We’ve all heard the rumor that white spots on your nails mean you have a calcium deficiency, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even dermatologists agree that this is fiction. Jessica Krant, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, tells Huffington Post, “Calcium deficiency causing white spots on nails is the most common myth, followed by zinc deficiency.” If professionals are calling out this myth, then what exactly are those white spots anyways?
“The truth is that white spots are common and harmless and don’t indicate any specific vitamin deficiency at all,” Krant explains. “Most likely they are signs of previous trauma to the nail plate (the hard part of the nail) or the matrix (the source of the nail plate, which is located underneath the cuticle under the skin). Just like folding or denting a piece of clear plastic leaves a white spot, so does pressure or trauma to the nail.” That makes sense!
White spots are temporary and will grow out as your nail grows. Again, makes sense. But the type of mark you should be concerned about is one that is dark. Dr. Marsha Gordon tells Good Housekeeping, “But watch out for dark marks. If you recently hurt your hand (say, in a car door), don’t worry. But if not, and you see a black, brown, or purple band on your nail, it could be a sign of skin cancer. See a doctor right away.”
As always, consult your doctor if you have any concerns!
Don’t forget to check out: why you should put on chapstick before bed and the one thing you should never put on dark circles