Have you ever seen some white spots on your nails that look like rice grains, and wondered where they came from? White spots on the nails are pretty common and may not be a serious medical condition, but that doesn’t mean you should not take them seriously.
After all, healthy nails are the indicator of a health. And who wouldn’t want to look healthy, right? We’ve spoken to some of the most well-known estheticians to give your the solutions to add to your nail care routine. Read this post to find out what they are and the best ways to get rid of them.
What is the white spot on your nail called?
Keratin, a protein component found in both hair and skin, is used to make nails. Our nails grow very quickly and are one of the factors that reflect our overall health. Nails on a healthy body are usually pink and shiny.
White spots on the nails, according to Paul Jarrod Frank, a celebrity MD and esthetician in New York, are caused by keratin deposits. This is commonly known as leukonychia, a condition caused by nail matrix injuries or other factors.
- Leukonychia is classified into two types:
- True leukonychia develops in the nail matrix, the part of the nail responsible for nail production.
Apparent leukonychia is a problem with the nail bed, or the area of the nail beneath the nail, rather than the nail itself.
True leukonychia are the entire nail being white, the problem is usually genetic. Meanwhile, apparent leukonychia that we often see is a partial white spot with the following forms:
- Striped white spots on the nail are small horizontal or vertical stripes.
- Egg-shaped white spots: These are small, egg-shaped spots that frequently appear on the entire nail. This form is quite common in young children.
- Vertical white spots: These are lines that run parallel to the direction of the nail; this type is extremely rare.
Anyone can have keratin deposits, no matter their sex, age, or ethnicity.
Causes of white spots on nails
Unlike the commonly held belief that white spot is caused by a lack of calcium, it is most often caused by post-trauma incidents such as:
An injury to the matrix, or the base of your fingernail where the nail plate is produced, can cause white spots or dots on your nail as it grows.However, because fingernail growth takes time, you may not remember the injury. Some injuries do not manifest themselves for four weeks or more.
Common sources of injuries to nails include:
- shutting your fingers in a door
- striking your finger with a hammer
- hitting your nails against a counter or desk
White spots on your nails may be caused by an allergy to nail polish, gloss, hardener, or remover. Chemicals used in the application and removal of acrylic or gel may also cause white spots on your nails.
On the toes, a nail fungus known as white superficial onychomycosis can appear. A few small white dots on the nails may be the first sign of an infection. The infection has the potential to spread to the nail bed. Toenails can start out flaky and then thicken and brittle.
True leukonychia is an inherited condition, but it is extremely rare.
It is caused by a gene mutation that can be passed down to a child from one or both parents.
People born with true leukonychia due to a hereditary issue typically have total leukonychia, with all-white nails appearing at birth or early infancy.
Certain medications can cause white spots on the nails. These include chemotherapy medications and sulfonamides, which are used to treat bacterial infections. Lines on nail plates can also be caused by heavy metal poisoning from arsenic and lead.
Consult your doctor right away if you have any other symptoms of heavy metal poisoning. Abnormal levels of these elements can be detected through a blood test.
Deficiency in vitamins and minerals
If you are deficient in certain minerals or vitamins, you may notice white spots or dots on your nails. The most common deficiencies associated with this problem are zinc deficiency and calcium deficiency.
Your doctor will be able to tell you if you have a mineral deficiency. Manicures on a regular basis may also cause damage, resulting in these white spots on your nails. Manicurist pressure may cause damage to the nail beds or matrix.
The nail matrix can be affected by inflammatory skin diseases such as nail psoriasis and hand eczema. This can result in abnormalities in the nail plate. White patches under the nail are caused by leukoderma. It can be confused with whiteness in the nail.
Less common causes for white spots include:
While these causes are possible, they are extremely uncommon. If you have persistent white spots on your nails or other nail abnormalities, your doctor will most likely rule out a variety of other conditions before considering these more serious issues.
Treatments for leukonychia
Treatment options for leukonychia range from at-home remedies to prescription medications. It is recommended that you consult your doctor before deciding on the best treatment for you. Following your diagnosis, the following are some of the most common methods:
Anti-fungal oral treatment
The most commonly used treatment for nail fungus is oral antifungal medication, but many doctors will also prescribe a topical antifungal treatment. The average treatment time is three months, and it is critical to complete the treatment within the time frame specified. Otherwise, you may not be able to completely treat the infection.
Cosmetic topical products
Although this is not a cure for leukonychia, it is a fun way to cover up those white spots. To avoid damaging your nails, choose a nail polish that is free of harsh chemicals. Furthermore, resist the urge to get your nails gel polished. Your nails are already in good shape, so give them a break.
Let them grow out
Unless your nails are experiencing an allergic reaction of some kind, dermatologists advise that in some cases, it is best to let the body take its course. You also don’t need any expensive manicure treatments.
Simply letting your nails grow out and avoiding any over-the-counter medical products purchased without consulting your doctor.
When necessary, cut them off. The white spots will usually disappear on their own.
Increase your vitamin intake
Despite being a rare cause of leukonychia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also contribute to the appearance of white spots on your nails, as well as our overall beauty. This condition can be avoided by providing your body with enough good nutrients.
Remember, your nails are made from a protein called Keratin, which is packed in:
- sea fish
- nuts and whole grains
Furthermore, magie, calcium, and zinc are minerals that play an important role in the health and appearance of your nails and hair. Consider increasing them by taking supplements that are easily available on the market.
Healthy nails show how much we care about our bodies and how much effort we put into their beauty. However, white spots are sometimes unavoidable and take time to heal.
The majority of white spots on nails are caused by an impact injury to the nail or a lack of necessary nutrients by the body. The white spots will gradually disappear when the nails are long and cut if you pay attention to adding the right foods. If you’ve tried these methods and nothing seems to be working, we recommend seeing your dermatologist as soon as possible.