What white spots on your nails actually mean – and how to treat them fast

Whether you like your nails covered in weird and wonderful mani designs, are ga-ga for geometric patterns or prefer sleek and elegant nail colours like the Queen, strong and healthy nails are important for pulling off any fancy finger look.

And a common problem that can pop up every now and then is white spots. So what causes these mystery ailments? We asked OPI Ambassador, Jenni Draper, for the low down…

What causes white spots on nails?

It’s not a lack of calcium or zinc as you may have suspected. White spots are mostly caused by trauma to the nail.

Whether you’ve accidentally bumped your nail bed or suffered a small chip, “this will then trap air between the nail layers creating a bubble, which in time, will grow out”, says Jenni.

“The other cause can be from dehydration of the nail, particularly of gel polish or polish wearers.”

Can you file or buff white spots away?

While you can do this, Jenni advises against it as “over-buffing will cause other problems in the long-run.”

If trauma is the cause and it started deep within the nail, you’ll have to buff too many layers to truly wipe out the white, effectively weakening the nail more.

Are there any products that will remove white spots?

If your white spots are caused by trauma to the nail, you’ll just have to wait until it grow out.

However, “if it’s from the use of gel or polish, then try gentle buffing and cuticle oil, like the OPI ProSpa Nail & Cuticle Oil (£17) to protect and prevent”, says Jenni.

In fact, cuticle oil is the best way to prevent white spots appearing on the nails in the first place as it will hydrate and strengthen the nail.

“A good hydrating base coat will also help and should definitely be applied before polishing nails.”

What about food for stronger nail growth?

When it comes to diet, white spots are not linked to what we eat, but you can certainly grow stronger nails with a balanced diet.

Yvonne Bishop Weston, a Harley Street Nutritionist, recommends proteins such as fish, nuts, seeds and beans, which will help to promote keratin, the main nail protein.

White spots, be gone!