White patches or lines on your nails are usually caused by air bubbles or minor injuries under the nail. However, they can also be a sign of serious medical conditions.
White patches on nails are called leukonychia, and are caused by numerous factors. They can be inherited, but they can also be caused by warts, fungus, eczema or psoriasis that affect the nails. These white patches can also be one of the seven signs of sarcoidosis, a condition that affects the skin, lungs and other body organs.
If the nails have white specks on them, it is an indication of a condition known as Plummer nail or a sign of hypothyroidism.
When white lines are positioned lower on the nails, it means that you’ve caught the problem in the early stages.
White horizontal lines on the nails may be a sign of a cardiac arrest, Hodgkin’s disease, malaria and leprosy, and it there are two horizontal stripes, it’s a sign of hypoalbuminemia, a condition caused by low levels of albumin in the blood. This disorder causes inter alia, kidney disease, liver cirrhosis and other serious medical problems. Don’t worry though – although many serious diseases are related to white lines or patches on your nails, the most probable cause is an inflammatory response to an infection or injury.
Changes on the nails should never be ignored – inspect them often to prevent further health problems.