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What Causes White Spots on Fingernails?

By J. Beam
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are many myths surrounding those mysterious white spots on fingernails that occasionally show up, but the simple truth is that the majority of white spots on fingernails are caused by a previous injury to the nail bed. They can be loosely compared to bruises on the skin.

If you notice white spots, also known as leukonychia, on your nails, they unlikely to have been caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency. In a few cases, white spots on fingernails can indicate an underlying infection, but much more commonly, they are the result of injury. Similar to bruising, white spots on fingernails do not show up immediately. It may take several days or weeks before you notice the spots. Because they are generally the result of a minor injury, you are likely to have forgotten all about banging your fingernail against the car door.

White spots on fingernails are usually not the result of serious injury to the nail, such as being hit with a hammer, which would more likely result in dark blue to black spots and possible necrosis or death of the nail tissue. Fingernails grow at an average rate of half an inch per month, so most visible injuries to the nail take about eight weeks to grow out completely. Sometimes, white spots on fingernails fade before they completely grow out.

Some of the common myths associated with white spots on fingernails claim they are the result of a calcium deficiency or eating too much mayonnaise. While these white spots may be the result of a zinc deficiency, it is likely that other signs of zinc deficiency, such as hair loss or a slow immune system, would be present as well. Occasionally, a few white spots on fingernails may indicate an allergic reaction to a product used on the nail, such as nail polish, hardener, or polish remover.

Many people who wear acrylic nails find white spots on their fingernails after removing the artificial nails. The spots could simply signal trauma to the nail bed during application of the acrylic nails or an allergic reaction to one of the products used. However, acrylic nails have been known to cause fungal infections, which appear yellowish. If you have questions concerning your fingernail health or notice large areas of white on the nail bed, visit a dermatologist and discontinue using nail products until your visit.

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Discussion Comments

By kelvine — On Feb 25, 2016

Some people say it is a representative of luck and it is no big deal at all. I too have those, but I see no harm and I don't have any form of trauma either.

By anon972824 — On Oct 06, 2014

I actually have one right now on my nail. That's why I looked up why I'm seeing this on my fingernail. Doesn't sound like something I should worry about.

By anon931363 — On Feb 08, 2014

When I was a kid I had a bunch of the white spots on my fingernails. My mom said it was lies I had told and my grandmother said it was girls who liked me or sweethearts. I didn't really care at the time and forgot about it.

Years went by and all of them had went away. I started talking to a girl over the phone the next day I had a little white mark on my pinky finger nail. Maybe I needed zinc or some vitamins but I really don't think that was it. A week later, it was gone.

O.K., right now I have one on my index finger. It showed up the day after I began talking to a woman over the net. I am sure that what I just wrote will look dumb or whatever. I don't really care because to me it's got to be real.

By anon927654 — On Jan 25, 2014

I started to eat a lot of mayo recently, and now I have tons of white lines. Maybe there is something in mayo?

By anon356976 — On Nov 30, 2013

I had them in my teenage years (14-18) and they were most numerous when I was growing rapidly (14-15). Based on my diet at the time, I think a lack of zinc could certainly have been the culprit.

My growth rate was not as high as most other teenagers and I caught a couple of rough colds during that time. By the time I got to age 16-17, they were still there but not as much. Then, when I was 18 I incorporated more animal protein into my diet and the small lingering white bands completely went away.

By anon347735 — On Sep 09, 2013

I'm surprised no one has commented on here that the white spots are called leukonychia, there are variations of it and to save me the trouble of explaining it all please just look it up.

By anon347424 — On Sep 06, 2013

They mean an angel is looking out for you.

By anon341654 — On Jul 13, 2013

It is definitely a vitamin deficiency. Since early childhood I would always have at least 40 spots on my nails. I am now 45 and started taking multivitamins about eight months ago. I have no spots at this time.

By anon324376 — On Mar 10, 2013

I have had mine since I was about seven, and now I'm 14 and they haven't faded away. What's the cause?

By anon297451 — On Oct 16, 2012

I have heard calcium deficiency calcium can be one of the reasons.

By anon294112 — On Sep 29, 2012

Actually, zinc and other trace mineral deficiencies are extremely common. It is just not mainstream knowledge because most doctors know nothing about nutrition and were taught that the recommended daily intake is sufficient to prevent disease.

Due to the depleted soils, and the other things that people consume (such as medications, coffee, exposure to toxins etc.) these minerals are also depleted, or their absorption from the foods you eat is inhibited. Moreover, parasitic infections are exceedingly common, which can do major damage to your nutrient stores. This article is misleading and not very helpful to people who want to improve their health.

By anon273871 — On Jun 08, 2012

I don't think it's a lack of calcium or zinc as I take both and now have many white spots on each fingernail. I think it may be an allergy to nail polish.

I've noticed that if I use a quality base or fortifier polish before applying color nail polish, it decreases the white spots and they'll go away. Or if I keep polish off my nails for a week or two, the white spots will go away. I think it's an ingredient in the cheap base coasts or fortifier products that cause them on me.

By anon269684 — On May 18, 2012

I have these. Speaking of "injuries", I bite my nails, and when I do, my top teeth push into my nails. I suppose this is injuring them? Oh, I am definitely not racist! I started having them, and biting my nails at two years old. Could anyone possibly be racist at that point in life?

By anon257056 — On Mar 24, 2012

I think they're like birthmarks. I've been having these forever.

By anon252193 — On Mar 04, 2012

I counted over 50 white marks on my nails. I'm only twelve. Is there a way to get rid of them? And I'm pretty sure it's diet related.

By anon236919 — On Dec 26, 2011

I have white spots on my nail, but I never slammed or hit my nail. What's wrong?

