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White Spots on Toenails

Medical professional suggests that healthy nails both in fingers and nails should be pink in color. However, at one point in life, we all notice our finger nails having white spots. The discoloration usually starts at the cuticle before moving up as the nail continues to grow.

There is a difference in opinion concerning what causes the occurrence of these spots. Some experts suggest that they’re a result of calcium deficiency while others suggest that they’re caused by a lack of calcium in the body. However, what is clear is that, leukonychia, as the condition is known, can be caused by various issues.

Causes of White Spots on Toenails

1. Injury

When the toenail is injured, it may become discolored after a few days or weeks. Fungus may enter after the initial injury has occurred.

2. Allergy

White spots on toenails may occur as a result of an allergic reaction to products like nail polish and other irritants such as chemicals, detergents as well as cleaning products.

The spots do not appear immediately but only after the product has been used for a long period of time. This should not worry you as discontinuation of the products will solve the problem.

3. Nutritional Deficiency

Mineral and nutritional deficiency can lead to white spots on toenails. Zinc, vitamin E and calcium are key in the maintenance of healthy nails and hair.

4. Fungus

There are times when white spots on nails can be a sign of a more serious condition. A fungus is a major cause of white spots occurring in nails and these can be from the soil and air. If you cover your nails with polish, white spots may arise as the nails may lack oxygen and thus encouraging nail fungus growth. If your feet are also sweaty, they can be a great medium that leads to fungal infection. When the discoloration is a result of fungus growth, the discoloration usually gets larger and may even change color, turning into shades of brown or yellow.

5. Disease

There are some systemic diseases whose symptoms include the nails turning whitish. White nails can a sign of kidney failure. There are also some serious liver conditions such as cirrhosis can also be marked by white spots appearing on nails.

How to Deal with White Spots on Toenails

In most cases, the white spots should not be a major source of concern as the condition disappears on its own. However, if the white spots do not disappear with time, it is advisable to consult a doctor who will diagnose the exact cause of the condition.

Home Remedies

  • Vinegar

To use vinegar for the treatment of white spots on toenails, dip the affected part in vinegar that has been diluted with water for about 20 to 30 minutes. You can also choose to reuse the same solution for a period of 3 days as long as it remains clean.

  • Tea tree oil

Studies have shown that tee tree oil can be effective in the treatment of nail fungus especially the strains that are associated with WSO (White Superficial Onychomycosis) as well as those tend to be resistant to medication. You should apply tree oil everyday to the surface after scraping or soaking.

  • Ointments

It is suggested that camphol or menthol can kill fungus and can penetrate the toenail’s surface better when in form of an ointment.

  • A good diet

If you are searching for a long-term and natural remedy for the condition, it is advisable to take a meal that consists of calcium, vitamin and zincs. This is a diet that can be effective in giving you healthy nails.

Medical Treatments

  • Antifungal nail polish: If the white spots are not only stubborn but also a result of fungal infection, it is advisable to treat them using the antifungal nail polish like Ciclopirox. These are effective in not only treating nails but also covering spots. You should also apply products such as Ciclopirox to the affected nails as well as the surrounding areas once a day. Every layer that you apply creates a protective layer and it is necessary to remove these areas using cotton ball that has been soaked with alcohol after a period of 7 days.
  • Antifungal medication: Loprox is an antifungal medication that is also used in the treatment of white spots on toenails. This should be applied twice a day. In case the spots do not clear within a period of a few weeks, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist. The medical practitioner may recommend a prescription drug like Diflucan or Lamisil.

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