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White spots on the nails

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 202 views

White spots on the fingernails have various causes. Small, harmless injuries are usually behind it. Sometimes, however, they are also associated with vitamin or nutrient deficiencies. what’s up Read more about the causes of white spots on fingernails and what you can do about it here.

This is how white spots appear

Toenails and fingernails consist of several horny layers that build on one another. Where white spots can be seen, the horny layers were no longer able to grow together properly. This creates small air pockets that appear white. It is therefore a question of disturbed cornification. In medicine, these white spots are also known under the technical term Leukonychia punctata.

These are the causes of white spots on fingernails!

There are a few theories about the causes of white spots on fingernails.

inflammation or injury

White spots on the fingernails occur, for example, when the nail is injured or inflamed. This can happen if you hit yourself, damage it with a file or nail scissors, or pinch your finger. Biting your nails or an overly aggressive manicure sometimes results in white spots on your fingernails.

Are white spots a deficiency?

White spots on the fingernail are often associated with a zinc or magnesium deficiency as well as a low vitamin D level. Even if these theories persist, a deficiency is not the cause of the annoying white spots. Rather, a lack of nutrients is noticeable in brittle and soft nails.

You can find out what you can do about it in the text: Brittle fingernails: causes and tips .

White spots on fingernails caused by diseases

Discoloration of the entire nail is common in people who have diabetes. The so-called frosted glass nails are almost completely whitish and cloudy. The cause is vascular changes in the nail bed.

The nails can also discolour accordingly in the case of cirrhosis of the liver or heart failure. However, these types of nail changes have nothing to do with the harmless white spots of Leukonychia punctata.

White spots: nail fungus in the early stages

With a nail fungus infection, vascular changes, cavities and air pockets in the nail plate cause the nail to turn white-yellowish to brownish in some places. However, the discolorations are visually different from harmless white spots caused by external trauma.

White spots in baby and child

White spots on the fingernails in babies or children have the same causes as in adults. They are usually harmless and nothing to worry about. They are usually caused by an impact, a bruise or similar causes. If you want to be sure that there is no illness behind it, it is best to ask your pediatrician.

What helps against white spots on fingernails?

If the white spots on the nail are there, you can only wait until they grow out. Since a fingernail grows about three millimeters per month, this takes time.

To prevent white spots on your fingernails, pay attention to the following points:

  • Protect your hands and nails when doing housework and manual work.
  • When manicuring, be careful not to over file the nails. Gel, shellac and acrylic are best removed by a professional. This will ensure that the nail bed is not injured.
  • Choose nail polish and nail polish remover that is free of potentially harmful ingredients such as formaldehyde, camphor, toluene, xylene or phthalates.

Fingernails with white spots: when to see the doctor?

In most cases, white spots on nails are harmless. Only rarely is a serious illness or a fungal infection behind it. You should still seek medical advice if:

  • the nail turns almost completely whitish
  • white spots can be seen on all nails at the same time
  • the nail changes shape (bulges or the nail plate sinks)
  • white spots and grooves appear on the nails
  • the nail turns yellowish or brownish

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