White Lines On Fingernails

What Are Those White Lines On Your Fingernails?

There is an old myth that suggests that white lines on your fingernails were a sign that you had told a little white lie.  As an adult, you probably realize that this was simply not the case.  Your body hosts a plethora of microorganisms including fungi and bacteria.  Fungi infections are results of microscopic plants that make their home in the dead tissues of your nails and hair and on your skin.  Those little white lines on your fingernails can tell a lot more about your health than your honesty.

Leuconychia

Small white spots or lines are present in the plate of the nail.  They are believed to be caused by extremely tiny air bubbles that have become trapped due to some type of trauma in the nail plate.  It is believed that Leuconychia may be hereditary.  Since the white lines on your fingernails grow out when the nail grows out, no treatment is necessary.

Vertical Ridges

These are a sign of aging but they are not only present on the elderly.  An unhealthy diet and lifestyle can age your hands to look far beyond your years.  Your nail plate begins to grow in a type of grooved effect that can be compared to train tracks.  As you age, or make unhealthy life choices and consume a poor diet, the moisture levels and natural oils of your nails decline drastically.  You can improve the appearance of these white lines on your fingernails by increasing your daily water intake and applying a cuticle oil that contains vitamin E and Jojoba twice a day.

Brittle Nails

Brittle nails are easily characterized by their separation or vertical splitting of the layers of the nail plate which offers the appearance of white lines on your fingernails.  Generally, vertical ridges and nail splitting are both signs of aging.  This type of nail problem can also be a direct result of chemical solvents such as those you would find in household cleaners or overexposure to water.  Since the moisture and oil in your nail is reduced as you age, the flexibility of your nail is significantly decreased.  Applying a quality cuticle oil of Jojoba and vitamin E is very beneficial.  Jojoba oil actually contains a molecule that penetrates the nail, opens the layers and then absorbs the vitamin E.  You should also make a point of wearing gloves when you are working with cleaning solutions or have your hands in water for extended periods of time.

Koilonychia

This condition is often described as white lines on your fingernails but they are technically ridges that are concave and thin.  These are a result of anemia.  If you believe the lines of your nails are due to an iron deficiency, you should talk to your doctor.

Psoriasis

This condition may look like round white lines on your fingernails from first glance but it is actually scaly, raw skin that is often confused with eczema.  When psoriasis attacks the plate of your nail, it leaves it dry, pitted and quite often, your nail will crumble.  Also, your nail plate might separate itself from the bed of the nail and appear red, brown or orange and have red spots present.  You should never attempt to receive salon treatments if you have nail psoriasis.  Only a dermatologist should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.

Beau's Lines

Although this condition does not offer white lines on your fingernails, it does have horizontal lines present that are darkened with linear depressions.  Beau's lines are generally a result of illness, trauma, malnutrition, chemotherapy or some form of major metabolic condition.  They are caused from an interruption of the formation of protein in the nail plate.  It is recommended to seek medical attention.