General Question

playthebanjo's avatar

Are white spots on fingernails really a sign of poor nutrition or vitamin deficiencies?

Asked by playthebanjo (2949points) June 11th, 2008

I heard that the little white spots on the fronts of fingernails were the result of a lack of vitamins in diet….has anyone else heard this and is it true?

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18 Answers

shrubbery's avatar

I have also heard this. Lack of zinc I think I was told. I couldn’t tell you if it is true though I’m sorry.

Les's avatar

Short answer: (from webmd): No, they are not. They are cause by mild trauma (like hitting your finger against a table or something).

Melonking's avatar

Cant be true I have no nutrition and very few v’s and I don’t have them.

babygalll's avatar

I agree with Les. This is the medical term for it Leukonychia.

lindabrowne1's avatar

My mother used to tell me that they were white lies. Yeow! I agree that they are little traumas.

playthebanjo's avatar

LOL white lies.

shilolo's avatar

Both Les and Gabygalll are spot on!

Another common thing to see from fingernail trauma are splinter hemorrhages, which lots and lots of people can have (especially if you hurt your hands alot, or play sports like basketball, baseball and football). Rarely, splinter hemorrhages (see panel A) can be a sign of endocarditis, a serious heart valve and blood stream infection.

scamp's avatar

Or it could be the beginning of onychomycosis. WARNING: don’t look if you are squeamish.

shilolo's avatar

Scamp. That ain’t the worse. Remember this condition? This was the very first question I answered way back when…

ezraglenn's avatar


babygalll's avatar

@shilolo and ezraglenn:

That condition is false. I looked it up on Snopes and found this.

It’s a good website to check out circulating emails on the internet. It’s unbelievable how many emails that are circulating are false.

shilolo's avatar

Thanks BabyGalll. I love snopes for that kind of stuff. Anyway, that was exactly my answer 6 weeks ago.

babygalll's avatar

Oh ok. I never saw that question.

ezraglenn's avatar

That will haunt my dreams forever.

babygalll's avatar

This is may haunt you as well. Someone sent this to me and believed it for the longest time. Crazy!

scamp's avatar

ha ha shilolo !! yes I remember that very well!!

steelmarket's avatar

If your nails start to show lengthwise ridges as well, it could be the onset of psoriasis. But don’t get spooked by all these “what ifs”. It is probably just stress or impacts.

huddle75's avatar

It’s called Leukonychia…

…a symptom of anything from certain antibiotics to chemotherapy to liver failure to nail biting or recent trauma to a zinc deficiency.

Check out the website I listed. It provides links to diagnosis and treatment, references, and external links to more info. The medical websites that I like to research in are and (my fave).

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