Our fingernails and toenails are consisted of a nail plate. This nail plate is further divided into two parts. The pinkish (larger) part of the nail and the small, white little moon-like part that is also known as lunula, or lunulae ((little moon in Latin). This whitish part is quite visible on the root area of the nails. In some, lunulae is more visible than others. There have been cases of white part of nail spreading abnormally towards the pinkish part. Let’s find more about it.

Note: Lunulae is white because it has a thick underlying stratum basale that tends to obscure the blood vessels under it.

What Does It Mean If the White Part of My Nail Is Spreading?

Any type of color change, increase or disappearance of lunulae indicates the presence of some disease. The spreading of the white part of the nails could be the outcome of several physical conditions. These may include:

  • Any visible change in nails formation can be the result of vitamin deficiencies.

  • Sometimes a decreased level of circulating protein in the blood, cause the spreading of white in the nails. This can be interrelated to some renal or liver disease. Before coming to a conclusion, you better get it tested by your GP. When your nails have a bigger part in white with dark colored rims, this could possibly be the signal of liver problem like hepatitis.

  • The white area can even extend to the half of the nail, giving it a look of half pink and half white. This can be an indication of a kidney disease. Other symptoms might include general malaise.

  • Terry’s nails are the most common disease that causes the white part of nail spreading to the pinkish part. What remains behind, is a narrow pink tip on the nails. Aging is also defined as a reason of terry’s nails. The most common underlying reasons of it include liver-related diseases, kidney failure, diabetes and congestive heart failure.

Final Words on Nail Whitening!

These are the most common symptoms and causes of the white part of nail spreading. But nothing should be determined without diagnosis and examination by the doctor or dermatologist. Just remember, any visible change in the nail plate should not be taken lightly. It is somewhere connected to your inner health.

In case the lunulae disappears, it also indicates your physical weakness. The sooner your health recovers, the sooner lunulae tends to return.

Others' Experiences with It!

“I had the same issue and the white part was extended in a very uneven form. Later I was diagnosed with Gilbert’s syndrome, a disease that affects the functionality of liver. I am not sure that Gilbert syndrome is the main cause of white nail spreading, but I have heard, it is somewhere connected to liver. If you too have the same issue with your nails, get your bilirubin levels and liver functions checked by the doctor.”

“A few days back, I had noticed to have larger and also uneven whites of my nails. Though it has affected all of my nails but ring and pinky fingers were most affected. I don’t find any possible reason but there is one thing that clicks my mind. As a child, I used to bite my nails. But not anymore. No answers found till date. Maybe it’s time to see my doc.”

“I was terrified to see the white part of nail spreading towards the cuticles. And now I had half pink and half white nails. That seemed quite weird. I tried to find the answer on the web and what I found were a few indications of separated nailbeds. But my nails are strong enough and never get loose. (But once or twice in a year, they all break together). Someone suggested me and I opted for cirrihosis of liver (I am a drinker). But the doc found nothing.”


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