White nails, also known as leukonychia, is a condition characterized by the presence of white or pale discoloration on the nails. It can affect both fingernails and toenails. There are two main types of leukonychia:
- True leukonychia: This occurs when there is an abnormality in the nail matrix, the area where new nail cells are formed. True leukonychia can be further classified into different types, including punctate leukonychia (small white spots or dots on the nails), leukonychia totalis (entire nail plate appears white), or leukonychia partialis (only part of the nail appears white).
- Apparent leukonychia: This type of leukonychia is caused by external factors that affect the nail’s appearance. It is often temporary and can be caused by various factors such as trauma to the nail, certain medications, or underlying health conditions.
It’s important to note that white nails can also be a sign of other underlying nail problems or systemic conditions. If you are concerned about the appearance of your nails, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.« Back to Glossary Index