Here’s What Those Little White Marks On Your Nails Actually Mean


If you’ve ever wondered what those little white lines and spots are on your nails, ignore your mum because you don’t have a calcium deficiency.

Ignore Web MD too because you don’t have cancer – probably – and there’s a perfectly benign explanation for the discolouration, otherwise known by doctors and boffins as Punctate Leukonychia.

Generally, these milk spots are nothing to worry about and are caused by trauma to the nail such as a knock or a bump, according to SciShow.

They form when the nail bed – where new nail cells are made – gets a knock and ends up forming damaged nail cells. As the nail grows, the discoloured nail tissue moves up your nail and eventually disappears.

While milk spots usually aren’t anything to worry about, they can indicate a fungal nail infection or can be a symptom of a feverish illness, during which your body switches its energy to fight fever rather than produce pristine nail cells.

mees_linesYannick Trottier

However, if you have consistent, repetitive white lines running parallel to your nail bed on all your nails (pictured above), they could indicate lead poisoning.

I should add here, that YouTube is not a stand in for the advice of a doctor or medical professional, so if you’re worried about white marks on your nails, go and see a doctor for severe hypochondria.

In the meantime, a little nail polish goes a long way.