Leukonychia is a disorder where white spots of lines appear on nails. Here we will see more on leuconychia and its treament.
For most of us (usually women), nails are one of the prized possessions which are guarded and decorated preciously. But, sometime in your life you might have seen an abnormal white spot or a streak on your nails. Some people even have nails that are entirely discolored or whitened. In order to avoid the embarrassment, you might have applied nail paint to your nails.
However, it should be noted that the white spots, lines or complete discoloration that appear on the nail is due to a disorder known as leukonychia. Leukonychia, also known as leuconychia or white nails, is a condition that is marked by discoloration of nails. You may not be aware but there are several conditions that give rise to this condition. Here we will see more on the causes and treatment methods for leukonychia.
Leukonychia Causes and Symptoms
Leukonychia is divided into two broad categories; leukonychia totalis and leukonychia partialis. Leukonychia totalis is a condition where complete discoloration of the nails occur and hence, the nails appear completely white. This is usually a genetic disorder; however it can also be caused later in life. Leukonychia totalis causes include low albumin levels, liver failure, kidney failure, improper absorption of proteins. Leukonychia totalis symptoms include completely whitening of the nails.
Leukonychia partialis can be caused due to several reasons like injury to the base of the nail, chemotherapy, cirrhosis, anemia, ulcerative colitis, deficiency of vitamins, zinc and other nutrients, fungal infections, arsenic poisoning. In case of children, leukonychia can be caused due to frequent biting of nails. It should also be noted that frequent use of nail paints or harmful chemicals on the nails are also some of the potential causes of this condition in people. In this condition, white spots or lines appear on the nails. The nails also appear abnormal and brittle. So, wondering how to get rid of leukonychia? Let us take a look at it in detail.
The treatment of leukonychia depends on the cause, and hence, the first method involved in treatment is to diagnose the cause of this condition. Taking vitamin and nutritional deficiency tests, blood tests and checking medical history help in diagnosis of the potential conditions that may responsible for causing leukonychia. Following are the different leukonychia treatment methods.
- Leukonychia totalis, caused due to liver or kidney disorders can be treated with by treating the underlying conditions.
- On the other hand, leukonychia partialis is a lot easier to treat. If it is caused due to deficiency of vitamins and zinc, the doctor may prescribe a diet rich in these foods in order to correct the deficiency. Green leafy vegetables and whole grain products contain good amounts of zinc.
- If it is caused due to anemia, the doctor will prescribe medications to treat anemia. Iron deficiency anemia can also be treated by following an iron rich diet.
- Other conditions like ulcerative colitis, hepatic cirrhosis can also be treated with the help of medications.
- As mentioned above, low amounts of proteins or hypoproteinemia is also one of the reasons for leukonychia. This too can be treated with the help of prescription drugs and medication.
- Lastly, if it is caused due to frequent biting and clipping of nails or using nail paint, one should stop it immediately to prevent the white spots from recurring.
It should be noted that in most cases, the condition is caused due to nutritional deficiency, and very rarely due to other severe conditions. However, it is wise to consult a doctor in case you observe white spots on nails that fail to go away. Take care!