Q&A

My client often has white spots on her nails. What causes this?

Q.

My client often has white spots on her nails. What causes this?

A.

White spots on the nail is perhaps the most common nail disorder and are called leukonychia, which literally means "whiteness of the nails." There are many types of nail whiteness, some of which indicate serious illness; fortunately, by far the most common cause of white spots on the nail is minor injury to the nail matrix. Caused by trauma or minor injury to the nail matrix, these spots will grow out from the matrix with the nail plate and eventually disappear. Nail technicians should be aware that this type of leukonychia could be caused by over-vigorous pushing back of the cuticles with a metal or wooden instrument. Always soften the cuticles first with a lotion or warm water before pushing them back, and never use anything but gentle pressure. However, should the condition persist or its cause be inexplicable, recommend that the client have the disorder evaluated by a dermatologist.

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