What is a Leukonychia? Learn more about this condition
Non uniform white spots or lines on the nail are called leukonychia. They are usually the result of a minor trauma and are harmless in healthy individuals. Sometimes this condition is associated with poor health or nutritional deficiencies.
Types of Leukonychia
This condition is classified into two types:
- True leukonychia originates in the matrix of the nail, the part of the nail that’s responsible for nail production.
- Apparent leukonychia is a problem with the nail bed, the portion of the nail that’s under the nail, and not the nail itself.
True leukonychia can be further divided into two categories based on how the nails look.
- Total leukonychia is a complete whitening of the nail plate. It usually affects all 20 nails.
- Partial leukonychia occurs when a portion of the nail plate is affected by the whitening. It may affect one nail, a few, or all.
Symptoms of Leukonychia
For some people, the white spots may appear as tiny dots speckled across the nail. For others, the white spots may be larger and stretch across the entire nail plate. The spots may affect one nail or several.
Partial leukonychia can appear in a variety of ways. They may look like:
- tiny pen-point–sized dots (punctuate leukonychia)
- larger “lines” across the nail (longitudinal)
- larger individual dots or horizontal bands that are parallel to the base of the nail (striate or transverse)
The cause for the white spots on your nail may dictate how the spots appear. A nail injury may cause a large white dot in the middle of the nail. An allergic reaction may cause several dots all over the nail. The appearance of the white dots or lines may be different on each nail.
Causes of White Spots
White spots or dots on your nails are common and a variety of factors can cause them. Possibilities include the following:
- Allergic reaction
- Injury to the nail
- Hereditary causes
- Medicines and poisoning
- Mineral deficiency
- Skin conditions
- Systemic illness like heart disease, pneumonia, diabetes, kidney failure and other illnesses.
Are you suffering from this condition? One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatment options are best to get you back on track. ✅
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at 44 (0) 207 101 4000. 📞
We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️
-The Chelsea Clinic and Team