White stripes on the nails - the causes of longitudinal and transverse stripes

Many people had to notice white stripes on their nails, but almost no one pays serious attention to this problem. In most cases, it really is harmless, but sometimes a drawing that suddenly appears can be a signal that something is wrong with the body and it needs help.

What do healthy nails look like?

There are several criteria that will help assess the condition of the plates and understand if they are in order. So, here’s what healthy fingernails look like:

  1. Their tips should be white or ivory. Yellowish spots ideally should not occur. As well as white stripes on the nails.
  2. The surface of the plate is smooth and even, without any roughness, cracks, depressions, grooves. If at least one of these factors occurs, you need to start listening to the body more seriously.
  3. An important indicator is the thickness of the nail. Too thin plates can indicate problems with metabolism, and too thick — about fungi or other infectious lesions.
  4. Among other things, the nails must be strong. That is, forever broken tips and cracked plates are an alarming bell.

What do white stripes on nails mean?

what do white stripes on nails mean

It just so happened that many people do not pay any attention to white stripes and spots on their nails, completely forgetting that any changes in the body are a reason to think about health. The appearance of a «pattern» on the plates science calls leukonychia. The shape and size of the strips can be anything — someone sees only small dots, while others cover almost the entire nail.

The problem can be false or true. The latter is not so common and indicates that there are problems in the work of the matrix — the part of the nail that is responsible for the horny cells and the growth of the plate. False leukonychia is a more common phenomenon. It indicates that the causes of the appearance of stripes or spots are buried somewhere deeper in the body and, if the pattern does not come off for a long time, they need to be clarified with special care.

Horizontal stripes on nails

If the transverse white stripes on the nails are not very wide, the cause may be hiding in a disturbed metabolism. Sometimes these occur with infectious lesions. In older people, horizontal stripes may appear with diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, or heart failure. Among other things, the problem is a sign of weakened immunity and disorders in the digestive system.

vertical stripes on nails

Longitudinal stripes on the nails are single or multiple, dull or pronounced. Often the problem appears in those people who suffer from peripheral circulatory disorders. Why do white stripes appear on the nails? The following factors contribute to this:

White stripes on the nails of the hands — causes

white stripes on fingernails

They can appear when exposed to the body of many different factors. The doctor can determine the exact cause. Diagnosis of the problem is usually done by onychologists or dermatologists. A preliminary diagnosis can be made independently, knowing why transverse or longitudinal stripes appear on the nails of the hands, the causes of this violation.

Horizontal drawings in most cases are caused by:

  • beriberi or lack of nutrients in the body;
  • iron deficiency anemia;
  • serious malfunctions in the nervous system;
  • hypertension and various other diseases of the cardiovascular system;
  • incorrect work of the intestines or pancreas;
  • arthritis;
  • circulatory disorders.

Longitudinal stripes on the nails of the hands cause slightly different factors, including:

  • infections due to which the nail does not receive the necessary nutrition (with weak immunity, leukonychia can develop even against the background of SARS or influenza);
  • stresses, experiences, negative emotions (by the way, many experts believe that white stripes in most cases arise just on nervous grounds);
  • fungus (this problem is usually accompanied by other symptoms — brittleness, discoloration, and others).

White stripes on toenails — causes

On the lower extremities, leukonychia is formed for the same reasons as on the upper ones. In addition, white stripes on the toenails can also cause the following reasons:

  1. Injuries. Sometimes even a light blow will cause a stripe to appear on the plate.
  2. Heredity. This rarely happens, but some people do have leukonychia at the genetic level.
  3. Exposure to chemicals. Poor-quality cosmetics, chemicals that got on the nail during cleaning, bad nail polish remover — all this can provoke a problem.

Why are there white stripes and spots on the nails?

What other stripes on the nails of the hands have causes? Often they begin to appear after a poor-quality manicure or pedicure. If the plate is damaged during the procedure — physically or chemically — it may begin to become covered with a white pattern. Another likely cause is medication. In some organisms, an allergy to the composition of drugs manifests itself in just this way.

What to do if there are white stripes on the nails?

If the problem does not go away for a long time, and the number of bands only increases, it is worth taking care of your health:

  1. The first thing to do is to determine what specifically caused leukonychia. Analyze your actions, menu, remember at what point you noticed the appearance of stripes, try to relax and unwind.
  2. It does not hurt to change the diet to the right healthy menu. Even if this does not help to get rid of spots, the body will definitely say “thank you” for such an attentive attitude.

If you can’t overcome leukonychia on your own, you need to contact a specialist. Doctors prescribe a course depending on the factor that caused the problem and often prescribe:

  • a course of multivitamins;
  • antifungal agents;
  • antibiotics (in especially difficult cases);
  • treatment with essential oils, a solution of sea salt with iodine or lemon juice.




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