White Marks on Nails in Kids: What Does it Mean?

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(Last Updated On: November 4, 2018)

Do White Spots on Nails Mean Lack of Calcium in Kids?

Do the White marks on nails in kids make you restless? Are these spots due to insufficient calcium intake? Such white spots on baby nails are very common and it’s related to the kids’ diet, not always though.
I remember when I was a child, once I got such marks on my nails. When I showed them to my mother, she scolded me saying that was due to me not finishing glass of milk every day. I remember seeing it on my friends’ nails too once in a while.
So, what’s the science behind these white spots on the children’s nails that appear all of a sudden?

What are the major Causes of Milky Spots in Kids

white spots on baby nails
Mineral Deficiency is the most common cause of these white marks on nails.
If your child’s diet is not providing him enough Zinc and Calcium these white dots may appear.

Do the White Spots on Nails Show Up only due to Calcium Deficiency?

No, Not always. Most of the times, the milky white marks on kids nail are unrelated to his diet. The primary reasons of white nail spots are earlier injuries, infection or an allergy in the body. It’s time to bust the myth that made everyone believe that calcium, protein or mineral deficiency in the body are the major reasons for these white marks on the nails.
Reference: Dr. Weil

What are the White Spots on Baby Nails?

This state is known as Leukonychia. In this case, nails usually get slightly discoloured. There is a big myth related to this state that it occurs just because of the Calcium deficiency in the body. But, it’s not completely true. The primary reason for this state is the injuries that babies forget with time and the discoloration of the nails occurs gradually as a result of the injury.
There are a total of five types of Leukonychia namely Leukonychia Totalis, Leukonychia Partialis, Leukonychia Striata, Leukonychia Punctata and Longitudinal Leukonychia.
Reference: Wikipedia
Out of these five types, Leukonychia Totalis, Leukonychia Partialis, Leukonychia Striata and Leukonychia Punctata are the most common ones.
In the case of Leukonychia Totalis, generally occurs in the kidney patients. In this type, complete nails get discoloured showing the lack of Albumin in the body.
In Leukonychia Partialis, partial nails get discoloured. It usually shows up as white dots.
In Leukonychia Striata, white bands parallel to the nail base show up. This usually occurs due to nail injuries.

Most Common Possible Reasons for Nail Discoloration

• Health related issues
• Calcium Deficiency in Body
• Protein Deficiency in Body
• Kidney Diseases
• Cardiac Problems
• Poisoning Due to Lead or Arsenic
• Deficiency of Vitamins or minerals like Iron and Zinc in Body
• Pneumonia
• Eczema

When to See a Paediatrician?

As discussed above, the answer to one of the most frequently asked questions by Indian moms, what does white spot on kids nail mean, is not the poor diet; you need not to worry much about these symptoms in your baby/child. The white spots reflect an earlier injury and usually go away after 6-7 weeks or possible calcium/Zinc deficiency. You may see a paediatrician if these spots last more than 2-3 months or they keep returning with no visible reason. Also, if the discoloration seems abnormal or many nails get affected at real-time, it may be the time to see a paediatrician.
So, the above facts and discussion make it clear that the white spots on kids nails are usually due to an underlying injury or disease and not only due to the poor diet. It’s time to prove the grandma’s calcium deficiency and nails marks theory wrong and move on with a logical approach to keep your baby healthy.
But remember its very important to keep watch on your child’s calcium intake too. Deficiency of Calcium and Minerals can cause issues in physical development.
Recommended: Calcium Rich Fruits

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About Author

Sapana

Software professional - now work at home mom

1 Comment

  1. I’ve seen white marks on some kids nails before and never knew what it meant. I just always assumed they injured their fingers there or something. This is very informative.

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