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    My fingernails have white spots. What are they from, and how do I avoid them?

    Not to worry. Those spots are simply your finger’s way of letting you know the nail has been traumatized in some way. Lead an active life and every now and then you’re bound to bang your finger.

    Healthy fingernails are pink because they’re attached to an underlying bed of red blood vessels. White patches show up wherever the nail’s been dislodged from its nourishing bed.

    Such patches are harmless, but if you want to minimize your chances of getting them, steer clear of artificial fingernails, which tend to weaken your own. I keep my nails fairly short and save polish for special occasions because acetone or other solvents in polish remover can weaken nails by stripping away their protective top plate.

    This sort of spot should move to the top of the nail within a few months. If it doesn’t, or if your finger is red or tender, check with your family doctor or dermatologist; you may have a fungal or bacterial infection that needs attention.

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