How to Get Rid of White Spots on Your Nails

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10-11-2019, 01:00
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Updated: November 2, 2019 Medically speaking, those little white marks that sometimes appear as dots or lines on finger and toenails are known as leukonychia. They are usually benign and due to an injury, an allergy, or a vitamin deficiency. For the most part, you can treat white spots at home with a variety of natural remedies. If white spots do not clear up, see a doctor for evaluation. In rare cases, white spots on nails can indicate underlying medical issues.

Using Home Remedies

  1. Moisturize your nails daily. Make sure you use a moisturizer on your nails in addition to your hands. Rub a nourishing hand oil or vitamin E oil onto your fingernails every night before bed. This can help your nails stay strong and healthy and may reduce the appearance of white dots.
  2. Try essential oils. Essential oils have been known to heal white spots caused by injury to the nail or nail fungus. Tea tree oil and orange oil tend to work best. Mix a few drops of your essential oils with a carrier oil like olive oil and then rub the oil onto your fingernails. Orange oil should be left to soak for about 45 minutes while tea tree oil should soak for about 15 to 20 minutes.
    • Always rinse and wash your nails after applying the oils.
  3. Soak your nails in white vinegar and water. Mix one part white vinegar with one part water in a bowl. Dip your fingernails in the bowl. Soak them for 10 minutes and then rinse and dry your nails. Do this about four times a week and you may begin to see a reduction in white spots.
    • If you have sensitive skin, use a higher water to vinegar ratio.
  4. Rub lemon slices on your nails. Lemon has a lot of vitamin C and a deficiency in this vitamin sometimes causes white spots on nails. To use lemons, simply cut a lemon in half and rub the slice onto your fingernails. Leave the juice on for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing and drying your nails.
  5. Soak your nails in unsweetened yogurt. Natural, unsweetened yogurt without added flavors can bolster nail health and potentially reduce the appearance of white spots. Place around three tablespoons of yogurt into a bowl and dip your nails in the bowl for 10 to 15 minutes. When you're done, rinse your nails in warm water.
    • You can also add a few drops of lemon juice or vitamin E oil to the yogurt.
  6. Use alka seltzer tablets. Alka seltzer tablets have been known to reduce white spots for some. Drop a couple of tablets in warm water and soak your fingernails in the water for five minutes.
  7. Let them grow out. For the most part, patience is key to getting rid of white spots on nails. White spots will usually fade or grow out on their own with time. While you can take steps to speed up the process, sometimes you have just have to wait.

Making Lifestyle Changes

  1. Change your diet. Deficiencies in zinc, vitamin C, calcium, and protein can sometimes cause white dots on nails. Upping your intake of these vitamins and minerals can help reduce spots.
    • Eat fruits like oranges, lemon, grapefruits, and apples for added vitamin C.
    • Broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnips, poultry, fish, and nuts also provide the needed nutrients for nail health.
    • You can also try taking a multivitamin, which you can buy at any grocery store or drugstore. This can help if you have food sensitivities that prevent you from gaining nutrients directly from food.
  2. Avoid biting and picking at your nails. You can actually damage your own nails through bad habits like picking and biting. If you're prone to fiddling with your nails, stop doing it. With less picking and biting, you may notice a reduction in white spots.
    • If you have difficulty not picking or biting your nails, try wearing bandaids over your nails. Painting your nails may also help, as you may not want to ruin freshly painted nails.
  3. Adjust your footwear. If your toenails tend to get white spots as well, change the shoes you're wearing. Tight, uncomfortable shoes can damage toenails, causing white spots. Switch the shoes you normally wear for roomier, more comfortable varieties and see if you notice a reduction in white spots.
    • This is particularly important if you engage in activities like running, jogging, or other vigorous exercise. Comfortable tennis shoes are vital to your nail health.
  4. Use gloves when cleaning. Never do things like dishes, dusting, or other household chores with bare hands. While such activities may not seem taxing, they can actually damage and dry out your nails. For optimal nail health, invest in a pair of rubber gloves for use when cleaning.
  5. Do not paint your nails too often. If you paint your nails regularly, try not to paint them two days in a row. Nail polish can dry out and damage nails, leading to issues like spots. You should also pay attention to how your nails react to polish. If you tend to get spots after using a particular polish, you may have an allergy that's causing that reaction. Stop using that polish right away.
    • Also, minimize manicures. Try to only get a professional manicure on special occasions if you're prone to white spots.

Seeking Medical Care

  1. See a doctor for white spots that do not go away. If your nail spots do not go away with a home treatment, make an appointment to see your doctor. While usually not harmful, white spots on nails can sometimes indicate underlying problems like anemia or liver issues. Also, in the event you have nail fungus, you may need prescription medications.
  2. Take oral anti-fungal drugs if your doctor prescribes them. If your doctor diagnoses a fungal infection as the cause of your white spots, they may give you a prescription for an oral anti-fungal medication. Typically, these medications are taken for 6 to 12 weeks and should eventually eliminate symptoms of nail fungus induced spots.
    • Make sure you discuss any existing health problems you have before taking an anti-fungal medication. Anti-fungal medications can cause rashes or can damage the liver.
  3. Try medicated nail polish or cream. A doctor may also prescribe an anti-fungal cream or polish that you apply to the nails. You usually apply the cream to your nails for a set period of time. This can range for a few weeks to up to a year.

Tips

  • You can also use a neutral colored polish to cover white spots, if you so desire.
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