Healthy fingernails are generally characterized by a flesh-toned or pink color, so it’s understandable why the appearance of white spots can raise concerns. White spots are also known as leukonychia, which refers to nail’s white discoloration. Usually, white spots are harmless, but in some cases, they might be symptomatic of underlying health conditions.
White spots on nails are common. Some health issues may cause them. The possible causes are mineral deficiency, nail injury, fungal infection, and allergic reaction.
Possible Causes of White Spots on Nails
The typical nail fungus known as onychomycosis may appear on toenails. The infection’s first sign might be small white dots on nails. Infections may spread and grow to the nail bed. The toenails might appear flaky and become brittle and thick.
It’s an allergy to nail hardener, gloss, polish or polish removers. It causes white spots on fingernails. The use of gel or acrylic nails may also damage your nails and can cause such white spots.
You might notice white spots along your fingernails if you’re deficient in particular vitamins or minerals. Deficiencies linked to this problem are calcium deficiency and zinc deficiency.
Injury to Fingernails
Injuries at your fingernail’s base may cause white dots or spots on nails as it grows. But, due to the time that your nails might take to grow, you might not recall the injury. Other injuries will not show up for 4 weeks or more.
The common sources of the injuries to the nails include hitting nails against a desk or counter, striking fingers with a hammer or shutting fingers in the door.
Moreover, frequent manicures can cause damage, which may result to white spots on nails. The applied pressure by manicurist can also damage nail beds.
When Should You Worry about White Spots on Nails?
Observing the number and frequency of the nails covered by white spots may be helpful in gauging the situation’s severity. If single white spots present itself on nails, it’s most likely due to the trauma and wouldn’t raise any alarms. If some white spots are present in most of your nails, white spots might be associated with skin-related illnesses.
In instances where half of the nails or entire nails become white on among all fingernails, an illness that affects organs like kidney or liver might be the culprit. It’s a great idea to be aware of the changes to the color of the nails and to speak with medical professionals if discoloration causes concern.
Getting Rid of White Spot on Fingernails
There are many ways on how to get rid of white spots on fingernails. For white spots caused by an injury, these will disappear after about six to eight months, which is the time it takes for nails to regrow. As for skin-related illnesses, nutritional deficiencies or systemic diseases being the cause, proper diagnosis is needed to develop good treatment plan.
While there is no quick fix for the white spots on fingernails, protecting fingernails from the injuries or being mindful of the health may reduce such spots from building up.