Today you will discover what causes White Toenails and the Treatments and Prevention that can help you.
If the human body was a machine, it could be probably the most sophisticated machine ever made. Each body part is cleverly designed to serve a specific role.
The nails on the toes and fingers work to protect the nail bed, which is soft. Healthy nails have a nude color while the tip having the white color. However, various conditions can make the whole or part of the toenail have a white color.
The most common condition that leads to white color is Leukonychia. This condition is characterized by white dots or lines on your toe or fingernails. This harmless condition is common so when you find these spots it doesn’t automatically mean that you have a serious underlying condition.
However, not all the conditions that make your toenails turn white are natural. Some are caused by fungus while some may indicate a deficiency. Let us look at the various conditions that make you have white toenails.
How to Diagnose Why Your Toenail is Turning White
If you suspect that, you have a fungal infection you should consult a podiatrist or doctor for correct diagnosis. For the correct diagnosis, your doctor needs to do the following:
Clip a small piece of the white toenail and send it a lab for testing
Doctors also Put the clipped piece in a container and wait to see whether the fungus start to grow. Identification of the fungi type affecting your toenails can be done by examining the spores under a microscope.
By performing these tests, it will eliminate the guesswork of whether you should proceed with the treatment or not. Besides fungi, other nail disorders may contribute to this condition.
What Can Cause My Toenails to Turn White?
Injury or Trauma. One of the main causes of this condition is trauma or injury. This can develop when you stubbed your toe and the nail chips. However, when this happens you are likely to experience some pain as you walk or wear shoes. Besides, trauma from wearing ill-fitting shoes may contribute to this condition. Below is the following thing that you should do to avoid this problem.
If you bang your toes a lot you should take precautionary steps to protect injuring your nails. You can do this by wearing footwear that offers better protection wearing steel-capped boots is a great idea especially if you work in a construction or manufacturing company.
Avoid Tight Shoes
The next step is to ensure that you wear well-fitting shoes. Shoes that are too tight or loose can cause toenail trauma. While this might not cause pain like banging your toe on a wall or stone, repeated trauma may lead to an injury.
Cut the Nails Correctly
Additionally, the manner in which you cut your toenails like pushing back the cuticle can damage your nails. Cuticles help to ensure that your nails are in proper health. For this reason, you should avoid digging or cutting into sides of your toe as this could lead to painful problems as well as white toenails.
Important: A nail injury is a potential entry point for a fungus, so you may then notice some white substances under the toenail. This is a situation that requires to be monitored closely because banging or stubbing the toe will easily increase the likelihood of the fungus getting into the nail bed.
Additionally, you should also never share your scissors or clipper with your family and friends, as you will risk spreading the fungal spores.
You may see some white marks on your toenails if you do not provide your body enough minerals and vitamins. If this is the situation, also your sink and hair may also be affected. The best to fix nail and skin problems is with the correct nutritional modifications.
Pro Tip: Increase your consumption of calcium, vitamin B7, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium, L-lysine, copper, and vitamin C. You can either regulate you or also take a quality supplement every day if you don’t like certain types of foods.
Failure of Very Important Organs
If you have a disease that affects the heart, kidney, or liver, the color of your nail may also be your body’s manner of alerting you that there’s a severe problem.
You will probably also notice that the tips of your nails have becomes darkened or reddened.
Medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, cirrhosis, liver failure, and diabetes can lead to a situation known as Terry’s nails. This usually occurs in the blood supply to the nails has been reduced.
The only solution to resolve the white toenail is by resolving the underlying health condition. This is no any easy or quick cure due to the nature of the problem.
The Main Causes of White Toenail
In most case, the white toenails usually come when there is an infection that is caused by spore known as Trichophyton mentagrophytes. In most cases, this condition can even get worse if your nails are exposed to any moist or humid environments. Below are some of the main factors that causes the toenail to have the white color
Toxic Toenail Polishes
The substances in polish are toxic. Medical compounds such as tolune, acetone, and formaldehyde (ingredients that are commonly utilized) can cause the nails to dry up quickly.