By anon209873 — On Aug 28, 2011

I am 58 now and at the age 50 I developed alopecia universalis, diabetes, extremely dry skin with cracked skin on my fingertips and feet, white spots all over my nails, my sense of smell decreased, easy bruising, loss of libido, blurry vision and doctors just told me "you have alopecia and your nails are part of the problem - no remedies were suggested to me.

Recently, I started taking an eye vitamin that contains zinc and I noticed within a month, the white spots on my nails are going away, my skin problem is improving, libido improving, smell improving, vision improving, glucose levels are better (I don't take diabetes medications - diet and exercise all these years have kept it under control). Everything is getting better! Frankly, I think I had a zinc deficiency all this time and all the doctors that I saw did not pick up on it. Zinc uptakes vitamin A which is good for the skin. Without enough zinc, vitamin A can't do it's thing. Diabetics are known to be low in zinc. Why didn't these doctors see this? I am angry that for eight years, I have had all these symptoms and doctors did not do anything for me but want to put me on drug company medications.

I say look for alternative ways for diseases that you can control yourself through diet, supplementation, exercise. There are some diseases that you have to take medication for, but for those you can control yourself, do it and look for the supplementation you need to correct imbalances.

By anon197648 — On Jul 17, 2011

I had white spots and was diagnosed with vitamin d deficiency. when I started taking vitamin d, the spots went away.

By anon191548 — On Jun 29, 2011

I'm almost 30 and I used to have these spots on my nails from my childhood till the age 27 when I discovered after reading blogs that it was caused by a zinc deficiency.

I then decided to take calcium-magnesium-zinc supplements plus vitamin c. That caused the spots to completely disappear in a three-month period.

So, if you guys have white strips (spots) on your nails, just refer to the closest drug store to get those supplements. You need no prescription.

By anon175548 — On May 12, 2011

I'm 24 and I've had these white nail spots continuously on my fingernails for my whole life. my whole life people have been telling me its as a result of some kind of deficiency but I've never sound one that stops it! Ever.

By anon171463 — On Apr 30, 2011

I've had these turn up regularly for a while. I drink tons of milk a day, literally by the liter. I could imagine it being caused by trauma to the nail. I highly doubt it has anything to do with vitamin deficiency or any of that.

By anon169242 — On Apr 20, 2011

i have the white spots on almost every nail of my fingers. The last time when i told the doctor - they said that it was nothing and don't worry about it, but one of my friends said that it's because of lack of vitamins.

how the hell can the doctor tell me it's nothing? so stupid.

By anon166057 — On Apr 07, 2011

I'm 32 and i have a lot of white spots on my nails. they came about after i have been spending last month working on the car. figures.

By anon164638 — On Apr 01, 2011

At age 74, I just now have two white spots, one on each of two fingernails. I get sufficient calcium, despite a degree of allergic reaction to dairy products, as I'm on the Budwig anti-cancer diet, having just had a total hysterectomy for fibroids and uterine cancer. I am now, according to the last CT scan, cancer-free, but I still do the diet. At my age, I'm not surprised at any abnormality. I believe resveratrol has helped shaling and cracking of fingernails. If I took any more vitamins and other supplements, I wouldn't have time to eat.

By anon162696 — On Mar 24, 2011

I have white spots now and I've had them for quite a long time.

I don't know how to get rid of them. All I know is that you just have to drink a lot of milk and calcium and stuff. But I put clear top base nail polish on my nails before and when I took it off a couple of days later the spots on my nails came off, not off all my nails though, but just two or three. I hope it helps.

By anon159264 — On Mar 11, 2011

They are caused by something called hypomericualiona.

By anon151628 — On Feb 10, 2011

When i was small my mum used to tell me that the white marks on the nails were there to signal that i would receive a gift, and likewise, every time i had them, my dad would take me and buy me something new, without even knowing i had the marks. Now i guess mum was telling him to do that.

If only I'd known couple of years ago, then I'd had given my nails light injured myself just to get new stuff.

By anon145291 — On Jan 22, 2011

I didn't know that there were so many myths about the white spots.

By anon143095 — On Jan 15, 2011

I really do think it's when someone has a crush on you. I got it on my middle finger then the next day I got asked out.

By anon141075 — On Jan 09, 2011

I was told by the doctor that the white spots on nails was from needing to have your liver detoxed.

By anon141051 — On Jan 09, 2011

on my last post I'd written i said that i hadn't had any bruising but i must have misread it. sorry, but i would just love to know how to get rid of them?

By anon141049 — On Jan 09, 2011

i have these white spots on my fingernails and all my friends say that they are due to not enough calcium and i used to believe that but not anymore. i have read some things about them but i have not had any bruising to the skin. how will they go away?

By anon138644 — On Jan 01, 2011

I too have white spots on all of my fingernails. They are all over and I find it ugly. I wish it would go away but I don't know hot to get rid of it.

Some people say it is because of lack of calcium. I don't think it is because of small injury or bruising since they are there all the time and on every single nail. I used to only get white spots only once in a while and on only one or two nails.

By anon136504 — On Dec 22, 2010

I thought white spots meant that someone has a crush on you.

By anon130058 — On Nov 26, 2010

Comment 113, anon105308, that is wrong.

Why is it wrong? Because there is absolutely no way of knowing that someone is crushing on you unless you ask.

And how in the heck are your fingernails and your brain going to know it if they haven't told you? That wouldn't cause anything to go on with your fingernails. It doesn't have anything to do with your health or your body.

By anon128823 — On Nov 21, 2010

post 116/user anon113237: He's an artist. i wouldn't have expected him/her to say anything else. anyway, i have the little white buggers. definitely going to try getting more zinc in my diet!

By anon115907 — On Oct 04, 2010

I've had white spots on all my fingernails all my life. I hate it because I think it looks ugly. So I try to use nail polish to cover up. Then they look beautiful.

