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Why are there white marks on my fingernails?

I'm a college student, and recently my fingernails have been showing white spots on them. They are bright spots that vary from being at the center of my fingernail, to the tips. As a child, i used to have this problem, but thought i "grew out" of it. What causes this? Is it a lack of some vitamin? Or should i change my eating habits?
White marks on your finger nails can be caused by a few different things. By far the most common cause of white finger nail spots and marks is trauma. If you bump your fingernail up against something and the force was not strong enough to cause a bruise, then it may show up as a white bump. For whatever reason, some people are more susceptible to these than others. Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies can show themselves as markings on the finger nails. This can be true for calcium deficiency or iron deficiency. In young people that eat a fairly normal diet, calcium deficiency is a bit uncommon. Iron deficiency should only happen in women who happen to have heavy periods. If this describes you, then you should get your iron levels checked. Finally, people that need to take chemotherapy or some other drug that hurts the immune system can get white lines across their fingernails I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take close look at the pattern of markings on your fingernails and determine if this represents repeated minor trauma or if there could be an underlying vitamin or mineral deficiency that needs investigated.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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