Do you have white toenails or white spots on your toenails?
Let’s get to fixing this ugly problem right away.
Step 1: Let’s do some basic diagnosis and try to find the cause of your white nails.
Three main things cause white toenails;
- Chronic liver disease
- Injuries to the nail
Liver disease & failure
Do you have any of the following symptoms?
- Abdominal pain?
- Jaundice? (yellow skin/eyes)
- If you do, then speak to a doctor urgently.
- If not, then let’s move on.
Chronic liver disease as a cause is less common than injuries or fungus. Also, white nails are going to be one of the later symptoms of liver disease. You’re likely to experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and jaundice before you get white nails. So, if you have white nails without any of the other symptoms you can likely discount liver failure as a cause. If you have white nails and are experiencing nausea, abdominal pain or yellowing of your skin, see your local doctor immediately.
Treatment options for white nails caused by liver disease
See your local doctor as soon as possible for a check up. This could be a serious medical issue and should not be taken lightly. Professional qualified medical assistance will help return your health and nails to normal.
- Only a very small white spot?
- Memorable injury?
- Rough manicure?
- If not, move on.
Small and minor injuries to the nail and cuticle whilst the nail is growing can cause white spots. These are harmless and simple appear as a small white mark or chip on the nail surface. To avoid injuries and the resulting white spots avoid biting your nails and harsh manicures. If your whole nail or a large part of your nail is whitening, then you might have fungus instead. Unless you’ve had a memorable injury (like jamming your finger in a car door accidently), only a very small part of the nail is likely to be white. So, if a large part of your nail is whitening then you might have fungus.
Treatment options for white nails caused by injury (prevention is better than cure)
If you have white spots from injury, unfortunately you are just going to have to wait for the healthy nail to grow out. Prevention is better than cure for white spots on nails caused by injuries.
Avoid getting manicures and pedicures. These beauty procedures can damage the cuticle and fresh nail growth at the base. When this fresh growth finally emerges, there is the chance you’ll have some white spots on your nail.
If you play sport, ensure you cut your nails short and straight. This will reduce the chance of injury (especially in ball sports such as basketball and netball).
To avoid nail injuries, make sure you have the right footwear. Shoes should not be too tight or too loose. Shoes should really allow half an inch between the shoe wall tip and your big toe. Also if you work outside or in a blue-collar job (for example on a building site), you should consider using steel cap boots to prevent injury.
Nail injuries can also lead to fungal infections. An injury can weaken or expose deeper parts of the nail allowing fungus to get in deeper than normal. If you do get a nail injury ensure you keep the nail clean and dry to help prevent infections. If you start to see fungal growth (white or yellow nail), try treatment with a topical product like Zetaclear to stop the fungus early.
- White spots or areas on multiple nails?
- Other colors? (yellow, green)
- Thickening nail?
- Crumbling or brittle nail?
- Nail not growing out properly?
- It’s likely that you have toenail fungus.
Toenail fungus causes toenails to change color, usually to an unsightly yellow, white and/or green color. If left untreated the fungus will attack the nail. The nail will thicken and eventually begin to crumble. Also, if left untreated the fungus can spread to other parts of your body or other people you live with.
Treatment options for fungus
Broadly treatment falls into the following methods;
- Oral medication – involving pills consumed over weeks or months
- Proven effectiveness, though not 100%
- Very harsh on liver function
- Often long treatment plan
- Can’t consume alcohol whilst taking this medication
- Laser treatment – involving lasers to heat the nail bed and disrupt fungus growth
- Shorter treatment plan
- Sometimes painful
- Often requires multiple treatments
- Topical medication – involving creams or sprays applied directly to the affected nails
- No major side effects
- Often natural ingredients
- Cost effective
- Requires regular and consistent application
It is important to keep your nails healthy and fungus free. Starting treatment early and keeping up treatment is vital. As toenail fungus and foot fungus is very contagious, you don’t want to spread it to other toes or even to other friends and family. If you have toenail fungus, avoid sharing bathmats and towels with other people in your family or others you live with.
Also, a really good tip is to put your socks on before putting your underwear on. This way you don’t accidentally touch your fungus infected toes against your underwear when you put them on. This will help stop the fungus spreading to your groin, which would give you jock itch.
Home remedies for white toenails
There are no reputable and proven home remedies for white spots caused by liver disease or toenail injury. There are some home remedies for toenail fungus, though they often can take a very long time to work. Vicks VapoRub, Listerine mouthwash and vinegar are often suggested as home based cures. Sometimes home remedies aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. You can read more about the home remedies here.
Otherwise, stick with the medical treatments we mentioned above and you should start to see results. Get started today, keep it up and you’ll have your nice feet back again before you know it. Good luck and good health!