White Spots on Nails, Meaning, Causes, Get Rid, Remove Marks White Dots on Fingernails, Toenails, Treatment

What are those white spots on my nails? The medical term for the white spots you see on your fingernails or toenails is Leukonychia. They are mostly hereditary. In rare cases, white spots on nails may indicate a more serious disease that is developing in your body unnoticed. Below are some causes of those white marks on nails, what they are, how to get rid of these white dots on nails and treatment

They are not harmful and usually go away on their own as the nail grows. Hurting the base or matrix of your nail by hitting it with or against something may also cause white spots on nails.

White spots on nails
White spots on nails

These white dots may also be an indication that you are dehydrated and you are not consuming a well-balanced diet. You may need to introduce some vitamins like Vitamin E and C in your diet as well as certain minerals.

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Causes of white spots on nails

The following are the common causes of white spots on nails:

1. Fungus

Sometimes white spots on nails are early signs of a fungal infection on your nail especially if they occur on toe nails. The fungus that affects nails is known as onychomycosis. With time your toe nails will grow thick and chip easily.

2. Allergies

Tiny white dots on your nails may also be as a result of an allergy to cosmetic nail products that you use on your nail.

3. Injury on nail

Hurting your nail especially at the base may cause white marks to form on your nail as your nail continues growing.

4. Deficiency of certain minerals in the body

When you notice white spots on your nails you are most likely lacking zinc, iron and calcium in your body.

5. Regular Pedicure and Manicure

With time, the accumulated pressure applied to your nails during pedicure and manicure harms your nail beds. Interference with the nail beds result into white spots on nails.

6. Ill health

White marks on your nails maybe an indication of ill health like; unhealthy heart, liver cirrhosis, liver, malaria, kidney diseases, herpes or even pneumonia.

7. Hereditary Disorder

Some people inherit white spots on nail from their parents.

8. Cold Weather

Exposing your nails to cold causes white spots on nails.

White marks on nails
White marks on nails

Symptoms

  1. Very small spots randomly dispersed on your nail.
  2. Big lines running across your nail
  3. A big white dot at the center of your nail.
  4. Change in nail color
  5. Inflamed gum tissues
  6. Partial deafness

How to get rid of white spots on nails and remove them using Home remedies

You may use the following remedies at home to get rid of white spots on nails as soon as you notice them. They apply to both toenails and fingernails.

1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties which reduces the chances of infection to your nail. I t is also effective in clearing off white spots on nail.

Requirements

  1. Tea tree oil
  2. Olive oil
  3. A Cotton ball
  4. A Clean piece of cloth
  5. Water
  6. An Anti-bacterial soap

 

What to do

  1. Wash your hands/feet properly using anti-bacterial soap and running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth.
  2. Mix 1 tablespoon of tea tree oil with ½ tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Soak the cotton ball with the mixture.
  4. Apply the mixture on the affected nail using the soaked cotton ball.
  5. Let it settle for up to 10 minutes.
  6. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil to liter of water in a basin and soak your nails in it for 30 minutes
  7. Repeat this process once a day till you are satisfied with the results

2. Baking Soda

Baking powder is an alkaline, so it will neutralize the acidic environment on your nail where fungi could possibly thrive and reduce their chances of spreading.

Other substances like vinegar, peroxide and Epsom salt are used alongside the baking soda. Vinegar is a mild acid and it is ideal when it comes to killing the fungus.

Requirements

  1. Baking soda
  2. Peroxide
  3. Epsom salt
  4. Vinegar
  5. Water
  6. A Basin
  7. A clean piece of bandage
  8. A clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Ensure that the affected area is clean and dry.
  2. Mix 6 tablespoons full of baking powder with Epsom salt and peroxide 3 table spoons each.
  3. Heat a liter of water and add it to this mix
  4. Add 3 table spoons of vinegar to the mixture
  5. First, dip the affected nail in vinegar for a while then apply the mixture on the nail
  6. Wrap the affected area with a clean bandage
  7. Alternatively, pour the entire mixture in a basin and soak the affected nails in it for 20 minutes then dry up the affected area using a clean piece of cloth.
  8. Repeat the process two times a day for at least a month
    White dots on nails
    White dots on nails

3. Lemon Juice

The citric acid found in lemon juice will prevent microorganisms from settling on your nail hence reduce infection and make the white spots disappear with time.

Requirements

  1. Lemons
  2. A Sieve
  3. A Cup
  4. A sharp knife
  5. Olive oil

What to do

  1. Apply pressure on the lemon by kneading it on the kitchen counter.
  2. Use the knife to cut the lemon into two halves.
  3. Place the sieve over the cup and squeeze out the lemon juice into the cup through the sieve.
  4. Add olive oil to the lemon juice
  5. Ensure that the affected area is clean and ry.
  6. Dip the affected nail in the juice for 10 minutes.
  7. Rinse off the affected area with water
  8. Repeat the process three times a day for at least a month

 

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a natural anti-fungal agent hence it prevents fungus from affecting or spreading on nails. It also waterproofs the nail thus preventing fungi from thriving.

Requirements

  1. Coconut oil
  2. A Cotton ball
  3. A Clean piece of cloth
  4. Water
  5. An Anti-bacterial soap

 

What to do

  1. Wash your hands/feet properly using anti-bacterial soap and running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth.
  2. Soak a cotton ball with coconut oil
  3. Dub the coconut oil soaked in cotton on the affected nail
  4. Let it settle in
  5. Repeat this process three times a day for a month and observe changes

5. Onions

Onions contain folic and ascorbic acids which get rid of fungi.

Requirements

  1. Onions
  2. A Knife
  3. A Clean piece of cloth
  4. Water
  5. An Anti-bacterial soap

What to do

  1. Peel off the back cover of the onion
  2. Wash your hands/feet properly using anti-bacterial soap and running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth.
  3. Slice the onions using a sharp knife
  4. Rub the onion slice on the affected nail
  5. Do this as often as you please until the stain disappears

6. Yogurt

Yogurt contains natural substances that help in treating white spots on nails

Requirement

  1. Natural Yoghurt
  2. A Clean piece of clothe
  3. An Anti-bacterial soap
  4. Water

What to do

  1. Wash your hands/feet properly using anti-bacterial soap and running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth
  2. Dip the affected nail in the yogurt
  3. Let it settle in the yoghurt for 15 minutes
  4. Rinse off the yoghurt
  5. Repeat this process thrice a day for a month.
    Fungus infection may also appera as white spots on nails
    Fungus infection may also appera as white spots on nails

7. Orange Oil

Orange oil contains agents like Limonene which are capable of killing bacteria and pathogens.

Requirements

  1. Orange oil
  2. A Cotton ball
  3. Water
  4. An Anti-bacterial soap
  5. A Clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Wash your hands/feet properly using anti-bacterial soap and running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth
  2. Soak a cotton ball with orange oil
  3. Apply the orange oil on the affected nail using the soaked cotton ball
  4. Let it settle on the nail for 1 hour
  5. Rinse it off with clean water

8. White Vinegar

Vinegar is always known for its antifungal, antiseptic and natural cleaning properties. Below is what you require and how to use it at home to get rid of white dots or marks on nails home

  1. White vinegar
  2. Warm water
  3. An Anti-bacterial soap
  4. A Clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Pour half a liter of warm water in a container
  2. Add a quarter liter of white vinegar to the water and mix
  3. Wash your hands/feet properly using anti-bacterial soap and running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth
  4. Dip the affected nail in the mixture for 10 minutes
  5. Let your nail dry up

9. Garlic

Garlic contains an anti-fungal agent called accilin which is anti-fungal.

Requirements

  1. Garlic
  2. A Pestle & a mortar
  3. Olive oil
  4. A Knife
  5. A clean piece of bandage
  6. Water
  7. An Anti-bacterial soap
  8. A clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Peel off the back cover of garlic cloves
  2. Dice them into cubes using a knife
  3. Place them in the mortar and pound with a pestle to form a paste
  4. Add olive oil to the paste and mix
  5. Wash your hands/feet properly using anti-bacterial soap and running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth
  6. Apply the mixture to the affected nail
  7. Cover it with a bandage
  8. Let it settle for an hour
  9. Repeat the process thrice a day for a month and observe the changes in your nail.

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an organic solution to bacteria and other micro-organism problems.

Requirements

  1. Apple cider vinegar
  2. Water
  3. A clean piece of clothe
  4. An Anti-bacterial soap

What to do

  1. Mix water and apple cider vinegar in the same ratio
  2. Wash your hands/feet properly using anti-bacterial soap and running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth
  3. Soak the affected nail in the mixture for 20 minutes
  4. Rinse off the affected area with clean water
  5. Repeat this process often for a period of one month
    Fangus infection may also causes yellow nails
    Fangus infection may also causes yellow nails

11. Proteins

Foods rich in proteins are the main source of keratin which is essential for the healthy growth of nails. You should also drink a lot of water, about 8 glasses a day in order to digest the proteins you eat and make the most out of them.

What to eat

Eat protein rich foods like

  1. Chicken
  2. Fish
  3. Beans
  4. Groundnuts
  5. Lentils

12. Vitamin E Oil

Below is what you require and how to use it at home

  1. Vitamin E Oil
  2. A cotton ball
  3. Water
  4. A clean piece of clothe
  5. An Anti-bacterial soap

What to do

  1. Wash your hands/feet properly using anti-bacterial soap and running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth
  2. Soak a ball of cotton with vitamin E oil
  3. Dab it on the affected nail
  4. Let it settle in
  5. Repeat this process as often as you wish until you notice some change.
  6. You can also moisturize your hands and feet using lotions that contain Vitamin E.

13. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is also among the oils that have anti-fungal agents in them.

Requirements

  1. Lavender oil
  2. A cotton ball
  3. A clean piece of bandage
  4. Water
  5. A clean piece of clothe
  6. An Anti-bacterial soap

What to do

  1. Wash your hands/feet properly using anti-bacterial soap and running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth
  2. Soak a cotton ball with lavender oil
  3. Gently apply the oil using the cotton ball on the affected area.
  4. Cover it with a bandage
  5. Let the oil settle in and get absorbed in the nail bed.
  6. Repeat the process as often as possible until you notice a change.

14. Listerine Mouthwash

Listerine mouth wash is an antiseptic. It will keep bacteria off your nails

Requirements

  1. Listerine mouth wash
  2. Vinegar
  3. Lemon Juice
  4. A cotton ball
  5. Water
  6. An Anti- bacterial soap
  7. A clean piece of cloth

 

What to do

  1. Mix the Listerine mouth wash with lemon juice and vinegar in equal proportions
  2. Wash your hands/feet properly using anti-bacterial soap and running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth
  3. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture
  4. Apply the mixture on the affected area
  5. Let it settle for 10 minutes
  6. Rinse it off with clean water
  7. Repeat the process three times a day for a month.

14. Nail Polish

If the white spots on your nails are a bother to you and you can temporarily hide them by applying nail polish over them. But this could be tragic if you are allergic to nail polish. It would only increase the dots. But if you are not allergic to nail polish, go ahead and seal the trouble.

Prevention of white spots on nails

A wise man once said “prevention is better than cure”. The following are some few tips you can adhere to in order to prevent development of white spots on nails.

  1. Observe and maintain hygiene on your nails.
  2. Drink a lot of water to hydrate your body. Experts recommend at least 8 glasses a day.
  3. Drink healthy fluids like cranberry juice in order to get rid of toxins from your body.
  4. Eat a lot of green leafy vegetable
  5. Avoid over use of nail products like acetone, gel polish and other nail polish removing agents.
  6. Reduce your sugar intake in your diet. Sugar helps fungi thrive.
  7. Always keep your hands and feet dry. Make sure you dry them off immediately after coming into contact with water.
  8. Avoid exposing your nail to cold substances like ice or cold weather in general. Invest in a pair of warm gloves and socks.

Treatment

Below are a few options on how to treat and remove white spots on nails

1. Antifungal Medication

If you have been diagnosed with fungal infection, take oral antifungal medication as prescribed by your doctor. Discipline yourself to finish the dosage if you want to fully get rid of the fungus that causes white spots on nails.

2. Time

If the white spots on your nails are as a result of having injured your nail bed, then time is the best healer. The white spots will disappear as the nail grows.

3. Diet Change

Adjust your diet to include foods that are rich in proteins, calcium, iron, vitamin C and Zinc. This will reduce the chances of getting white nails in future and getting rid of the existing ones.

4. Treat underlying health issues

If the white spots on your nails happen to be a symptom of ill health, then you need to treat the underlying health issues and the white dots will disappear as well.

6. Avoid nail products

You need to avoid using nail products for a while because some of the white spots on nails that you develop are as a result of allergic reaction to nail products.

Below is a video on more about white spots on nails

References

  1. http://ijr.com/2016/02/540768-heres-what-they-really-mean/
  2. http://www.nlda.org/a/white-spots-on-nails/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leukonychia
  4. http://www.healthline.com/health/white-spots-on-nails
  5. http://patient.info/wellbeing/health/what-causes-white-spots-on-nails

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