Additionally, some of the substances that make this polish and polish removers are toxic. These chemicals cause your nail to dry up fast leading to the problem. Nail dehydration can also develop when there are allergic reactions to the chemicals in these products.
It is recommended to use toenail products that are made of natural ingredients. What’s more, using the anti-fungal polishes available will also prevent the fungal infections, which are the main causes of the white color on nails.
Wearing closed shoes for a long time may make your feet sweat excessively. When this happens, it creates a humid condition, which is conducive for the fungus to grow. To stop the growth of the fungal spores you can make use of specific deodorizer that are designed for killing the fungus.
Other preventative methods include having more than one pair of shoes and ensuring that they are dry before wearing them.
Going Shoeless in Public
If you are used to walking barefoot in public areas such as changing rooms, gyms or swimming pools you could pick up fungal infections from people who are already infected. To avoid this you should always ensure that you wear a pair, sandals, or flip-flops.
While nail polishes make our feet look beautiful, never allowing them to breathe before applying another coat or wearing several layers of nail polish may also lead to this problem.
You should also let your feet get plenty of ventilation as this discourages fungus growth. Additionally, you may consider switching to nail polish that contains fungus-fighting ingredients.
Poor circulation of blood also leads to the development of the white toenails. This explains why the risk of infection increases, as we grow old. The good news is that you can improve your blood flow by using a resistive foot machine. Exercising regularly and losing the excess weight may also help in boosting bloods circulation.
Feet ringworm can also cause the fungus to spread to your toenails. To effectively resolve this issue you should seek for medical help to eradicate the Athlete’s foot.
How to Get Rid of White Toenail Fungus
Before the availability of the modern medication, it was hard to combat nail fungus. This is because toenails and fingernails tend to get little blood when compared to other body parts. The medications used earlier did not reach the bloodstream, making them ineffective.
Prescriptions & Topical Creams
If the infection is not pronounced, doctors tend to prescribe oral toenail fungal medication as well as topical ointments and creams. However, you shouldn’t expect immediate results. In fact, the combination only proves to be effective when you use it frequently for a period of not less than three months
Effective topical creams will not tackle the surface fungus but also reach the nail bed where it will eliminate all the fungus. However, very few creams reach the nail bed so most of them will act as a protective barrier to prevent more fungus from penetrating to the nail bed.
We also have the prescription meds. While these seem to tackle the fungus from the inside, they have side effects like liver damage. With so many drugs on the market, you should have relevant information concerning the meds you are taking. Consulting your doctor may give you the information you need.
Additionally, you should ensure that your doctor is aware of any medical history, to allow him/her to give the best prescription.
Treat the Toenail with a Laser
This is a safer alternative for killing the toenail fungus when compared to taking medications. The process involves passing a laser over the toenail. This will kill both the surface and that fungus deep in the nail bed. When undergoing this procedure you will feel a warm sensation but you will not experience any pain.
While this procedure is a bit expensive, it offers an effective and long-term solution.
Remember most medical insurance will not cover this treatment. This is because the insurers consider it as a cosmetic treatment while it is a medical condition. However, not all is lost as there are many clinics offering this treatment. Before making your decision, go through a variety of clinic and pick those with affordable services.
Fungal Infections Can Return
While medications designed for treating the fungal infection will work, this doesn’t guarantee re-infection. Therefore, even if you have undergone an expensive laser treatment or applied topical creams for several months.
Then you continue doing the same things that lead to the development of the problem, the infection is likely to return.
To ensure that the infection will not return, ensure that you modify your behavior and use preventative measures.
Medications work, but they don’t guarantee that the infection won’t return. If you continue doing the same things that led to the problem, you’re likely to become infected again in the future. You need to modify your behavior to maximize the chances of keeping your toenails safe.
Additionally, various natural remedies contain active anti-fungal properties that help in ensuring that your toenails are free of the fungus. These remedies also reduce the recovery process. Remember in some cases the problem can cause pain especially if you leave it untreated for long. Besides, tacking the problem before it worsens allows gives you a better chance to recover fast.