If you have noticed white spots and other abnormalities on your nails, you may be worried. But, you should know that fingernail or toenail abnormalities are very common and in most cases there is no reason to worry.
However, these abnormalities can tell you a lot about your health, so you should be careful. You should seek medical attention if you notice that your nails have changed in color, shape or texture and you if you don’t know what may be the cause of that condition.
Most people have experienced white spots on their fingernails or toenails. These spots may be warning you that something is wrong with your health. This condition is also known as leukonychia and it can affect one or several nails. The causes of white spots on your nails may be different and you should not ignore these spots. White spots on nails may be the symptom of many different conditions and they can appear as tiny dots, but also as large lines across your nails.
Of course, most important is to find out what are the causes of white spots on your fingernails or toenails and to treat them properly. In this article we will tell you something more about the causes of white spots on nails and we will also tell you how to treat them.
In most cases white spots on nails are not serious, so you don’t have to worry. They are temporary and they will go away without any treatment.
If you also have white spots on your nails or if you have experienced them at some point in your life, this article will be very useful for you.
The Causes of White Spots on Fingernails and Toenails
Nail Injuries. One of the most common causes of white spots on fingernails is a nail injury. If there is an injury on the base of your nail, then you can also expect white spots to appear on your nail. These spots may not appear immediately after the injury, but they are likely to appear a couple of weeks after you have banged your finger on the door, for example.
Also, the cause of nail injuries may be frequent manicures and pedicures, but you can also damage nail beds by using gel. If you wear very tight shoes, it can make a strong pressure on your toenails and cause white spots to appear on them.
Allergic Reaction. Another cause of white spots on your nails may be an allergic reaction. It may be an allergic reaction to nail hardener, nail polish or nail polish remover.
Zinc Deficiency. Did you know that spots on your nails may also appear due to zinc deficiency in your body? If your spots are caused by zinc deficiency, then you should change your diet. We recommend you to eat more foods that are rich in zinc, such as baked beans, crab, oysters, pork, nuts, spinach, whole grains, etc.
Calcium Deficiency. Deficiency of calcium may also be the cause of white spots on your fingernails or toenails. In this case we recommend you to eat more foods that are rich in calcium, such as dairy products, green beans, almonds, dark leafy greens and broccoli. Also, today there are many nail strengtheners and other nail products that are fortified with calcium.
Protein Deficiency. If you have a protein deficiency in your body, it may also result in white spots on your nails. Actually, in this case white horizontal lines will appear on them.
But, when you change your diet and when you start to eat more foods that are rich in protein, these spots will probably disappear soon. It is recommended to eat more fish, lean beef, beans, nuts, soymilk, tofu and other foods that are rich in protein.
But, in some more serious cases, these white lines may be the sign of liver disease. The best way to check it is to press down on your nail plate. If the white lines disappear at the moment when you press the nail plate, then you have only a protein deficiency and you don’t have to worry.
White Superficial Onychomycosis. Have you ever heard of white superficial onychomycosis? It is a type of fungal infection that appears on your nail plate and it spreads to the nail bed. This infection usually appears on toenails, so they become flaky and later they may also become very thick. The nails may split and they may also cause pain when you are wearing your shoes.
If you have any of these symptoms, it is best to consult your doctor in order to determine if you have white superficial onychomycosis or some other fungal infection on your nails.
In the case of fungal superficial onychomycosis, a doctor will prescribe you some oral anti-fungal medications. Also, he will probably give you a topical ointment that you will have to use in combination with the prescribed medications.
You have to be patient because the results will probably come after a month or two if you use the medications regularly. It is considered that this fungal condition will disappear completely within three months.
Serious Diseases. Unfortunately, the cause of white spots on your fingernails or your toenails may also be a serious disease. In order to prevent any further complications, it is necessary to seek medical help if you notice any changes in your nails.
Liver Disease. As we have already mentioned, white spots on your nails may be the symptom of liver disease, such as hepatitis.
Kidney Disease. Also, a kidney disease may result in white spots that appear on your nails. If you have a kidney disease, you nails may become completely white or even pink.
Anemia. Sometimes anemia may also be the cause of white spots on your fingernails and toenails. If you suffer from anemia, you nail beds will be pale or white. It means that you have to include more iron in your diet. We recommend you to eat more foods that are rich in iron, such as meats or leafy greens.
Skin Cancer. Although white spots are temporary and they can be easily treated, you should be worried if you notice dark marks on your nails. If you didn’t hurt your hand or your foot and if there are dark marks on your nails, then it means that you may have skin cancer. In this case you should seek medical help as soon as possible.
You have seen what the most common causes of white spots on your nails are and what should you do to get rid of them. As we have already said, it is best to consult your doctor, but before you do that there are some home remedies and methods that may also help you.
The Treatment of White Spots on Fingernails and Toenails
As you have seen, white spots on your nails are temporary and harmless in most cases. These spots will grow out as your nails grow, so in most cases no treatment is needed. Of course, there are many factors that can affect your nail growth, such as aging, poor nutrition or fungal infections that may appear on your nails.
In order to treat this condition properly, you have to find out the underlying cause of white spots. If the cause of white spots is an allergic reaction, we recommend you to stop using nail products that may be responsible for allergic reaction.
As we have already said, if the cause of white spots is a fungal infection, then you will need to use oral fungal medications and also a topical antifungal treatment. The treatment will probably last three months.
It is important to keep you nails moisturized at any time. It is recommended to massage your hands and your fingernails with hand lotion that contains vitamin E. Also, there are many creams and lotions that you can use to massage your feet.
Also, you should have a balanced diet that will provide you with all necessary nutrients. As we have already said, you should consume more foods that are rich in iron, zinc, protein and other nutrients. You should increase the amount of vitamin C that you are taking in your diet. If you consume more foods that are rich in vitamin C you may prevent white spots to appear on your nails and you will also boost your immune system.
There is also a way to hide white spots on your nails. In this case you should use a light pink or peach nail polish.
Of course, we recommend you to be patient and to let your nails grow out. You should not cut them too much and you should not damage the nail bed.
How To Prevent White Spots on Your Nails?
Now when you know how to treat white spots on your nails, you may be wondering if there is a way to prevent these spots.
There are some tips that may help you prevent white spots to appear on your nails. Most important is to have a healthy and balanced diet. You should keep your nails hydrated at any time by using lotions, creams and other moisturizers. It is also important to maintain your nails clean and to maintain a proper length of your nails.
It is recommended to cut the nails once a week and to use sharp clippers. When we talk about toenails, it is important to wear comfortable shoes and to change socks every day. It is also important to keep your feet dry, in order to prevent any fungal and other infections.
As you have seen in this article, white spots on your fingernails or toenails are very common and in most cases they are absolutely harmless. The most common causes of white spots on your nails are nail injuries, zinc and calcium deficiency, protein deficiency, fungal infection, as well as an allergy reaction to some nail products. But, sometimes these white spots may be the result of some more serious conditions, such as a liver disease, kidney failure, anemia or even skin cancer.
If you notice white spots on your nails and if they appear too often, then you should consult your doctor. As we have shown you above, there are many medical treatments and home remedies that can help you.
Most important is to have a balanced diet that will provide you with all necessary nutrients. As we have already said, it is important to keep your nails clean and moisturized and you should never cut them too much.
We hope this article has been useful for you and we are sure that you will take more care about your nails and your overall health. If you are not sure what may be the cause of white spots on your nails, it is best to seek medical attention.