Since time immemorial, people have connected their fingernails with health, perceiving any discoloration or abnormality as potentially dangerous or as premonition of illness. Truly, our fingernails are made of many layers of special protein called keratin and, when healthy, they are smooth and equally colored, without any ridges or spots. However, some people experience white spots on their fingernails at some point of their lives. This condition is called leukonychia and is usually quite harmless.
Types of Leukonychia
There are several different types of white spots on fingernails. Firstly, small, white spots can appear. Alternatively, band-like shapes may appear and cause the whole surface of your fingernail to turn white. This can also happen on a partial level, affecting only a part of your fingernail.
Reasons Behind Leukonychia
There are cases when these white spots on fingernails are triggered by bacterial or fungal infections affecting the area. Also, quite commonly, a direct injury that this surface of your finger has sustained, may result in appearance of white spots or other kinds of discoloration, including bruises or blood spots.
Our nails may be allergic to cosmetic products we use for treating them and white spots may be the reaction of our nails to chemicals or substances used. Chemotherapy or medications can both lead to white spots on fingernails too. Finally, zinc deficiency manifests itself through the onset of this condition.
Usually, partial whiteness or spots are not a cause for concern. Yet, if the entire surface of the fingernail turns white, you may want to look into it since this could be a sign of a liver disease.
Treatment for Leukonychia
As it was mentioned above, usually, you do not need any special treatment since the white spots on your fingernails are bound to disappear in time. Nevertheless, if you want to speed up the process or prevent white spots from appearing in the first place, you are best to include zinc supplements into your diet, and make sure your nutrition provides your organism with all the necessary vitamins and minerals. If a cosmetic product is causing an allergic reaction, do not use it anymore or try swapping it for a different kind, observing the results.
Finally, if you have hit your finger before you may need to wait for it to fall off or for the discolored part to grow out. In case of infections or excessive whiteness affecting the entire surface of your fingernail or fingernails, seek medical assistance.