White spots on fingernails have a definite medical basis, though some are caused by a mild fungus while others may appear due to lack of certain items in the diet. It is rare for these spots to appear after the onset of a major health condition such as kidney disease. These spots are not a cause for alarm, but you may still want to get rid of them. The first step to taking care of the problem might be talking with a doctor to find out if the spots are caused by a health problem or nutritional deficiency.

Time will cure some of the white spots on the nails. As nails grow out, the sections that have spots may disappear. Of course, if the spots are due to an internal health problem, they can come back. Some people have found that white spots appear after some sort of injury to the nail. These can appear in the center of the nail or nearer the bottom. It will take time for this spot to grow to the end of the nail and disappear, but it usually happens.

People who find that they get white spot “damage” to nails because of some injury or other “trauma” should wear gloves when involved in manual labor. Those who use their hands daily for cleaning or other such work should also protect the hands during this time. It is possible to get fungal growth under the nails when handling earth, potting soils and other “dirty” items. Again, gloves and thorough cleaning are called for.

Spots that are due to problems with diet or a significant deficiency in the diet should be addressed with help from a nutritionist or doctor. White spots can appear on the nails because the person isn’t getting enough required nutrients, such as zinc or certain proteins. Fruits and fresh dairy products can help. An increase in certain vitamins might be called for as well.

Sometimes the consistent, healthy color of fingernails is spoiled by damage from such acts as opening a soft-drink can or using the nail for other manual purposes. Some people have found that they cause minor damage to the nails when trimming or performing a self-manicure. This can be avoided by taking extreme care when cutting around the nail area.

If worse comes to worse, it may be necessary to cover the area with a dark polish until the situation improves. Of course, this doesn’t take care of the problem but it may provide temporary relief while you uncover the cause and find a suitable treatment. It is possible to look at these white spots as harmless and a minor nuisance. People have considered them good luck in the past! But if you really want to take care of the white-spot problem with your nails, it will take some research into the cause and patience with the treatment. Consider these spots as you would a minor bruise. The body eventually heals itself and takes care of such minor blemishes.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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