ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have white spots in my fingernails?

Question

Why do I have white spots in my fingernails?

There a bunch of little white spots in my fingernails. What are they? Does it mean something is wrong with me or are they normal?

Answer

White spots on the fingernails are generally related to benign causes, and are not usually a cause of significant concern. Punctate leukonychia has multiple causes depending on your personal situation. If you are a generally healthy individual, white spots on the nails are very common and quite harmless. These are mostly seen in youthful people and more commonly in females. They are most commonly result of simple stress or minor trauma to the fingernails, generally at the base of the nail. If there is a dietary deficiency of zinc, this may also show up as white spots on the fingernails. There is no effective treatment to completely prevent these white spots from occurring. These spots generally will disappear as the nail grows. To maintain good nail hygiene, it is important to keep the nails clean and dry, avoid nail biting, avoid using too many chemical containing agents such as nail polish removers containing formaldehyde or acetone. Most importantly, attempt to reduce any minor trauma to the nails as well. It is best for you to make an appointment with a primary care physician to determine what your general health is like, and to determine if there are other medical conditions that maybe responsible for your symptoms though rare.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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