‘Those white spots on your nails are because you don’t drink your milk’ — Indian parents are pros at getting their kids to eat healthy! They even give us seeminglyÂ scientific reasons — ‘these spots appear because we don’t have enough calcium and since milk is rich in calcium, if we drink our milk, we won’t get these spots.’
But like most mumisms, this warning is a little skewed; white spots on your nails can be caused by nutritional deficiencies, but they are NOT caused by low levels of calcium. So, here are some of the scientifically proven reasons for white spots on nails.
Why Do We Get White Spots On Our Nails?
The first thing you should know is that these white spots are just a discoloration of the nail and are harmless. While the spots are not harmful, they can indicate an underlying problem, such as a mineral deficiency or even that you hit the bottle a little too often!
Iron or Zinc Deficiency
“An iron or zinc deficiency can cause white spots on the nails, especially in cases of a severe deficiency”
White spots are often called ‘milk spots’ but that is because of their appearance and not because they are caused by a decreased intake of milk. However, an iron or zinc deficiency can cause white spots on the nails, especially in cases of a severe deficiency.
If you have low levels of iron and zinc, you will have recurrent white spots on your nails and your nails are likely to be brittle. Include spinach in your daily meals as this leafy green is high in both iron and zinc and the spots will soon disappear.
High Alcohol Consumption
“White spots on the nails are associated with excessive orÂ high alcohol consumption” Â
White spots on nails are associated with liver disease or renal failure, which are caused by high alcohol intake. However, even if your alcohol consumption is not high enough to cause these health conditions, you might still get these spots if you have a nutritional deficiency that increases your risk of white nail spots.
Alcohol also impairs protein digestion and decreases protein synthesis in the body — this can lead to protein deficiency, which causes multiple white spots on the nails.
Injury To The Base Of The Nail
“The reason that white spots on the nails are more common in kids is because these spots are often the result of an injury to the nail bed”
Why is it that you frequently got white spots on your nails as a kid, but not as often as an adult, surely it’s not because you drink more milk! The reason that white spots on the nails are more common in kids is because these spots are often the result of an injury to the nail bed.
Kids often get small injuries while playing, which go unnoticed. Naturally,Â they don’t connect the whack on the finger with the appearance of a spot on the nail a week later. These spots are temporary and they move along with the nail as it grows. As an adult, you may still get the occasional injury, which explains the white spots on your nail.
White spots on nails have several other causes including pneumonia, heart disease, and even arsenic poisoning but these are rather uncommon. Give your nails a glance from time to time — your nails can tell you a lot about your health, if you know what to look for!
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