However, my mother always gave us calcium supplements when I was a child. I don't think this is a calcium deficiency. I also do not think the spots stem from any injury - otherwise I would have to be hurting myself all the time every day!

Strangely enough: these spots do not appear on the toe nails - why?

I tend to agree with the people who suspect a zinc deficiency. I will really try to be more regular in taking it and see how that works.

By anon115375 — On Oct 01, 2010

You guys are all wrong! I heard a white spot appears on a nail when somebody is plotting to kill you. So if you have those spots, you should probably get a bodyguard.

By anon113808 — On Sep 26, 2010

I used to have lots of white spots on my nails, and I mean non-stop for years. When I started taking zinc, they went away and never came back. That's an awfully clear cause and effect in my book.

By anon113237 — On Sep 23, 2010

Poster of comment 114, anon108141: I am thoroughly offended by your post. I have suffered from psoriasis for the past 20 years, since I was four years old. And I don't have it exclusively on my nails. I have it all over my body.

I also suffer from psoriatic arthritis, which is in my bones, and I'm only 24 years old! Also, psoriasis is in no way a leper like disease because psoriasis is not contagious like leprosy. Psoriasis cannot be cured, only treated, and there are no absolute treatments that always work.

Your comments towards other people's pictures are clearly insulting, which is uncalled for because those are real people who can't help how their skin or nails look. No one would ever choose to have a debilitating disease. Do your research before you make such ridiculous comments.

Also, get over yourself. You can't go on if you lose your nails? Come on! There are so many people out there with much worse conditions than you, so be considerate and thankful that you don't have something that is truly life-threatening.

By anon108141 — On Sep 01, 2010

I started getting a white nail in 1995, then gradually since then each nail has turned white- raised off the nail bed-I am Scared they will fall off. I went to NYU in NYC and had a biopsy. They diagnosed what I did not want to hear all along. I have psoriatic nails. It is a serious disease.

I am only 45 years old and may lose my fingernails and it could spread into my bones. I teach art for a living on the HS level. I count on this to make a living. If I lose my fingernails, I don't know if I can go on.

I am ashamed for something that is genetic and cannot be controlled. The pictures online have scared me for life. I do not know what I will do if it comes to losing them and have a severe bone disease that has no research nor any hope for a cure. I would rather cut off my finger tips then have to live with this leper like disease.

By anon105308 — On Aug 19, 2010

many said that if someone has a crush on you, if they are for example, four, you will have four spots too. i believe it, too, because that is happening to me, my friends and my sister.

By anon103633 — On Aug 13, 2010

The white spots on the nails are usually because of lack of zinc. Taking zinc vitamins or lots of apricot will reduce and vanish the white marks in less than a week.

By anon102467 — On Aug 08, 2010

I'm 19 and have paper-thin, see-through-like, flaky nails that have dips running across the width of my nail bed. Occasionally, I also get tiny white spots on one or more nails per hand. The white spots grow from the base of the nail to the tip.

Anyhow, after reading some these posts and other info, I have become more confused than ever! So far, I have a calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin D deficiency, I am hypothetically allergic to nail polish/remover, and apparently I hit my nails with a hammer on a regular basis! LOL, maybe someday I will figure out what's wrong with them. Take care everyone!


By anon101281 — On Aug 02, 2010

People used to tell me these white spots come if you cry a lot or suffer from depression. I somewhat believe it, because I do -cry- a lot.

By anon100867 — On Jul 31, 2010

my very old fashioned and very superstitious grandmother used to tell me that they were from telling lies!

By anon91067 — On Jun 19, 2010

the whole of my nail base seems to get worse when i go swimming or they get immersed into water for long periods of time -- maybe when I'm having a shower. i don't know.

By anon90798 — On Jun 18, 2010

my mom told me it was because of deficiency of calcium.

By anon90094 — On Jun 14, 2010

i have small dots on my nail as if they had been pressed with sharp edge like needles and they are visible only if i look keenly towards them. what should i do? i recently suffered from chikungunya and later with a skin allergy and now this one.

By anon87483 — On May 30, 2010

i started taking zinc caplets, and the white spots went away in a week. don't doubt that you are zinc deficient; my mom was zinc deficient as well.

By anon87290 — On May 29, 2010

I've had white spots my entire life. For over six months, I've been eating a very balanced diet, exercising, taking vitamins, etc. and my white spots are completely gone.

This is the first time in my life that my nails look better than ever, without polish. Yes, I've also lost weight and I'm planning on continuing this lifestyle change.

I definitely think that my white spots are vitamin related. However, I'm not sure which vitamin has helped eliminate my white spots on my nails. I'm going to research this further.

By anon85705 — On May 21, 2010

They will show up on my fingers a week or so after doing yard work when I don't wear gloves. I think the whole deficiency theory is crap.

By anon84173 — On May 14, 2010

i read on net white spots on nail bed are caused by kidney infection. i think this is right cause.

By anon78965 — On Apr 20, 2010

i think the people saying that's its because of lack of calcium is crap. i have at least one on every single fingernail, but i have none on my toe nails.

By anon77603 — On Apr 14, 2010

I get more than the required amount of calcium per day. I drink milk every single day. I also eat yogurt and cottage cheese.

I thank Jesus I'm not lactose intolerant. My favorite dessert is ice cream which I eat every single day.

My white spots on my fingernails are not calcium related. I've had them my whole life, and my nails are long and not brittle or thin. It may be zinc or something but I personally think they are harmless.

By anon76505 — On Apr 10, 2010

i just got white spots and it kind of hurts and it's really really ugly! I'm going to take more vitamins and drink milk and junk and see if that helps.

