White nail - Definition

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A normally-composed nail is a structure located on the dorsal side of the terminal phalanges of the fingers and toes, with a translucent section at the end and a whiter section at the base of the nail, called the lunule. Partially or wholly white nails are generally indicative of liver disease, such as hepatitis or even cirrhosis of the liver, a disease which progressively destroys the liver cells. The destruction of liver cells leads to hepatocellular deficiency, which can be revealed by an enlarged lunule. Nevertheless, a nail can also appear white due to certain fungal infections, in which case it is called onychomycosis.