White spots on nails can point at a disease referred to as Leukonychia. Several diseases related to nail may cause various symptoms. These diseases or disorders may be hereditary or even side effect of any other physical issue. Nail issues may also develop due to systemic or skin related disorders. It is believed that any of the acquired disorders are usually linked with hypoalbuminaemia which may lead to complete white discoloration of nail. There are different kinds of leukonychia which may cause white spots on the nail.
Types of leukonychia
Leukonychia totalis is the first kind of leukonychia causing complete whitening of nail. This issue may occur due to hypoalbuminaemia which is lower albumin, this in turn is caused due to nephritic syndrome which is a kind of kidney failure. It is also associated with malabsorption of protein, protein losing enteropatheis etc. Such whiteness appearing on nail may be due to side effects of sulphonamides which is a kind of antibiotic or may also be due to genetic effects.
Leukonychia partialis, as the name suggests, is partial whitening of the nails. This is the condition wherein white spots are seen more as compared to in case of leukonychia totalis.
Leukonychia striata is also referred to as transverse leukonychia. In this condition there is pattern type whitening, particularly the discoloration of nail is in strip pattern parallel to the lunula or base of the nail. There are conditions such as cirrhosis, chemotherapy, or injuries to matrix of nail that may also lead to leukonychia. In some cases heavy metal poisoning and arsenic lead poisoning may also be contributing factor causing white spots in nail.
Leukonychia punctata is also referred to as true leukonychia. This is the most common or frequently recorded leukonychia of all types. This is the condition which causes actual whites spots to appear on nail. It is believe that biting or picking of nail is amongst the common cause of the issue. These white spots can be seen on either one or a couple of finger nails or even on toes.
Symptoms of leukonychia
The most common symptom of leukonychia are white spots in nail. However, there are different pigmentations seen in different kinds of leukonychia. Other symptoms of the condition may include appearance of minor nail matrix or even half portion of the nail discolored to white. You may also sometime notice pinkish or reddish lateral margins. To your information leukonychia has different stages. These stages may be classified in the above unmentioned categories, namely, leukonychia totalis, leukonychia partialis, leukonychia stratia, leukonychia punctata etc. in addition to these categories there are some other stages such as Mee’s lines or Muehrack’s lines.
The condition is also accompanied with other physical symptoms; these symptoms may include:
• Gingivitis or Inflammation of gums
• Nail discoloration
• Inappropriate audibility
• Finger related Sensorineural Syndactyly
• Contracture of joint
Causes of white spots on nails
There are various factors that may cause Leukonychia or white spots on nails. For example, conventional form of Leukonychia may occur due to any clinical abnormality in the body, whereas Leukonychia striata is caused due to cytotoxic drug reaction. In some cases the condition may also develop as a side effect to systemic chemotherapy. As mentioned above there are other factors such as heavy metal poisoning or arsenic poisoning that may lead to such issues. To add to the list of factors contributing to the causes of Leukonychia are renal or kidney failure, pneumonia etc.
To your information, the condition may also be hereditary or congenital which may be present from the birth. For example, Leukonychia totalis is one of the Leukonychia types that may be congenital as it is also recorded during early childhood. There are other causes of this condition such as cirrhosis, Colitis ulcerosa or UC as well as deficiency or RBC in blood. Hence, ensuring appropriateness of these factors may help in eradicating white spots from appearing on nail.
Treatment of white spots on nails
If you suspect that the white spot on nails is due to leukonychia, then you should adopt treatment to eradicate the issue. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for this condition. If someone experiences such condition, he/she should follow a strategized diet plan to eradicate white spots from appearing on the nail. Prior to adopting any treatment technique, it is essential to consult a doctor and get your self diagnosed. Your doctor may examine you through conventional diagnosing techniques. Your healthcare expert may also ask you to undergo advance diagnosing techniques to determine any kidney related issues or other physical abnormalities.
It is also believed that white spot caused due to leukonychia may ebb away gradually on its own without any treatment. Hence, if you are planning to leave the condition untreated and wait till it automatically heals then you may adopt temporary measures to deal with discoloration of nail. For example, you may apply nail polish to cover the white spots appearing on your nail. It is also advised that one should soften their cuticles using warm water prior to applying nail polish. While deciding your diet plan, it is better to ask your doctor about the nutrition required by your body. You should include eatable such as green leafy vegetables, nuts as well as whole grains etc. This will help you to obtain required nutrition if the leukonychia is caused due to deficiency of nutrition. To ensure that appropriate nutrients are supplied to your body, you should eat food which includes zinc, vitamins, proteins etc. Zinc can be obtained through green leafy vegetables. Hence, one should regularly include green leafy vegetables in the diet.
You should also avoid biting, picking, rubbing, injury etc in order to take care of your nail appropriately and prevent it from being maltreated. It is believed that by taking appropriate measures and care towards your nail, the white spots on the nail may vanish within approximately 8 months. In case a condition takes more than 8 months to show any results, then you should consult a doctor immediately.
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