Why Do We Get White Spots On Fingernails? How To Get Rid Of Them?

Occasional presence of white spots on the nails is a common occurrence, which may disappear gradually as the nail grows. This condition is neither serious nor requires any medical attention. However, if you notice frequent episodes of white spots on the nails, it is important to track the source of the condition and to deal with it promptly.

There are a host of factors that may lead to formation of white spots on the fingernails. Some of the common causes linked with white spots include,

  • Injury or trauma to the nail can lead to white spots. This is commonly observed due to clipping or bending of the nail or banging of the fingers against a hard surface. Though in most cases, the spot may appear immediately, in some cases, the spots may develop after a considerable period of time, making it difficult to track the cause.
  • Fungal infection of the nail bed can also lead to white spots on fingernails. Typically these spots are observed around the tip of the nail or around the cuticle and rarely around the middle to the nail.
    In some cases, the nail may split or flake.
  • Vitamin and nutritional deficiencies are other leading causes for the development of this condition. Calcium deficiency in women while zinc deficiency in males is linked with white spots on fingernails. This condition is often associated with dryness of scalp and hair loss.
  • Allergy to nail products like nail polish, nail polish removers or hardeners, etc can also lead to white spots.
  • Rarely white spots may be linked with infectious diseases like herpes or malaria. Excessive exposure to arsenic can also result in development of white spots on the nails.

How To Get Rid Of White Spots On Fingernails?

The treatment is usually focused at modifying dietary practices and using simple home remedies to deal with the condition,

  • Dietary modifications are the key to deal with this condition. Increase the intake of foods rich in Vitamin C and Calcium. Vitamin C helps build up natural immunity and deal with bacterial/fungal infections while calcium helps improve the overall texture of the nails. Include micro nutrients like zinc in your diet as well. Natural sources of these nutrients include dairy products (milk and yoghurt), green leafy vegetables (spinach), nuts and dry fruits (almonds, apricots, etc).
  • In case of white spots associated with infection, local application of tea tree oil is useful. One can also complement the use of tea tree oil with local application of a paste of turmeric and garlic. This can alleviate associated symptoms like pain, burning and tenderness.
  • Avoid the use of nail polish and associated accessories on the finger nails. Alternatively opt for organic or natural products. In most cases, if the spots are linked with allergy to these products, they will be resolved within a few weeks of discontinued usage.

Consult your doctor immediately, if you suspect that the white spots on the nails are not linked to injury, allergy or infection. There is a possibility that the white spots may be a manifestation of a more serious underlying ailment. However in most cases, the condition can be easily managed at home.

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