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White Spots On The Fingernails – Causes And Treatment

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White Spots On The Fingernails – Causes And Treatment July 24, 2018

Many things can ruin a first impression. Like unfiled and unkempt nails.  And when they have white spots, your confidence goes for a toss. Although white spots are usually a sign of nutrient deficiency, they may also appear due to fungal infections. Wondering if there are any natural cures for this problem? Read on to find out.

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What Is Leukonychia?

White spots on the nails are an indication of a condition called leukonychia. These spots usually occur on your finger or toenails and are not much of a medical concern.

Some individuals have spots that appear as tiny dots all over the nails, whereas, in others, the spots are large enough to occupy the entire nail.

Leukonychia is a common occurrence and is often a result of any of the following factors.

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What Causes White Spots On The Fingernails?

The sudden appearance of white spots on your nails is due to:

  • An allergic reaction to a nail product
  • A fungal infection (white superficial onychomycosis)
  • An injury to the nail or nail bed
  • Deficiencies in minerals like zinc and calcium

These white spots differ in their appearance and can occur in various forms. Some of them are given below.

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Symptoms Of Leukonychia

The white spots may look like:

  • Tiny pointed dots
  • Large lines across the nail
  • Large individual dots

Depending on the cause, these white spots may vary in their appearance.

  • A nail injury can result in large white dots in the center of the nail.
  • Allergies often cause small dots all over the nail.

If these white spots are bothering you, and you want to get rid of them right at home, you have landed on the right page. Here are a few simple home remedies that can help remove the white spots on your finger or toenails.

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How To Get Rid Of White Spots On The Fingernails Naturally

  1. Essential Oils
  2. Vitamins
  3. Lemon Juice
  4. Coconut Oil
  5. Baking Soda
  6. White Vinegar
  7. Yogurt
  8. Garlic
  9. Orange Oil

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Home Remedies To Get Rid Of White Spots On Fingernails

1. Essential Oils

a. Tea Tree Oil

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You Will Need
  • 6 drops of tea tree oil
  • 15 mL of olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix six drops of tea tree oil with 15 mL of olive oil.
  2. Apply the mixture to your fingernails and massage well.
  3. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, after which you can wash it off with lukewarm water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 1 to 2 times daily for a week.

Why This Works

Tea tree oil has potent antimicrobial properties that can help eliminate the white spots on your fingernails (1). This remedy is especially helpful if they are caused due to a fungal infection.

b. Lavender Oil

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You Will Need
  • 6 drops of lavender oil
  • 15 mL of olive or coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add six drops of lavender oil to 15 mL of any carrier oil (olive or coconut oil).
  2. Apply this mixture to your fingernails and massage.
  3. Leave it on for about 15 minutes before washing it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice daily until you notice an improvement.

Why This Works

Lavender oil has strong antifungal properties that can help in treating persistent white spots caused by a fungal infection (2). Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can speed up healing and reduce pain if the white spots are the result of an injury (3).

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2. Vitamins And Minerals

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Deficiencies in vitamin C, calcium, and zinc can lead to the appearance of white spots on your nails (4). Hence, it is necessary that you get enough of these nutrients through your diet.

Consume citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, oysters, nuts, chicken, milk, yogurt, and sardines that are good sources of these nutrients.

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3. Lemon Juice

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You Will Need
  • 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • A few drops of olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix one to two teaspoons of lemon juice with a few drops of olive oil.
  2. Apply this mixture to your fingernails.
  3. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

Lemon juice is a wonderful remedy that can help in getting rid of the spots on your nails. It is rich in vitamin C, which gives you healthy nails that are free of any spots and discoloration (5).

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4. Coconut Oil

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You Will Need

A few drops of organic coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a few drops of coconut oil and massage it into your nails.
  2. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this on a daily basis for best results.

Why This Works

Coconut oil offers multiple benefits when it comes to treating white spots on your nails. It has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat both fungal infections as well as injuries that may have resulted in the development of the spots (6), (7).

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5. Baking Soda

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You Will Need
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Take half a cup of baking soda and add one-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar to it.
  2. Add warm water and mix well.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and soak your fingers in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily for a week.

Why This Works

Baking soda possesses disinfecting properties that can help treat the infection responsible for causing the white spots on your finger or toenails (8). Its alkaline nature aids stain removal, which can also reduce the appearance of white spots.

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6. White Vinegar

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You Will Need
  • ½ cup of white vinegar
  • ¼ cup of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix half a cup of white vinegar with one-fourth cup of warm water.
  2. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl and soak your hands in the solution for 15 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this thrice a week.

Why This Works

White vinegar exhibits antifungal and destaining properties, both of which help you get rid of the white spots and patches on your nails (9).

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7. Yogurt

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You Will Need

1 small bowl of plain yogurt

What You Have To Do
  1. Soak your fingers in a bowl of plain yogurt for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Rinse both your hands with water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily for a few days.

Why This Works

Yogurt exhibits antifungal effects due to the presence of naturally occurring microbes in it. It is a wonderful remedy for treating white spots caused by fungal infections (10).

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8. Garlic

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You Will Need

Minced garlic

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some minced garlic and apply it all over your fingernails.
  2. Cover your nails with a clean cloth and allow the garlic to work on them.
  3. Once the paste dries, remove the cloth and wash your nails with lukewarm water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once every alternate day.

Why This Works

Garlic has powerful antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties (11), (12). This remedy can work well for white spots that may result from an injury and/or fungi.

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9. Orange Oil

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You Will Need
  • 6 drops of orange oil
  • 15 mL of any carrier oil (olive or coconut oil)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add six drops of orange oil to 15 mL of any carrier oil.
  2. Apply the mixture to your fingernails and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily for a week.

Why This Works

Orange oil helps a great deal in treating any fungal infection on your nails. This is because of its strong antifungal properties, which can also help in fading the white marks on your nails (13).

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Continue using these remedies until you get the desired results. Here are a few tips to prevent the recurrence of these white spots.

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Prevention Tips

While you can continue using these remedies till you get the desired results, you may also opt to follow a few additional tips to prevent the recurrence of these white spots. These tips include:

  • Avoid direct contact with irritants.
  • Avoid using nail polish excessively.
  • Keep your nails filed and short.
  • Keep your hands and nails moisturized after every wash.

White spots can be easily prevented by taking basic care of your hands and nails. Don’t allow them to mar your self-confidence anymore! Try these remedies and bid goodbye to white spots on your fingernails forever. Was this post helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

What are the nutrients whose deficiency causes white spots on the fingernails?

Deficiencies in vitamins like vitamin C and minerals like zinc and calcium can lead to poor nail health and can cause white marks or lines to appear on your nails.

What are the white semi-circles on your fingernails?

The white semi-circles on the base of your fingernails are called the lunulae. Lunula is a part of the nail matrix and is an indication of nail growth.

How long does it take for the white spots on nails to go away?

The white dots on your nails, especially those caused by a fungal infection, may take months to disappear as your nails need to regrow completely.

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