What is Leukonychia?


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What is Leukonychia?


Leukonychia is a common condition that causes white spots or streaks on your fingernails or toenails.

Three types of leukonychia

  • True leukonychia: In true leukonychia, the white spots form in the area of your fingers or toes where the nail starts to grow (nail matrix), and appear in the hard part of your nail (nail plate).
  • Apparent leukonychia: In apparent leukonychia, the white spots form in the skin on which your nails rest (nail bed).
  • Pseudoleukonychia: In pseudoleukonychia, the white spots form on the surface of your nail. Outside organisms — like fungi — cause pseudoleukonychia.

In some people, this condition appears as one or two medium-sized spots or many tiny specks.  In others, the spots may be very large.  You may have spots on only one nail, or you may have spots on many nails.


Leukonychia can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Trauma or injury to the nail matrix, such as from biting the nails, manicures, or vigorous use of nail tools.
  • Nutritional deficiencies, particularly of zinc or protein, which can affect nail health and lead to white discoloration.
  • Infections, such as fungal nail infections or certain viral illnesses, which can disrupt nail growth and cause leukonychia.
  • Systemic diseases or medical conditions, including liver disease, kidney disease, or psoriasis, which may affect nail health and appearance.
  • Medications or treatments, such as chemotherapy drugs, which can affect nail growth and lead to changes in nail color or texture.
Are you suffering from any foot condition?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track. Podiatrist South Kensington
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



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Paola Ash at the Chelsea Clinic

At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.