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Children's Health

White Marks on Nails

03/11/2010

Question:

I have noticed white marks on my nails and my 3 year old sons nails as well. I was told by someone that white marks on nails means calcium deficiency. Is it true or could it mean something else? Thanks!

Answer:

I have never heard that superficial, flat, small white marks on finger or toe nails were of any clinical significance. Additional information on nail abnormalities is available through Medline Plus at https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003247.htm.  

Of course if you continue with any concerns regarding your child's health, please contact your pediatrician.


Additional information from Dr. Allison Macerollo:

Thank you for your question about nail changes.  There are many diseases that affect the nails.  One is psoriasis which can cause small pits or grooves in the nail.  Fungus can also affect the nails with toenails most commonly affected and fingernails much less commonly.  The most common cause of white marks are actually from small amounts of trauma and would require no treatment. 

For more information:

Go to the Children's Health health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Sarah Sauntry, RN, MS, CPNP-PC
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati