White Spots on Nails: What Causes Them & How to Treat

White spots on the nails are a sign that there is a change in the structure of the nail, which can be caused by a nutritional deficiency, allergies or minor trauma to the nails. These spots are also known as leukonychia and are not usually related to any diseases.

White spots on the nails can appear on both toenails and fingernails and are generally not a cause for concern. However, if they appear frequently, they may indicate a lack of certain essential nutrients such as calcium, zinc or vitamin B12, for example.

White spots on the nails can be prevented and treated according to a dermatologist's recommendations. Generally, the doctor will recommend that a healthy diet and adequate hydration.

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Main causes

The main causes of white spots on the nails are:

  • Allergy to substances, such as nail polish or cleaning products
  • Nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of calcium, iron, zinc, silicon, folic acid or vitamin B12, due to a poor diet
  • Minor trauma to the nail, such as catching your finger somewhere or undergoing a manicure injury
  • Use of antibiotics from the sulphonamide class, such as bactrim
  • Some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy;
  • Hormone fluctuations in women
  • Presence of certain diseases, such as anemia, psoriasis, vitiligo, tuberculosis, kidney disease, mycosis, liver cirrhosis, congestive heart failure and diabetes
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures, especially cold

In addition to these factors, white spots on the nails can also be a genetic problem, affecting a large area of the nail, called total leukonychia.

How to treat white spots on the nail

Generally speaking, white spots on the nail disappear spontaneously and no treatment is necessary. However, there are some methods that can help remove white spots from the nail or prevent them from appearing.

For example, women who regularly paint their nails should remove the nail polish thoroughly and moisturize their nails before repainting them. In addition, protective gloves should be worn when using substances that can cause allergies, such as cleaning products, dishwashing products and so on.

It is also very important to maintain a healthy diet in order to avoid a a deficiency in the minerals that are important for maintaining healthy nails, such as calcium (found in foods such as milk and grains), iron (found in red meat and strawberries), zinc (found in almonds and turkey), vitamin B12 (found in salmon and shellfish) and folic acid (found in lentils and spinach).

Home remedies

A great way to reduce white spots on the nails, as well as making your nails stronger and more beautiful, is to apply a mixture of oils to the nails.


  • 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil
  • 1 teaspoon of apricot seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil
  • 1 capsule of 400 IU of vitamin E oil

How to prepare

Mix the oils in a bottle, shake well and then massage several drops of the mixture into the nails and cuticles. Ideally, the mixture should be applied twice a day, both in the morning and at night.