Minor injuries are frequently the source of this sort of nail discolouration, although more serious illnesses can sometimes be the cause.
1. When to See a Healthcare Professional
If you get your nails done on a regular basis or keep them clipped short, you may become annoyed if you find a white area on your nail. Leukonychia is characterized by white patches on the nail bed or nails. There are numerous causes of white spots on your nails, ranging from minor scrapes caused by manicures to symptoms of serious sickness such as liver or kidney disease.
Continue reading to learn more about leukonychia, including why white spots on nails arise, the causes of white spots on toes, and when to seek medical attention.
- White Spots on Nails Symptoms
- The most noticeable sign of leukonychia is the presence of opaque white spots on the nails.
- This can occur on the fingernails or toes.
The white area may shift as your nail grows, but it may also remain in the same location.
2. Leukonychia Types
- The most prevalent type of white spots on the nail is leukonychia punctata (true leukonychia), which is characterized by a few white dots.
- Leukonychia partialis is characterized by white spots in the nail bed.
- It might also cause white lines to appear on the nail.
- Leukonychia striata: This condition results in white lines running parallel to the nail bed.
- Total Leukonychia: This condition, characterized by the entire nail going white, is sometimes a symptom of a significant medical problem, such as liver failure
3. Leukonychia Causes
There are numerous causes of leukonychia. Some are minor problems caused by normal wear and tear, while others are more significant. The following are the most typical causes of white patches on nails:
Biting your nails, plucking at them, or having a nail bend back due to injury can all result in white marks. Keratin layers make up your nails. When these layers are harmed, they might split or have air trapped between them, resulting in white patches.
Fungus can grow between the layers of keratin in your nails, giving them a white appearance. Onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the toes, is a frequent condition.
Serious medical conditions: Hypoalbuminemia, or high amounts of albumin, a blood protein, can cause white nails, notably leukonychia totalis. Hypoalbuminemia can indicate the presence of significant disorders such as hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and renal disease.
3. Other Potential Causes of Leukonychia
White spots on your nails can also be caused by:
- Malnutrition or vitamin deficiency
- Cardiovascular disease
4. What Medications Can Cause Nail White Spots?
White spots on the nails can occur in persons undergoing chemotherapy. Chemo most commonly causes leukonychia striata, which are lines that run parallel to the base of the nail.
5. When Should You See a Doctor?
White spots on your nails may appear to be a small problem. If you have an occasional white spot caused by a specific injury, such as picking your nails or slamming your finger, you probably don’t need to consult a doctor.
However, if you experience frequent or widespread leukonychia, you should consult a doctor.1 White spots or changes in nail color may appear harmless, but they could be an indication of a serious or worsening health issue, such as liver disease or diabetes. It is critical that your healthcare physician is aware of the changes in your nail pigmentation so that the underlying cause of the white spots can be addressed.
6. How to Get Rid of White Spots on Your Nails
The majority of cases of leukonychia are the result of trauma. These white patches within the nail will fade as your nail grows. They’ll be clipped off eventually, and you won’t notice them. Antifungal drugs can be used to treat white spots caused by fungal infections.
However, if you have lines going through your nails, a lot of white spots at the bed of your nails, or a lot of white spots, you should see a doctor. To determine what’s causing white spots on your nails, they’ll need to request more testing based on your medical history. When they start addressing the underlying health condition, you should notice an improvement in the white patches on your nails.
Summary White spots on the nails are most typically caused by a minor injury, such as biting your nails or jamming your fingertips. These injuries can cause air to become trapped within the nail, causing it to appear white. White patches can also be caused by fungal infections within the nail.
However, white patches on the nail can be a sign of a serious condition such as diabetes, liver disease, or renal disease. If you have a lot of white spots on your nails, you should consult a doctor for an evaluation. They can assist you in determining what caused the spots and treating the underlying health condition.