  • Try to avoid any trauma to the finger and nail plate by wearing protective gloves.
  • Prevent nails from drying out with moisturizer after showering.