What Causes White Spots on Fingernails?

W

Everyone at some point of life has complaints of white spots on fingernails. Even though the problem is common, these marks have always remained a mystery because of the variation in the pattern of appearance. There are also a number of myths that surround these white spots on the fingernails. Usually, people suggest that the appearance of the white spots on the fingernails is a result of calcium deficiency, whereas others suggest it as a deficiency of nutrients and vitamins. Despite of these myths prevailing for a long time, none of these have been proven to be true.

The white spots that appear on the fingernails are called as leukonychia. The appearance of these white spots can be a result of a possible injury to the base of the nail, which is called as the matrix. Usually, these injuries would have occurred in the past, but the white spot on the fingernail takes time to appear. By the time that this white spot makes an appearance, you would have forgotten about the injury. A normal banging of the finger on the door or the countertop can result in the injury and the occurrence of white spot on the fingernail.

At times, an allergic reaction to a nail hardener, nail polish or even a remover can result in white spots. If you have used acrylic nails on your fingers, then they can result in trauma to the nail base during the application process. Also, having frequent manicures done can cause injury to the nails and result in the white spots. Sometimes, the white spots on the fingernails can also be an indication of a nail infection.

More often than not, these white spots on the fingernails are not a cause of worry and are most of the time are harmless. But, if you do not like these white spots on your fingernails, then you can consider doing the following things to get rid of these:

• Make use of a nail polish to cover these spots. You can try a light shade of pink or peach to cover these spots effectively.

• Keep your hands moist all the time and also moisten your fingernails frequently. Massage the lotion properly into the fingernails.

• If the skin around your fingernails seems to be dry, then massage some vitamin E oil on the fingernails and the side skin of the nails.

The white spots on the skin can be prevented by going through a proper nail maintenance procedure. If the white spot on your fingernail has been prevalent on your skin for a long time, and you are unable to rule out the cause for the same, then it is important that you visit your dermatologist. As mentioned, the white spots can be a result of a minor infection also, and only the dermatologist can tell you the cause for the same. Though the white spot itself cannot rule out an infection, but it can surely be an underlying cause of any other disease. If you spot any drastic change in your nail color, then it is advisable that you see your dermatologist soon.

Last Updated on

About the author

Avatar
Mark Perry

10 comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    • White spots in your nails can be a sign of a serious zinc deficiency which should be treated and NOT covered up because of long-term effects on the immune system. I suggest zinc supplementation which can be self-administered and does not require a medical doctor. Do your own research on the internet and try zinc supplementation even as you would with calcium and/or vitamins.

  • I've read quite a few other opinions on this and this one is a more balanced and objective view. Very useful in suggesting how to deal with it.

  • The information was good. Unfortunately, the article was poorly written. "…fingernails are called as leukonychia"; "…which is called as the matrix". And these are just the most obvious examples. The writer could definitely use a good editor. Pity, because a poorly written article makes the Web site appear less than professional, and the information less credible.

  • Your information is incorrect. Fingernails are "windows" to your nutritional condition. After having white marks for several years, I changed my diet drastically to include only healthy foods and I added vitamins/supplements. I no longer have a single mark! Covering them with polish is hardly a solution. Bad advice.

  • The last two times I had a manicure, the manicurist used nail hardener as a base. Tonight, when I removed the polish, small white spots were on several of my nails. I have never before had white spots on my nails, which have always been healthy. I used the same remover that I have used for years, so I assume I had a reaction to the nail hardener. I applied a dead sea/natural oil blend cuticle treatment and massaged it into my nails and within 5 minutes the spots had disappeared.

  • Anything from injury to the nail bed to diet can cause the white spots. I get them from time to time, usually after getting hit on the fingers maybe even putting your hands in hot water. It takes a while for the spot to show up after an injury. They should grow out. If they keep coming back as you grow them out then examine your diet.

  • I appreciate your information. I have been having my nails done at the salon for a long while. I was having acrylic put on them, but I quit that a long time ago, because it was RUINING MY NAILS! So, they came out with something new, [shellac] and I started doing that. By the 2nd week, I was peeling it off, starting at the base of my nail. Thanks to your info, I have figured out why I have the "white spots" on my nails. I ask my nail-tech what it was, and she said she didn't know. I ask her if any of her other people had this? She said "NO". I'm wondering if that is true. I am thinking my nails are traumatized by the acetone to remove them, and the peeling process that I was doing, after reading your article. I will stay out of the salon, until they grow out, and see what happens. Thanks again!

Avatar By Mark Perry

Mark Perry

Avatar