Why Do I Have White Lines on My Nails?
White lines can just appear on the nails from nowhere and it is understandable that you might be a bit concerned about these. White lines may be in several different shapes and sizes. Horizontal white lines are also known as Muehrcke’s lines. They may affect more than one nail at the same time, although they are not usually present on the thumbs. The lines may go across the full nail and the nail will often look healthy apart from the lines, i.e. the nails won’t be brittle or damaged in any other way. The lines will probably stay the same, regardless of the length of the nail and if you push down on the line, it may disappear altogether. Although it will come back when you release.
What Causes White Lines on Nails?
Although there are no definitive reasons for Muehrcke’s lines appearing on the nails, it is thought that they are not caused by injury to the nail. However, if the lines or streaks appear out of nowhere and change into something else, it may be a fungal infection which is easy to treat. If the lines affect several fingers and they are persistent, you are more likely to have an underlying health condition, such as low levels of the protein, albumin, in the blood.
Treatment for White Lines on my Fingernails
Low levels of albumin are usually the result of a poor diet or it could be caused by liver or kidney disease. If you want to improve your diet, I would recommend adding lots more fruit and vegetables, drinking plenty of water and taking a good multivitamin to give you an extra boost, such as this one from Centrum
What are Mees Lines?
Although much more uncommon, white lines on the nails could also be Mees lines. These can be the result of arsenic poisoning, or exposure to other toxic substances, such as carbon monoxide. If you have white lines on the nails which are causing you concern or have been there for some time, it is worth speaking to your doctor, who will be able to run some tests to check if there is anything else going on.
How to Treat White Lines on Nails
The doctor will be able to run some tests to check if there are any underlying issues causing your white lines. If there is nothing untoward going on, you may want to invest in some nail vitamins and see if that helps resolve the problem. If the doctor does find that your albumin level is, in fact, too low, he will usually give you this through a vein, either by IV or intravenous. When these levels have returned to normal, the white lines should disappear on their own gradually. If the white lines are down to another condition, the doctor will recommend what action to take.