Have you ever noticed white spots forming on your nails and wondered what this could mean? You’re not alone. The appearance of white dots on the nails, known as leukonychia, is very common in both adults and children alike and can be caused by a multitude of factors. While some cases are harmless, if the condition deteriorates or worsens over time, it may require medical treatment. In this blog post, we will explore all causes of leukonychia so that you can make informed decisions regarding treatment options.
What are white spots on nails?
White spots on the nails are patches of white color that appear on the fingernails and toenails. They can look like dots or stripes or cover the whole nail. This condition is called leukonychia. It does not hurt or bother you in any way, but if it gets worse and happens often, you should talk to a doctor about it.
Healthy nails look nice and have a light pink color. They also have a white half-moon shape at the base. It is the matrix where new cells are made. The cells form the nail plate, mostly keratin protein, with some fat and water. The nail fits closely to the bed, which has tiny blood vessels. White spots will appear on your nails if something goes wrong with making keratin.
Why do white spots appear on the nails?
Factors that provoke leukonychia are divided into external and internal. The most common of these are as follows.
- damage due to aggressive and not neat manicure/pedicure;
- bruise, pinching, strong compression, and other similar injuries of the matrix zone;
- the habit of biting nails;
- prolonged contact with household chemicals, the use of low-quality varnishes and washes;
- on the toenails, white dots can occur from shoes that are too tight.
- taking antibiotics with sulfonamides, as well as chemotherapy drugs;
- lead or arsenic poisoning;
- systemic disorders, such as anemia or endocrine problems;
- kidney pathology, liver cirrhosis, and diabetes mellitus;
- fungal infections and dermatological problems – eczema or psoriasis;
- rare hereditary diseases;
- some viral and infectious diseases accompanied by high fever, such as measles and malaria.
How to get rid of white spots on nails
You need to enrich your diet and take good care of your nails for a better recovery.
Nails are made up of keratin. For its formation, the body must receive sufficient complete protein. Its source is animal and plant foods: meat, fish, and dairy products, as well as leafy vegetables, nuts, and legumes.
Introduce omega-3s into your diet
These polyunsaturated fatty acids also contribute to nutrition and healthy nail growth. The main source of Omega-3s is seafood, especially cod liver, salmon, and tuna. This element can also be found in flax, pumpkin, and nuts.
Zinc, iron, vitamins A, C, and group B will help restore the nail plate. Eggs contain vitamins A, E, and B, biotin, calcium, zinc, and iron. Red meat, liver – E and PP, and a large amount of iron. Carrots and pumpkins are excellent sources of beta-carotene.
You can make special baths, preferably with sea salt and oils. To do this, use warm boiled water. The procedure takes no longer than 30 minutes. First, you need to remove varnish or other coatings from the nails. Then add a few drops of oil (olive, sea buckthorn, or jojoba) and salt to the water. Mix everything thoroughly and dip your hands into this mixture for 30 minutes. After that, you can apply a moisturizing cream on the nails.
If these measures do not help and white spots still appear on your nails, it is better to consult a doctor. The specialist will be able to identify the cause of leukonychia and prescribe the correct treatment. Self-medication can aggravate existing problems and lead to negative consequences. In any case, it is important to remember that this condition does not threaten health, but if it worsens and happens often, you should talk to a doctor about it. Taking the necessary measures in time will help remove white spots on the nails and make them healthy again.