There is a general belief that small white spots on the nails appear due to a lack of calcium or zinc, although this can be only one of the reasons for their appearance. The official name for this phenomenon is – leukonychia, and it is necessary to emphasize that it is not a serious medical problem. In addition, most people have white spots on their nails at some point in their lives.
The reason for this somewhat unusual phenomenon is usually the so-called trauma of the nail, which occurs from harmless situations such as tapping nails on the table or biting them. Sometimes, but in a very small percentage, white spots on the nails reveal malaria, Hodgkin’s disease (a malignant disease of lymphocytic tissue), and sickle cell anemia (a disorder of red blood cells when they take on an unnatural, rigid shape that resembles a sickle). It can also happen that the whole nail turns white, which is an alarming sign that you should see a doctor, as it can indicate heart disease or diabetes. If long white lines appear on the nail, consultation with a doctor is also necessary due to suspicion of arsenic or thallium poisoning.
The white spots on the nails were not bypassed by folk beliefs, where almost every nation has its own fatalistic beliefs about symbolism, which, believe it or not, are often reconciled despite huge physical distances. It is quite obvious that there is “something” there, and that the wise human mind has always had the sense to anticipate fate at least a little.
In Bosnia, the one who gets white spots on his nails is told: “You will be renewed”, which in loose translation means that they will get or buy themselves new clothes. The same belief exists among Hungarians.
Bosnian wise women believe that white spots on the nails are caused by intense fear, especially in children. Elsewhere, however, it is believed that they are created to warn the man that he has secret enemies. The man has as many envious friends and enemies as there are white spots on his nails. If, for example, there is a stain on the ring finger – the enemy is a woman, while the middle finger – is a male envious. Some claim that white spots on the right hand warn that you have jealous friends and enemies on the left hand. In Slovakia, white spots are viewed like this: the number of white dots on the nails equals the amount of money in the pockets.
In Sweden and Finland, it is claimed that the one with white spots on his nails is familiar with jealousy, that is, that there are envious people around him or her. Somehow, this goes hand in hand with the opinion that a person with white spots becomes happy and therefore has jealous friends.
In Norway, white spots are said to generally represent friends or admirers. If someone notices that he has a white spot on one of the nails of his left hand, it is a sign of a dear friend, but if he notices it on his right hand, then he has made a new enemy.
For the French, white spots on the nails mean luck and honor, similar to the Czech Republic, where it is believed that white spots on the nails represent luck, gifts, or new clothes.
Norse sign of death
It is particularly interesting to say that the appearance of white spots is said to be “that the nails are blooming”, which led to the statement: “Whose nails are blooming,his luck flourishes.” However, unlike white spots, black spots indicate bad luck. In Germany, this is how white spots are interpreted as fate, depending on which nail they appear on: on the thumb – you will receive a gift; on the index finger – an insult or a court case; on the middle finger – respect; on the ring finger – love; on the little finger – hatred.
And finally, it would be ungrateful not to mention a Nordic folklore belief that claims that a white spot even foreshadows someone’s death. Namely, if it appears on the nail of the left thumb, a woman in the family will die, and if a white spot appears on the nail of the right thumb, a man will die. Apparently, death occurs when the stain reaches the edge of the nail.