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White Spots On Your Nails Are Not Caused By A Calcium Deficiency

Ugh, we've been living a lie.
PHOTO: YouTube/SciShow

If you, like me, have lived your life so far being completely baffled about why you get white marks on your fingernails occasionally despite having milk in your cereal every morning, then we're about to solve the mystery.

Because while most people have always been told that these white spots mean you're not taking in enough calcium, it turns out that's not necessarily the case. So all those pints of milk I've downed in an attempt to clear my nails are a complete waste of time then?

Although in some cases the white spots might indicate a deficiency in your diet, there's actually a much more common and simple explanation: you've bumped your nail on something.

As Youtube channel SciShow explains in the video below, the scientific term for the white lines is "punctate leokonychia", which is a bit of a mouthful so I think I'll stick with "milk spots," thanks. These milk spots most commonly seem to arrive following "trauma" to the nail, which can actually be so minimal you don't even remember it happening.


So you see, it's NBD really.

Oh, but there is one other potential explanation for the white lines: a fungal nail infection. Which is grim AF so let's hope it's not that one.

When your body fights off infections it needs to devote more energy to that and so it slows down the growth of unimportant things like nails. The white lines then appear as a kind of indication that growth has been paused, but the good news is that the milk spots take so long to appear, you'd already know you had the fungal infection. So you can chill out before you've convinced yourself your big toenails is about to rot away.

Right, now that your science lesson over, you can get back to youtubing cats being scared of cucumbers or whatever other important task you were doing before.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.