When nails are in good health, they are transparent and strong enough, with a slightly pink appearance. But nail color may change due to trauma (sudden injury, infection, etc.) and become yellowish, blackish or whitish even for no apparent reason. If you’ve ever wondered what are these spots or white lines on your nails, here is the answer: it is a leukonychia.
What is the leukonychia?
The leukonychia is a full or partial discoloration of the nail and can affect one or more nails at a time. It causes the appearance of spots or white marks below the nail.
What are the causes of leukonychia?
This condition of the nails is often caused by small wounds of the nail base, but which in some cases may indicate health problems affecting nails such as warts or fungal infections (onychomycosis), psoriasis, eczema and other diseases such as sarcoidosis of the skin, lungs or organs.
Interpretation of milk spots or white lines on the nail
If the nail is soft and has spots, it may indicate hyperthyroidism. If the stain appears at the base of the nail, it may mean that the disease is still active.
A horizontal line that runs through the nail can be a sign of heart disease, Hodgkin’s disease (lymphatic cancer), or malaria.
If the nail has two or more vertical lines, it is likely that you are suffering from hypoalbuminemia – a decreased level of the albumin protein in the blood. This disorder can cause many severe and chronic health problems such as kidney disease, liver cirrhosis or heart failure.
Leukonychia can’t be treated itself. The recovery is based on the elimination of the underlying causes that have caused it. So if it is due to a fungal infection, the infection should be treated, and if it is related to pathologies as those mentioned above, the treatment of nails will be just to give them healthy appearance and uniform color.
Although you should not worry immediately, given the fact that these spots and white lines are usually a response to injury or infection of the nails, one should not ignore the changes taking place on the nails because they are linked to the overall health.
Check their condition regularly to preserve their beauty and health.