Leukonychia (or leuconychia), also known as white nails or milk spots, is a medical term for white discoloration appearing on nails. It is derived from the Greek words leuko (“white”) and onux (“nail”). The most common cause is injury to the base of the nail (the matrix) where the nail is formed.
It is harmless and, most commonly caused by minor injuries, such as nail biting, that occur while the nail is growing. While commonly held to be due to a calcium deficiency, leukonychia occurs most commonly in healthy individuals, unrelated to any known nutritional or physiological deficiency. When caused by injury the marks will disappear as the nail grows outwards, however a dietary deficiency will cause recurrent leukonychia.This condition is a whitening of the entire nail. This may be a clinical sign of hypoalbuminaemia (low albumin), which can be seen in nephrotic syndrome (a form of kidney failure), liver failure, protein malabsorption and protein-losing enteropathies. A genetic condition, and a side effect of sulfonamides, a family of antibiotics can also cause these appearances.
This condition is whitening of parts of the nail plate in the form of small white dots. There are several types of this condition. There are three variations of partial leukonychia; punctate, transverse and longitudinal leukonychia. Some more serious variations of leukonychia partials may lead to Leukonychia totalis