By anon76337 — On Apr 09, 2010

someone told me that it was because you had a boyfriend or girlfriend that you loved.

By anon75174 — On Apr 05, 2010

#77 is hilarious. I'm pretty sure that was some twisted humor and it cracked me up. I guess I'll just embrace my little white spots. Maybe even name them.

By anon74520 — On Apr 02, 2010

I've had these all my life - my mom told me it was caused by white lies. I now only tell the truth and still I haven't been able to leave my white lies behind.

By anon72440 — On Mar 23, 2010

#65 is like he knows me i hate these spots

By anon72387 — On Mar 22, 2010

My one year old has white spots on his nail bed. I wasn't sure what they were caused from. Good to know, now. But my poor baby keeps slamming his fingers in cupboards and doors. Ahh

By anon72263 — On Mar 22, 2010

I've had white spots all my life. I have taken a calcium and zinc supplement for 13 years, but spots are still there! --yetI

By anon70356 — On Mar 13, 2010

Jim from post #77 you the man. I definitely think the acid will work just as long as you don't mind her no longer having fingers. Buy that chick some nail polish.

By anon70001 — On Mar 11, 2010

To anyone with these spots, try taking calcium supplements. (Women especially are supposed to take 1200 mg daily anyway.) When I take calcium I never get these spots. If I miss for a few days, sure enough, they start popping up. Simple as that.

By anon69661 — On Mar 09, 2010

I have been off dairy products the past few weeks and over the last week i've gotten white spots on my nails again, so I think it is definitely to do with the lack of calcium. i only ever seem to get them when i cut out or cut down on dairy products!

By anon67507 — On Feb 25, 2010

These nail spots are just nothing but a minor damage underneath. if this is the only thing you've got to worry about then you're the luckiest person with no other worries, so no worries about white spots on your nail.

By anon66840 — On Feb 22, 2010

i have like a thousand little white spots on my finger nails and they take a long time to go away. it seems like they will never go away. can they stay on your nails forever?

By anon65713 — On Feb 15, 2010

#77: If you are considering breaking up with your girlfriend over something as trivial as the white marks on her nails, that is the craziest thing I've ever heard.

how vain can you really be? I'm sure you are not perfect.

By anon65670 — On Feb 15, 2010

These marks are caused by bruising the nail while it is being formed. If you use a tool, like a nail file, to push down your cuticles, you can bruise the nail tissue and not realize it until it grows out some. Quit messing with the cuticles, or at least take care not to press so hard, and the white spots will go away.

By anon65639 — On Feb 15, 2010

Jim (a.k.a. anon64294 and post #77): Your comment does not even deserve a response.

You are so shallow, it makes me sick.

If you can't handle that you should not even be in a relationship. Sincerely, A woman

P.S. I am certain every other woman in the nation would agree.

By anon65532 — On Feb 14, 2010

After not having white spots since childhood, I got them again recently on all my nails. My hair was falling out, too. I was tired a lot. I had not injured them. Blood tests showed me deficient in Vitamin B12, which is apparently a very important vitamin for good health. I'm pretty convinced after internet reading that this is the cause in my case.

By anon64294 — On Feb 06, 2010

My girlfriend suffers from these ugly white spots on her nails. At first I didn't notice them that much, but now they make me nauseous just from looking at them.

I'm considering breaking up with her, but I might give it another try if it's possible to get rid of them. Can it be done with normal nail polish remover or do I need something stronger like acid? Please help. -- regards Jim

By anon61287 — On Jan 19, 2010

I used to have this, and it bugged me a lot so I started eating healthier (fruits and vegetables), taking a multivitamin every day and it went away.

Also my hair and skin looks a lot better. yay for nutrition.

By anon61047 — On Jan 18, 2010

All right. I have seen plenty of reasons, but has anyone considered like popping your fingers? I read on this one site that popping your fingers pops little bubbles of this one fluid in between your bones. I never really pop my thumb. I don't really have any spots on my thumbs.

I pop the rest of my fingers a lot, and have lots of white spots on the rest of my fingers. It can't be nail biting, because I bite all of my nails including my thumb. On my left: pinky I have 10, ring I have 17, middle 11, pointer 15, and thumb 2. On my right: pinky 9, ring 6, middle 4, pointer 7, and thumb 1. I write with my left hand as well. All of these could be associated with it, could not be.

I am just trying not to pop my fingers or bite them, and I can tell you one thing. It's really hard because I have popped my fingers since I was 6, bit them since I was 6, I am 11 now. The spots started showing up when I was 6, too. I consume enough dairy products, have enough zinc and calcium.

If I haven't proved my point already I will say one final thing. Think of every possible thing before you go off assuming that this is that or that has to be this.

By anon60977 — On Jan 17, 2010

Dear anon60747: I notice that the Alopecia areata disease you mention does have a fingernail complication in some cases. It must be terribly frustrating to have this turn up at your age. You might want to do research and read as much as you can about it. Perhaps there will be some ideas for you that you can consider with your family, or at the very least you'll see that you are not alone in having this condition, that it is not contagious, and that it is not uncommon for hair to regrow after a period of time for folks who have what you have. Roberta

By anon60747 — On Jan 15, 2010

I have Alopeica Areata and I've just recently noticed these whitish colored spots, almost like horizontal lines forming on my fingernails. I really don't care about the appearance of my nails really, but it's kind of annoying at some points.

I'm just really confused on what to do. I am only 12, but damn it, I really think I'm maturing with all these health problems.

I also play football. I'm a 5 year veteran :). I've recently unlocked the rage inside me to knock these little kids down. I might have gotten these white spots from playing too hard in snow and sleet. But I'm pretty sure this may be linked to AA. Hopefully it gets better or I might just have patches in my head and on my nails LOL. I hope it stops :p

By anon59393 — On Jan 08, 2010

Did anyone think of carotene? You know, what your hair and nails are made from? Oxidization of the nail sounds possible, perhaps the texture and density of some nail types are prone to spotting. I would make sure other dietary requirements are met aside from minerals and vitamins. Essential amino acids for example. Keep weather, chemical and physical exposures in mind as well as the possibility that it's simply purely genetic.

By certainlywas — On Nov 15, 2009

White spots on the fingernails. My fingernails were riddled with small white spots when I was a teen, and as my dad was a medical microbiologist I asked him about them. While he has many answers, he had no clue.

Later I read that a long term zinc deficiency will cause them. I would not dismiss this as trivial, however, because a long term zinc deficiency during puberty also slows sexual maturation. I have the classic narrow hips and undersized bust that resulted from my long term zinc deficiency. Child birth was far more difficult than it might have been otherwise, and I recall the agony of being the one girl in my high school who still looked like a girl while all the other girls were developing into women.

Supplementing zinc is so easy, and for me does the trick. The nails grow in healthy when I take the zinc. The body changes during puberty were permanent, however, and supplementing at a later date does not undo those damages. What was also not known when I was young is that I am also celiac, (that is gluten intolerant). The malabsorption problems associated with that may have added to the zinc deficiency. However, it would have been nicer to know that at the appropriate time, and I likely could have seen things corrected at the time had there been a wise nutritionist at hand. --Roberta

By anon50967 — On Nov 02, 2009

So, as with most everything, there's no substitute for a proper diet (which may or may not include regularly taking a multivitamin supplement, after checking with your doc of course), plenty of rest, techniques to try reducing stress (but if you can rest properly, you'll be better able to cope with stressful situations), and don't forget to drink water once in a while. Our bodies are +/- 70 percent water and we need it for our cells to function like they're supposed to.

My son gets "nail-spots" too. He's 14 and has had them for a number of years. Unfortunately, I don't get to have much of a say in his diet, and I'm sure he doesn't smash his fingers with a hammer on a regular basis over the course of several years.

I try to eat well and do all the good things we're apparently supposed to do, and I don't have them (I'm a girl and rarely do my nails. I've had acrylic nails for over a year and have not had them either. I also paint my toes and have not had them, although the toluene in nail polish is not a great thing to be absorbed into your body), so maybe it's not one definitive "thing" but perhaps a number of variables to be considered. But hey, what do I know? I'm no doctor (Although my faith in doctors teeters on the edge most times).

I just believe that our bodies need to be taken care of because we only get one (as far as I know), and we're not invincible or immortal. Take care.

By anon50572 — On Oct 29, 2009

i am only 12 years old and i have these white spots on my fingers and my friends say it is because i don't drink that much milk but i drink milk every day. What is wrong with my fingers?

By anon50332 — On Oct 27, 2009

i need help! im 16 years old and have been biting my nails since i can remember (i always try to stop, just can't). anyway all of my fingernails are white, people frequently ask me whats up with them i say i dunno, and also the tips are even white :( im thinking the damage is irreparable? lol. any replies are welcome.

By anon48943 — On Oct 16, 2009

It is wonderful to think that so many people have such otherwise blissful lives, that spots on their fingernails have such a major impact. Long may it continue that you have nothing more significant to concern you all. best regards. Jofiach

By anon48031 — On Oct 09, 2009

hey guys, I am male and I have had this issue my whole life. My teachers used to accuse me of painting my nails with liquid polish. the spots come and go, but i'm not too concerned. I am fit and healthy like a warrior, don't be too scared.

By anon46560 — On Sep 27, 2009

I'm 200 billion years old and have been getting them since i was three years old and blah blah blah. So what? i've got them too and they're nothing to worry about. stop freaking out. Geez everyone's like, "Oh my God! I'm dying because my nails are broken!"

By anon46506 — On Sep 26, 2009

Wow. Are you all serious? Read a little about the cause of white spots from a reputable, reliable source. They are not going to make you "lose your love" or tell you if you are racist. Those comments are some of the dumbest things I have ever read.

By anon45658 — On Sep 18, 2009

I read a study that stated white spots are indicative of how racist you are. 1-3: Intermediate (Racial slurs are suggested during your normal everyday conversations), 4-8 High (You have participated in direct/indirect acts of violence directly related to your racist bigotry), and lastly 8+ Severe (Klan, panther, and or terrorist membership is likely in your immediate future).

By anon45225 — On Sep 14, 2009

Some males like me, have had them almost our whole lives. I've tried eating a lot of vitamins but they just don't seem to disappear. I also believe in the whole each white spot means that someone loves you, so I kind of want them to disappear and i also don't want them to disappear. -Flaco

By anon43082 — On Aug 25, 2009

If it's a deficiency why just fingernails and not toenails?

By anon42596 — On Aug 22, 2009

i was told by a friend that how many lines means how many people like or love me ._.

and because of that, i don't dare to cut my nail which has that white line. Because i'm afraid to lose my love.

By anon42396 — On Aug 20, 2009

Drink milk! i started drinking over 20 oz of organic milk, 4 oz at a time through out the day (about 2 hour spread between every 4 oz), and the white spots started disappearing! they are almost gone. I have been getting them my whole life. Now they are almost gone!

By anon41881 — On Aug 18, 2009

hi everyone, as far as i understand, the white spots are due to calcium deficiency.

for those of you who drink lots of milk (or ingest lots of dairy products except yogurt) the problem is that the human body after a certain age cannot properly process milk, especially a protein in it called casein, which the stomach neutralizes by actually "borrowing" calcium from your bones (etc). so in effect, though milk has lots of calcium, you actually lose calcium when you drink it.

once i found out about this, i started cutting my milk and dairy intake to virtually zero and i do not get white spots anymore. it's down to the point where i can predict the appearance of a white spot by a week. i know that if i eat lots of cheese (especially processed) in roughly 3-5 days i get a spot.

try it yourself. remove all dairy from your diet and within weeks you will see the spots disappear.

sucks because i love milk and ice cream and all that.

it seems yogurt is fine, however, since the bacterial cultures process the casein for you. -insaner

By anon40021 — On Aug 05, 2009

I've always had white specks on my nails, ever since i can remember, all over all of my nails. they grow long and fast and i always get compliments about how pretty my nails are but i've always had the specks that won't go away. and how on earth can you bruise a fingernail? that makes sense -- not. I've gotten my finger closed in a door and it turns black or purple like a normal bruise would, but that's under the nail. it doesn't make sense that you can bruise a nail. i totally think it has to do with a deficiency of something. Has anyone tried to get rid of the specks and if you did how did you do it?

By anon39869 — On Aug 04, 2009

I've had these white spots on my hands for a while but just recently they've gotten worse. i'm kind of worried.

By anon37957 — On Jul 22, 2009

I have been getting white spots on my nails since I was a child and I'm now 25. I don't use nail polish or any product on my nails, I don't bite or pick my nails or injure them and I am always receiving positive comments about my nails otherwise. I drink a lot of milk and dairy and also a lot of Vit C but I believe I need more iron and zinc in my diet. Zinc keeps your hair, skin and nails healthy.

By anon37070 — On Jul 16, 2009

I have had white spots on my nails ever since i was a child. i'm 25 now and i have never remembered a time when they have ever gone. used to bite my nails so i thought it was that but when my sister bit her nails so much more than me and she never had them. I know its not milk (calcium) deficiency as my wife hardly drinks the stuff as it makes her sick at times and again does not have white spots at all. Never has. I feel i have a balanced diet of vitamins and minerals, potassium and zinc. I haven't hit my nails, plus if it was trauma to the nails why doesn't everyone have them as we all cut our nails with clippers, surely that should ignite trauma to the nail. Im confused as sometimes it decreases and other times it increases but i haven't done anything differently than normal. Can someone help?

By anon34658 — On Jun 25, 2009

I have had a white spot appear in the middle of a finger nail occasionally throughout my life. I am 48. Right now I have one on my right index finger. I noticed it several weeks ago. I *may* have injured it but I don't remember. After reading this article, it appears they are no big deal.

By anon33312 — On Jun 04, 2009

white specks are there for a reason, stop pickin your nails.

By anon33233 — On Jun 03, 2009

I have white stripes on top of nails, but they are quite faded as compare to bottom stripes on nails... I see such stripes after some infection, especially, urine infection or food poisoning... and they vanish after infection is over.

By anon31936 — On May 13, 2009

For me it was not trauma related (one doctor said that white spots on nails are caused by banging the nails against a bed headboard while sleeping--which made no sense for me because my bed does not have a headboard or anything else hard within arm's reach). My white spots cleared up completely when I eliminated gluten foods from my diet due to diagnosed intolerance and added zinc supplements, and they have not been back for years since.

Wheat is known to deplete zinc and other minerals in the body, so that also supports the zinc connection.

By anon31598 — On May 08, 2009

It was so nice to read that other people have the same as me: I've always had white spots on my nails all my life and they disappear if I wear nail varnish for a while. I do bruise easily so maybe it is related to that. I never get them on my toenails.

By anon30974 — On Apr 27, 2009

I've had the white spots on 7 of my fingers since childhood. I am now 38. I developed the disease Alopecia (which causes hair loss) when I was 23. I don't know if the two are related or not. I do know that people with Alopecia often have tiny pin hole sized indentations in the fingernails.

By anon30886 — On Apr 26, 2009

I am a nail technician and have been for 12 years. I was taught that white spots were small injury marks. Over the years I have learned that they might appear if you have an allergy to formaldehyde, so check your nail polishes and hardeners.

By anon30678 — On Apr 22, 2009

I've had them my whole life and they seem like they're part of my fingernail. They moves as my fingernail grows and they never stop coming.

By anon28533 — On Mar 18, 2009

My spots are definitely a zinc deficiency, but it took years to work out because taking zinc didn't help and taking VitC did (only in larger doses). It turns out that VitC removes copper and copper interferes with zinc absorption.

So sometimes the link isn't straightforward,but zinc is definitely the major cause of your normal white nail spot.

My white spots also correspond to what I eat ie. my nutritional status. They stay away if I eat well and regularly which complicated working out what was causing them.

When my zinc levels are up the spots don't occur regardless.

I found the simplest way to ensure you get enough zinc is to take a multi-vitamin (one without copper!).


PS. My copper excretion levels are 10x normal and have been for the past 3 years or so. That's a good thing it's coming out. Ran this all past the doctor just to make sure I didn't have Wilson's, but the test is negative.

By anon27964 — On Mar 09, 2009

The white spots aren't from biting your cuticles at all, as I read someone said in one of these comments. I attack mine all the time from stress and I don't have any of these white spots on those fingers at all.

By Reignbeau88 — On Feb 23, 2009

Today I noticed a light peach/white spot on the lower left 'corner' of my index fingernail. My first reaction was to worry. I thought "Is it an infection? Should I be worried about this?" Until I came here and read the part of the article that said "you are likely to have forgotten all about banging your fingernail against the car door."

About 2 weeks ago I was opening our kitchen window for the first time since moving in. They're one single pane windows and do not glide open smoothly like newer windows. I had my right hand holding open the latch and my left hand helping guide it when the window got caught. I wiggled the window loose and it shot open, crushing my poor index finger between the open window and the metal frame.

