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April 1979

Sympathetic Symmetric Punctate Leukonychia: Three Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu.

Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(4):495-496. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010040073021

The white spots that appear from time to time on most persons' fingernails are among the most familiar of human blemishes, and among the most mysterious. They are common. Singer in 19311 examined 76 men and 24 women for nail spots, and found them in 58% of the men and 75% of the women. Only 32 of the men and six of the women had none. Women had them on both hands almost twice as often as on only one; in men this proportion was reversed.

Mitchell, in 1953, published a lengthy account of punctate leukonychia.2 He listed these popular names for the condition: gift spots, fortune spots, lies, sweethearts, hunger traces, and marble nails. Medical terms, aside from punctate leukonychia, were canities unguium, albugo (more often meaning a white spot on the cornea), or anemic streaks. He attributed to Unna the classification of leukonychia punctata, striata, and

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