White Spots in Your Nails

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 26, 2016)

When I was a kid, I occasionally had white spots on my fingernails. Mom and Dad told me that I had white spots for every white lie that I told. While their diagnosis caused me great anxiety, and I hated my nails for ratting me out, the white spots were there probably because I continually banged them around while playing.

Although many buy into the myths and folkloric reasons, the medical reasons for white spots on fingernails are attributed to mild nail bed trauma, skin conditions, nutritional deficiencies, or a fungal infection. The medical term for white marks or spots in the nail is leukonychia. Severe cases have the entire nail turning white. If you've ever hit your nail with a hammer or other blunt force object, then you've most likely developed a white spot on the nail. Much like a bruise on your skin, white spots in your nails are most commonly a result of trauma to the nail bed.

So, how do you get rid of them? Follow these tips for getting rid of white spots in your nails:

  • The easiest, and slowest, way to get rid of those white spots is to allow the nail to grow out. Just as a bruise goes away on your skin, the white lines and spots will grow as your nail grows, and then you can simply file or cut the nail away, and the white spots will go in the trash with your nail clippings.
  • Make sure that you are getting enough Vitamin C in your diet. White spots sometimes appear as a result of nutritional deficiencies. Good sources of Vitamin C are green, leafy vegetables and fruit.
  • To make your nails stronger, eat and drink plenty of protein and calcium, or take a calcium supplement. Sources of protein and calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, nuts, and vegetables.
  • If you haven't injured your nail, yet you still see white spots or marks, then you may have a zinc deficiency. Take a zinc supplement or eat foods such as beef, beans, legumes, and nuts.

If you are desperate and simply can't wait until your nail grows out, then you can always apply fingernail polish over your nails to cover the white spots. However, if the white spots are due to a fungal infection, never apply nail polish. Also, keep in mind that white spots in fingernails may be a sign of liver and kidney disease. Make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect that the white spots in your fingernails can be attributed to disease, rather than trauma to the nail bed.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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