September 02, 2021 3 min read

Nails are teeny, tiny parts of our body, but how they appear could tell so much about our overall health. 

Let’s dive right into 3 common nail abnormalities, which reveal about our bad habits, underlying illnesses, diseases and serious intoxications that are happening inside our body. 

Leukonychia 

Leukonychia is a condition where white lines or dots appear on your fingernails or toenails. Leukonychia is very common, even healthy individuals have the symptoms at some point in their life

For some people, leukonychia appears as tiny dots speckled across the nails. In other cases, white dots may be larger, and create lines that stretch across the nails. These dots and lines can affect one or multiple nails.

The most common cause of leukonychia steams from injuries done to the nail bed. Some examples of injuries are shutting your fingers in a door, striking your fingers with a hammer, hitting your nails against a counter or desk. 

Mineral deficiency also leads to leukonychia, specifically zinc and calcium deficiency. 

A common nail fungus called white superficial onychomycosis can emerge, creating white dots on the nails. 

To prevent leukonykia, you should protect your nails from being injured; this means being gentle with how you use your hands and nails for. 

For leukonychia cases that relate to fugal infection, taking anti-fungal medication is recommended. However, this requires you to go see your doctor for prescriptions. 

Leukonychia naturally disappears over time as the nail grows. To speed up the healing process of leukonychia, you should start eating a nail-friendly diet, with a focus in adding extra zinc and calcium. Spinach is a widely available food source of zinc and calcium nutrients. It’s also a great add-on to salad, toast, or even smoothies. 

Leukonychia Picture

Mee’s Lines

Mee’s Lines are transverse lines that appear in the fingernails and toenails. Mee’s Lines are also called striata leukonychia or transverse leukonychia. 

Developing Mee’s Lines is largely a sign of arsenic poisoning. 

Arsenic poisoning occurs after the swallowing, absorbing or inhalation of high levels of arsenic. Arsenic is very poisonous to humans. They are commonly found in areas of industrialisation, such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing. Living and working in these areas increase your chance of getting intoxicated with arsenic. Other possible causes of arsenic poisoning include: carbon monoxide poisoning, smoking tobacco products, and chemotherapy. 

Overall, Mee’s lines can be an indicator of some serious poisonings that require medical intervention. In this instance, your doctor is your go-to person for the diagnosis and treatment of Mee’s Lines and related intoxications.

Mee's Lines Picture

Beau’s Lines 

Beau’s lines are horizontal ridges that develop across the nails. Beau’s lines can appear on one nails, or across multiple nails. 

Beau’s lines are often the result of the habitual picking at the nails and cuticles. External pressures that injure the nails can contribute to the development of Beau’s line, for example pinching or striking your nails. 

However, if you have more than one nail with Beau’s lines, the causes are more likely to be a systematic illness, infections, or chronic diseases. Some of the most popular medical conditions that are linked to Beau’s lines are: malnourishment, measles, mumps, scarlet fever, peripheral vascular disease, pneumonia, diabetes and zinc deficiency. 

It’s recommended for you to treat the underlying medical causes of your Beau’s lines before seeing them disappear. 

Your nails will grow and replace itself entirely within 6 months. During this interval, make sure to fill your diet with nail-friendly food sources to ensure that the new nails discontinue the emergence of Beau’s lines. 

Beau's Lines

Others sources about Nail Abnormalities you can read from: 

Why Are These White Spots On My Nails - Healthline 

Nail Abnormalities - Healthline 

Fugal Nail Infection - Healthline 

Beau's Lines On Nails: Often A Symptom Of A Serious Underlying Condition - Healthline 

Everything You Need To Know About Arsenic Poisoning - Healthline

If you need advice on nail abnormalities, reach out to one of our nail technicians at The Nail Bar. We're more than happy to help you out!

 

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