Other diseases and disorders

How to Get Rid of White Spots on Nails

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. November 24, 2022
How to Get Rid of White Spots on Nails

Whitish spots on the nails, in various forms and extensions, are a fairly common problem that in most cases is not serious. However, it is always a good idea to consult a dermatologist, because although it is not common, it could be an indication of a health problem. These spots can have different causes and can appear at any time in life. Contrary to popular belief, their appearance does not always have something to do with a nutritional deficiency.

The following oneHOWTO article explains all the possible causes of white spots on nails.


  1. What are white spots on the nail and why do they occur?
  2. How to remove white spots on nails
  3. How to avoid white spots on nails

What are white spots on the nail and why do they occur?

The white spots on the nails are known by the medical term leukonychia. In general, it is an anomaly that mainly affects the esthetics of the nails, but does not have serious consequences. Nevertheless, it is very important to know that there are different types of white spots on the nails, depending on their shape and size, and it is always advisable to consult a doctor as a precaution.

In most cases, the spots on the nails are the result of a small injury that may have occurred without you noticing it. You must remember that nails are a "living" element of our body that grows about 1 millimeter every ten days.

At the base of the nail, in the matrix, the area we recognize by its crescent shape (lunula), the keratin is synthesized that forms the layers that make the nail grow. When this natural process is disturbed, for example by a blow to the base of the nail, a white spot appears at the base, which continues to grow as the nail grows.

Aggression of the nail matrix is the most common cause of small white spots on the nail plate, which is a protective structure composed essentially of keratin. A kick on the toenail, a blow on the fingers, excessive biting of the nails or an overly aggressive manicure can affect the nail matrix and cause white spots. Although this is the most common cause, it is important to remember that white spots can impact not only the surface of the nail, but also the tissue on which it rests, called the nail bed.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not true that low calcium levels are the cause of this abnormality on the nails. However, it is true that the white spots could be related to a deficiency of certain nutrients, such as zinc.

In case of spots under the nail plate, spots of considerable size or longitudinal or striated, there could be other possible causes, such as:

  • Fungal infection
  • Intoxication or poisoning
  • Skin diseases (dermatitis)
  • Liver and/or kidney problems

You may also be interested in this other article, where we talk about what causes nails to turn yellow.

How to Get Rid of White Spots on Nails - What are white spots on the nail and why do they occur?

How to remove white spots on nails

There is no specific and general treatment for leukonychia. Patience is the key when the white spots appear on the nail plate. The nail will need to grow until it reaches the spot before you can trim its edge. Another option is to try to hide the stains as much as possible with a suitable nail polish.

In addition, as we have already indicated, there are other possible causes of these spots, which must always be found out in order to treat them properly. If the cause is a nutritional deficiency, the doctor will determine if nutritional supplements are needed to prevent the appearance of new spots. If the cause is a fungal infection or a type of dermatitis, it is also the specialist who will determine the ideal treatment for each case.

You may be interested in this other article, where we talk about different tricks to make nails grow faster.

How to avoid white spots on nails

Most white spots on nails are caused by injuries at their base, and prevention of these injuries is largely in our hands.

The best prevention against the appearance of stains is to give your nails the care they need. To keep your nails in good condition and prevent minor injuries that can cause stains, it is necessary not to be too aggressive manicure and pedicure. Excessive cutting of cuticles and the use of unsuitable tools can damage the surface of the nail.

It is also important to moisturize hands and nails as often as necessary and, of course, avoid biting the nails.

Finally, if you have to perform work that could damage the nails, for example by direct contact with aggressive detergents or by using tools that could damage the nails, it is essential to always protect them with gloves.

Finally, remember that a varied and balanced diet provides your nails with all the nutrients they need to be healthy, beautiful and without white spots.

Continue reading this other article to learn how to moisturize your nails.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Get Rid of White Spots on Nails, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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How to Get Rid of White Spots on Nails