The formation of white spots on nails is known as leukonychia. This condition is completely harmless and has been considered as one of the common health problems. Everyone can have this issue at some point in their life. You can also treat this medical condition quite quickly by following some important points.
Here, we have tried to provide all the important information about the topic. Read on to find the causes, symptoms, treatment as well as prevention of white spots on nails or leukonychia.
What are White Spots on Nails?
The appearance of white spots on nails is known as leukonychia, as mentioned earlier. These white spots may be small dots as well as larger patches spread on the entire nails. These spots can affect one or different nails from your fingers to toenails.
Causes of White Spots on Nails
One of the major cause of the appearance of white spots on nails is an injury to the nail bed. Nail bed can get injured due to the frequent use of manicures, pedicures as well as using gel or acrylic nails. Other leading causes of white spots on nails are as follows.
1. Allergic reaction
An allergy due to few nail polish, gloss, nail polish removal as well as hardener can cause white spots on your face.
Fungi on nail or white superficial onychomycosis may form on toenails, and the first sign of it is the formation of few small dots on nails. This infection can also spread on the nail bed. First, they appear flaky and then can turn thick as well as brittle.
3. Mineral deficiency
Deficiency of certain minerals, as well as vitamins, can trigger white spots on your nails. Most of the times, deficiencies of zinc or calcium can cause white spot formation on nails.
4. Nail injury
Injury to the nail base can even trigger the appearance of white spots on your fingernail. You may not remember the injuries or some injuries can take up to four weeks to show its symptoms. Common nail injuries are,
- Fingers shut in door
- Hammer striking on your finger
- Hitting of nails against desk or counter
Some of the other additional causes of white spots include
- Bad breath
- Heart disease
- Arsenic poisoning
- Eczema or psoriasis
- Kidney failure
- Symptoms of white spots on nails
The appearance of white spots can be various forms. It always depends on the primary cause of your disease. Some important appearances are,
- Dots of the size of tiny pen point
- Large lines across the nails
- Large individual dots
Depending on your cause of white spots on nails, you can also have various additional symptoms as well as signs such as a large white dot in the middle of the nail due to nail injury or formation of multiple dots all over the nails due to an allergic reaction. It is possible that the appearance of dots or line is different on each nail.
Diagnosis of White Spots on Nails
If the reason for the appearance of white spots on your nails is familiar to you then usually it is not important to see your doctor. However, taking care of it along with the reason which is causing it is important.
On the other hand, if the problem is growing day by day and becoming worse, you need to see it to your doctor immediately. It is effortless to diagnose the cause of the white spots on your nails usually.
Your doctors will inspect your nails and will observe them carefully. Based on their observation they will make a diagnosis and will prepare prescription. Your doctors might also suggest you do few tests for better diagnosis. Through tests, your doctor will eliminate all the possible causes.
Treatment for White Spots on Nails
The treatment of white spots on nails is based upon various causes of the problem.
Your doctor may prescribe oral antifungal medicines, which is also considered as a conventional treatment for the problem. Although the treatment may last up to three months, it is important to follow the treatment until the prescribed period to treat the disease completely.
2. Nail injuries
Most of the nail injuries can get resolved on their own with a period. The nail damage will get heal as the nail grows and the white spots will start to disappear.
3. Cosmetic treatment
You can also use few of your cosmetics to cover the discoloration or white spots on nails. Using nail polish in color of your skin tone can be a great cosmetic remedy to cover spots. You can also use certain colorful nail polishes which look even cooler.
4. Allergic reaction
It is necessary to get rid of nail polish, gloss as well as nail product which you think is responsible for causing you the allergic reaction. If the symptoms of an allergic reaction are appearing even after stopping to use the products, it is time to consult with your doctor.
5. Home remedies for white spots on nails
You can even try some natural home remedies to remove white spots on your nails. These home remedies do not cause any side effects if used properly. Some of the above home remedies to remove white spots on nails are listed below.
6. Tea tree oil
A natural antiseptic, tea tree oil is an amazing remedy to remove white spots on nails quickly.
- Mix few drops of olive or thyme oil with tea tree oil.
- Apply this mixture on your nails.
- Leave it for 15 minutes.
7. Baking soda
To use baking soda for white spots removal,
- Make a mixture of ½ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of peroxide, ½ cup of Epsom salt and 4 cups of water.
- Dip your nails in a ¼ cup of vinegar.
- Apply the prepared mixture on the nails.
- Cover it with the help of bandage.
- Repeat the process regularly.
- This will help in removing white spots.
8. Garlic oil
Garlic contains activin which is filled with antifungal properties. You should also eat a clove of garlic every day to get rid of various diseases. To use garlic oil
- Mix garlic oil in vinegar.
- Apply the mixture on your nails.
- Cover it with a bandage.
- You can use olive oil if garlic oil is not available.
9. Apple cider vinegar
- Mix apple cider vinegar as well as water in equal quantities.
- Using a cotton ball, apply this mixture on nails.
- Make antifungal scrub by mixing rice flour and some apple cider vinegar
- Apply this mixture on nails and scrub the nails gently.
- This treatment also helps in removing the dead skin cells.
10. Lavender oil
Lavender oil is also considered as a great remedy to treat various health problems. It is also filled with antifungal properties. Lavender oil is also helpful in treating white spots on nails as well as discoloration.
- Apply lavender oil directly on the nails.
- Cover it with a cloth.
- This helps in working the mixture effectively.
11. Lemon juice
Lemon juice is filled with citric acid which helps in removing an infection from the nails.
- Apply lemon juice on nails.
- Leave it for 10 minutes.
- Wash it off with the help of lukewarm water.
You can also use lemon juice with olive oil.
- Mix lemon juice and olive oil in equal quantities.
- Apply it on your nails.
- With the help of cotton, massage it well.
13. Coconut oil
Antifungal properties of coconut oil make it a great home remedy for removing white spots. Coconut oil also helps in reducing moisturization from the nails and thus the growth of fungus.
- Take a coconut oil and dip a cotton ball into it.
- Apply the cotton ball on the nails.
- Repeat the procedure at least three times every day.
Prevention of White Spots on Nails
Follow some of the major do’s and don’ts given below to prevent the condition of white spots on your nails.
- Keep your nails clean always.
- Toxic elements can cause white spots on nails. Consumption of cranberry juice helps in removing all the toxins from the body.
- Strengthen immunity by including green vegetables and fruits into the diet.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Don’t use nail paints if it causes infection.
- Cut the consumption of white sugar as it raises the risk of fungus development.
- Keep your nails dry always.
- Do not panic if small spots appear on your nails. These spots can go in few days of time. However, if you are having severe symptoms, it is important to consult with your doctor immediately.