Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Soujanya from Bengaluru . Soujanya Wonders, “Why are there white spots in fingernails ?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Soujanya!

Have you heard gum stays in your stomach for seven years? How about that touching a toad will give you warts? What about those little white spots on your fingernails? Has someone told you they're a sign your body needs more calcium?

You can put down that glass of milk! None of those things are true. These are examples of medical myths that get passed on by word of mouth. While they have many believers, medical myths are not based on facts.

Now that you know the story about calcium deficiency is a myth, are you WONDERing what DOES cause white spots on fingernails? The answer is that white spots on your fingernails can come from many sources.

The official name for those white spots is "punctate leukonychia," and their most common cause is injury. Do you ever bite your nails when you're nervous? Do you tap your nails on your desk at school or spend a lot of time typing on your computer? How about getting a manicure? All of these things can cause injuries to your nails that could cause white spots. You can even get white spots on your toenails from wearing shoes that don't fit right.

However, those white spots are sometimes the result of illness. For example, they can mean you're low on iron or zinc. They can even be a sign of diabetes or kidney disease. Sometimes, people get those white spots because of skin conditions like psoriasis. If you're worried that the white spots on your nails could mean you're sick, go see your doctor.

Rarely, the white spots are hereditary. Sometimes babies are born with white spots on their fingernails or develop them after birth. In these cases, white spots don't indicate illness or injury - they're from your parents, like the color of your eyes or hair!

So how do you get rid of those white spots on your fingernails? The easiest way is to do nothing at all. White spots will go away as your nails grow. Some will even disappear after a day or two.

If they're bothering you, there are ways to prevent white spots on your fingernails. It helps to cut your nails short so they don't come in contact with as many objects when you use your hands. It also helps to use lotion after washing your hands to stop your nails from becoming dry and brittle.

White spots on your fingernails are normal and nothing to worry about! You might even notice white stripes in your fingernails, which have many of the same causes. Some people have even seen their fingernails turn white for a short time! As with any medical condition, see a doctor if any fingernail whiteness has you worried.

What other medical myths can you crack? Do you really need to wait thirty minutes after eating before you swim? What will happen if you eat pop rocks and drink soda at the same time? Remember to do your own research, and always keep WONDERing!

Standards: 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, LS3.A, LS3.B

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