White Spots on Nails, the Causes and Treatment

April 10, 2022
White Spots on Nails the Causes and Treatment

Your hands are usually the first appearance you give to a foreigner, thus the essence of taking care of your nails. 

Despite the most excellent care and an impeccable manicure, little white spots have slowly appeared on the surface of your nails? 

Don’t panic, we tell you everything about the causalities and remedies of these small whiteheads.

Why do white spots appear?

Bad diet, lack of calcium or magnesium, too much nail polish? Numerous causes are often placed forward to uncover the secret of these small white spots that occur on the surface of your nails. 

It is not so. No requirement to jump on dairy products to correct this slight pigmentation. But then how to explain these unattractive white spots?

Let’s start with a little anatomy lesson. The nail honestly plays a protective role, so it is often put to the test. It shields the fingers and toes from external aggressions: blows, temperature changes, pressure, and permits scratching or even tearing easily. In short, this small organ gives you many boosts.

Two distinct areas make up the surface of your nail: a small white area and a significant pinker part. Under this visible part is the matrix which makes it possible to synthesize keratin in several layers. It happens that microtrauma damages this established balance. 

Thus, a shock of any kind can create an anomaly in the production of keratinocytes which turn white and cause a lack of transparency. Hence the appearance of small white spots on your toenails or hands: this is commonly known as leukonychia. 

It can take different forms: the nail can be completely or partially white, dotted with streaks, or even small spots or spikes. Despite a scientific term that makes you shudder, nothing to worry about, it is often a mild illness.


This scholarly name simply corresponds to spots on the nail.

Sometimes the spots on the nail spread.

It is not necessarily worrying the development of these spots is not necessarily a serious health problem.

But sometimes these spots on the nail can also be a sign of a fungal infestation.

White spots first appear on the nails in the form of extensive spots, transverse bands, or lines parallel to the cuticle.

These stains or stripes, which first creep into the base of the nail, eventually spread until it is completely white.

Then the nail can crumble, break and come off.

Hello doctor: where do these white spots come from?

Most of the time, these white spots occur punctually and are absolutely harmless. Simple disruption, you simply have to wait for the nail to grow back to see them disappear. Did you stub your toe on the living room table? 

Despite their protective function, the nails are fragile organs that respond to induced microtraumas. If it’s only small spots, it’s probably due to a micro-shock, or even an overly intensive manicure. 

Indeed, repeated movements to push back the cuticles or small skins can cause sensitization of the nail matrix.

Moreover, if the spots are important, and cover more than half of your nails, you will have to consult a doctor. Allergy to varnish, nail polish remover, eczema, psoriasis, or even the beginning of a mycosis, it happens that large spots completely cover your nail and are symptomatic of a less common disease. 

Do not hesitate to consult if the lack of pigmentation persists.

White spots: how to treat them?

Start by avoiding mistreating your nails! The poor are already constantly prey to external aggressions. Say goodbye to intensive cuticle treatment. 

We avoid sensitizing the matrix by filing our nails too often and of course, we stop biting them. Everything will then be back to normal very quickly: you just have to wait for the nail to grow back for the stains to evaporate.

To protect your nails on a daily basis, remember to wear gloves when using harmful products and remember to moisturize your hands to the tips of the nails. Let your nails breathe from time to time without polish, this will allow them to regenerate and be healthy for longer

However, there are some natural remedies to prevent and treat minor white spots.

Lemon juice:

Rich in vitamin C, lemon is ideal for strengthening and protecting your weakened nails and thus reducing white spots. Simply mix two teaspoons of lemon juice and a few drops of olive oil and leave them on your nails for 20 to 30 minutes.

Tea Tree essential oil:

Known for its detoxifying and purifying properties, Tea Tree essential oil is used on the skin but also in nail care. A few drops can be enough to eliminate microbes and thus the whiteheads that proliferate on the surface of the nail.

White vinegar:

Thanks to its antifungal properties, white vinegar is an excellent remedy for white spots. Half a cup of white vinegar mixed with a quarter of lukewarm water can help you eradicate this unsightly discolouration.

Hide white spots

It is possible to hide the white spots by applying a covering varnish.

The varnish will not only hide the white spots but will protect your nails for a while.

But :

  • Do not forget to apply before a protective base,
  • Leave your nails unvarnished from time to time
  • Use an acetone-free nail polish remover.

To have stronger nails

  • Avoid smoking.
  • Clean your nails with a soft brush
  • File them delicately and not too often
  • After washing your hands, dry your nails well
  • Wear gloves when washing dishes.

If there is no actual remedy, most of the time it is enough to wait for the nail to grow back. In the meantime, you can hide your stained or streaked nails. A protective base and a colored varnish: voila!

And you, have you ever noticed small white spots on the surface of your nail?

If there is no actual remedy, most of the time it is enough to wait for the nail to grow back. In the meantime, you can hide your stained or streaked nails. A protective base and a colored varnish: voila!

And you, have you ever noticed small white spots on the surface of your nail?

Image by Анастасия Триббиани via Pexels

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Margaud Raynaud is a beauty expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and tips with others and has a particular interest in skincare and makeup. When she's not writing about health and beauty, Margaud enjoys trying out new products and experimenting with different looks. Follow her blog for expert advice and inspiration for living your best life.

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