Well I'm glad I figured that out. haha :D

By najlayousif — On Feb 17, 2009

i have these spots since childhood. i am in my sixties now ..the cause not related to any diseases or lack of vitamins..it is caused simply by air under the fingernail.. like let's say bubbles under the nail...this information from a very smart dermatologist i consulted long time ago...

By anon25930 — On Feb 05, 2009

You don't get them because of lack of calcium. You get them because they are little bruises on your fingernails.

By anon25516 — On Jan 30, 2009

Well I have been getting these spots on my nails for maybe a year and a half. It turns out during this time I had an exhaust leak in my car and was getting carbon monoxide poisoning. It's been a little over a month since I had my exhaust fixed and I'm already noticing that the spots are going away and I feel 100% better. Crazy...

By anon25338 — On Jan 27, 2009

I have 'em too, except thanks to this page, I now know it's from trauma. I have a bad habit of attacking my cuticles on my thumbs, and those are the only fingers I have them on. You don't have to actually hit the spot where they show up, if you harm the cuticles or the skin nearby they can appear.

By anon25132 — On Jan 24, 2009

i like white because its a color that is nice. nails are sometimes with white spots therefore i like it aesthetically speaking but i fear it may mean i am sick. i eat calcium 2 times a day and zinc as well so i don't understand. I've tried using nail polish but it didn't work too. im 74 now and I've had it since i was 73. i am male but but i have erectile dysfunction. probably is related? thank you in advance for helping me on my query...

By anon24876 — On Jan 19, 2009

A doctor told me white spots on nails mean you are not getting enough potassium.

By anon23214 — On Dec 18, 2008

I've had white circles for 6 months now, and my hair started to fall out 3 months after the spots appeared. Having a poor diet (Joy, college), I think mine is zinc related. But mine are more along my tips of my fingernails, not in the bed of my nail. Could it also be trauma too?

By anon22939 — On Dec 12, 2008

my music teacher told me that is should drink more milk, i drank so much milk that i got a kidney stone!!!!!

By anon22471 — On Dec 04, 2008

im at freshman at college and started taking vitamins to stay healthy on the college student diet". A few weeks ago, a white spot appeared on 3 of my fingernails. I don't think it's from trauma though because the spots showed up in the middle of my fingernails, not just at the cuticle. And it can't be zinc or calcium deficiency because those are both well accounted for by my vitamins. and ideas?

By anon22179 — On Nov 29, 2008

i always have white spots on my fingernails when one goes away another one pops up. i don't drink milk except for when i eat cereal in the morning. does this mean i should drink more milk?

By anon21739 — On Nov 20, 2008

the only time I get white spots on my fingers is when im trying to get the cuticle off my fingers. I tend to dig to deep and hit the bed of the nail. after about a month I see white spots then they just go away later.

By anon21286 — On Nov 13, 2008

i don't think i can believe it's from lack of calcium, because i drink a half gallon of milk a day. milk does not give you strong bones i'm skinny as hell and my bones are slim and weak.

By anon21285 — On Nov 13, 2008

i've had these white spots on my finger nails since childhood. now i have a few dark lines running through my nails. its not fungus. all doctors i spoke with said it's a hemoglobin thing and i should quit smokin.

By anon19642 — On Oct 16, 2008

I heard that white spots come from your mother not loving you.

By anon17726 — On Sep 05, 2008

I've always had the white spots, but when I started to eat A LOT of cereal, they mostly went away, meaning it's either lack of calcium or lack of Zinc...eating cereal supplies you with those minerals. I have also wondered about nail polish, though, because remover seems very bad for the nails.

By anon15666 — On Jul 18, 2008

White spots which appear in your fingers nail which are not caused from an injury, generally relate to a lack of zinc. I have white spots and have regular blood tests to monitor my zinc levels, white spots are definitely an indicator that zinc levels are low.

By anon15337 — On Jul 08, 2008

i am 35 and recently got these white spots on my nails. i don't eat a lot of dairy, but i don't go without either. i have only gotten this since i have gotten an autoimmune disease. so go figure, i have always been told your finger nail can tell you something about your health. i have looked up finger nails and every time i have it shows my nails say i have an autoimmune disease.

By anon13181 — On May 21, 2008

I have noticed these white only every now and then since I can remember sometimes years with out them then one year in a few they seem to just appear and I never knew why yet thought the most likely reason would be - not enough vitamins or too much vitamins - and then they would just fade and disappear again so I never thought too much about them. So I've recently got them again, for me its definitely not a case of trauma or damage to the nail bed (i don't use nail polish or acrylic nails etc either) and the fact that they appeared from nowhere all over the nail at the same time (maybe over a day or two) including the tips means they didn't grow from the nail bed. So I was thinking WHY?. I had been to the doctors and had all blood tests done just a few weeks ago - because I hadn't been to a doctor for years and just wondered for piece of mind - all the tests were fine so for me it's nothing to do with iron intake etc. So, after looking at this page I am convinced I have these spots as a result of too much calcium, because I have recently been eating a lot more yogurt and dairy products milk drinks etc - because I've been so busy I forgot to buy bread to make my lunch for work so i've been eating 3 yogurts and an apple and milk drink instead for this week and am very sure it is linked to this now. I remember I always had stages when I was young where I drank lots of milk and ate cheese everyday also which could explain why I've had them off and on, I guess it is also possible too much calcium could cancel out another vitamin and cause a deficiency which could cause the white spots but I'm going to do more research on this - overall for me too much calcium is the culprit!!.

By anon12761 — On May 13, 2008

Mine are definitely not calcium-related. When I'm at home I get through several bowls of cereal a day - loads of milk. When I'm at university (1/2 the year) I consume no milk. None. And the spots stay all year round. They are definitely not "bruises" to the nails - I know I haven't hit them on anything, because I'm have slight OCD and would notice.

By anon12660 — On May 11, 2008

Im 11 and I have a white spot occasionally on one of my fingers and they are usually big. I remember slamming the door on my finger where the white spot is. But its no big deal for me, they go away in like 3-4 months. My friends say that its how many people that like you or my parents say that I told a lie too

By anon12403 — On May 05, 2008

you've all had these white spots since childhood? i remember some years back that one of my friends told me that when you have white spots on your fingernails it means someone has a crush on you. a bit childish i know, but sometimes it's a little easier to hold on to a superstition instead of nothing at all. especially if you don't remember being injured.

By anon12004 — On Apr 28, 2008

This website was so helpful.....by sister and brother both have a few white spots on their nails. We thought that there might be something wrong, but after reading the article, we are sure that it was just some past injury to their nail beds. Thanks again for your helpful article.

By IanMcGhee — On Apr 24, 2008

I had these spots since I was 4-years old. They finally went away at the age of 43. Not trauma related. Probably metabolic in origin...

By anon11376 — On Apr 15, 2008

hi im 15 and i have had white spots on my nails for ever. there are always about 7 on each nail. never on my toenails and i only put nail polish on my toes. it isn't from biting my nails or cuticles or anything because i don't do that. i also get enough calcium, and the right vitamins. but i do drink LOTS of milk - calcium - so maybe that does have a link to it. im not anemic. it isn't caused by trauma. yes well its just a bit strange and all the things i have heard on this page i have heard before so it didn't really help me a lot. i was also told that it was for each lie i told but that can't be true... =]

By anon11111 — On Apr 08, 2008

Don't bite your nails or cuticles. This is what causes it :) Trauma to the nail base, then it grows out and shows up.

By anon10399 — On Mar 26, 2008

hmmm, that's interesting... well now i know what those white spots r, lol, i used to have my nails full of them when i was in elementary school!! wild child... jeje, i used to ask my mom & dad & they'd tell me that was how many presents i was getting on my b-day, christmas, etc... which ever holiday was closest, then they went on to telling me each one stood for a lie i've told, wow....... my parents r crazy, i'm almost 20 now & i have a 2yr old boy & i can see myself telling my kids the same thing just for the hell of it, lol...

By anon10155 — On Mar 20, 2008

i have had them since childhood. I take a lot of milk and dairy products so i think there may be a calcium link to it. I have them several finger nails and they change shape each time. Now i have this one that looks like cumulus clouds-beautiful! I don't think it is caused by any trauma or vitamin deficiency as i eat a fairly well balanced diet.

By anon9495 — On Mar 07, 2008

White spots are just minor bruises on fingernails. I never have them on my toenails. They go away if you wear polish for awhile...I take in plenty of calcium, zinc, etc. But...if I bump my nails, the white spots eventually appear. If I wear nail polish...even clear polish, they go away.

By anon9139 — On Feb 29, 2008

I agree with one of the responses on this page. White spots on the fingernails indicate that you are getting lots of calcium in your diet. I used to get them once in a while. This time, I have white spots on 6 out of ten fingers all of a sudden. These white spots started when I started taking a new vitamin pack. This vitamin pack has 6 different pills. one is a calcium pill.

By anon8912 — On Feb 24, 2008

Umm.. I'm eleven years old. My mom's anemic, and my doctor is saying I probably am too. I started getting white spots when I was ten (when I switched different vitamin brands), and now there are four or five huge spots that have stayed for over a year. I can't switch back to that vitamin brand because they give me daily nosebleeds though... like 2 or 3 per day.

By anon8449 — On Feb 13, 2008

I have always had several white spots on all my nails since a child and I am now in my fifties--if anything, it is now worse. My spots seem to go away if I wear nail polish for a while--but then they gradually come back. No doctor has been able to give me a definitive answer for these spots--the last response I have had is that it is related to psoriasis, which I do have. It is definitely not calcium related--I have always had high levels of calcium in my body. Nor is it from anemia--I have never been anemic. And I have never had them on my toenails!

By anon5908 — On Dec 10, 2007

OK I'm A Guy, So I Don't Wear Fake Nails, Therefore Why Do I Have These "White-Spots". + I've Had Them Since I Was A Kid And I'm 20 Now.

By anon5111 — On Nov 13, 2007

I think the white spots are when you're getting enough calcium in your diet. If you ever notice the white spots disappear, it's because you're not getting enough.

By anon3703 — On Sep 12, 2007

I have also had these spots since a child, maybe not in the exact same spot, but anytime you look at my nails you would see 3 or more on each nail, it also looks like stripes on my nails when you look at them from an angle.I have always seemed to have less energy than other people and was anemic as a child,probably still am but don't go to the doctor because I don't have insurance.I just wonder if they are caused by some deficiency and that would explain the lack of energy.

By anon3680 — On Sep 11, 2007

have had these spots since childhood ..they don't seem to go away they disappear and re-appear!!

now i notice them on my toe nails too..but strangely the white spots turn hollow if too much pressure is applied on it ...when it is being manicured!......

By anon2515 — On Jul 14, 2007

Today I removed my nail polish. It had been on for two weeks.

I almost died from fright. Each nail had big white spots on them. I NEVER, NEVER ever had this. I am scared.

Why now after all these years and I have just turned 64 do I have this?

By anon2257 — On Jul 05, 2007

I agree with the "not trauma" part.

As far as I can tell it certainly is diet related. Possibly zinc or copper.

By anon2050 — On Jun 25, 2007

i've had the same white spots on the same four fingers since i was little and i am now in my thirties. i don't think this is caused from trauma, considering it hasn't gone away and i haven't had any trauma. I also don't think it is a zinc deficiency.

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