Do you see white patches on toenails?
White patches on toenails are usually due to dehydration (especially from nail polish) – Learn what all the causes are and learn what to do about them!
Causes of white toenail patches
- White patches on the toenails are most commonly caused by dehydration and drying.
- This is most commonly seen after the removal of toenail polish!
- It can be a type of nail fungus, but don’t worry it usually is not.
- These white patches can also be caused by simply stubbing your nail against something, this is called Leukonychia. Don’t worry, leukonychia is harmless as well. These white marks will grow out normally.
- In cases after pedicures and manicures, and if you are sick- it is possible to catch white fungus. This is called white superficial onychomycosis.
- The least common and most severe cause of white stains on your toenails is due to systemic diseases.
Are white toenail patches dangerous?
In most cases toenail patches are not dangerous. The only time you should really be worried is if you have it due to systemic causes. But in most cases you probably knew that there was something wrong anyway, so the white marks themselves are no big deal.
It is very easy to treat these white stains and rehydrate them in most cases. If it is a cases of superficial toenail fungus, it is very easy to treat as well.
by nail polish leading are “keratin granulations” that are frequently misdiagnosed as superficial white onychomycosis but there are other reasons white stains can occur on the toenails and fingernails. The other causes of white stains on your toenails are due to scraping or hitting your nails, nail fungus or due to other systemic problems. The systemic problems option should not be suspected unless you rule out all the other options, so don’t worry!
Home treatment guide for white patches on toenails
1) Keratin granulations from nail polish
Nail polish can dehydrate the nail leading to what is called “keratin granulations”. This is an extremely tricky diagnosis as almost everyone will think that this is a common type of nail fungus called superficial white onychomycosis. It is more likely to occur the older you get, but have no fear, there is an easy treatment that works in most people!
Home treatment guide:
- Buy some cutical oil or any other emollient and apply it daily to the nail until it starts to get better.
- You can use any moisturizing agent to perform this function, they do not add water to the skin or the nail, but simply prevent water water loss from the cells.
- Nail polish really dries out the nail, so oils help reverse those dehydrating effects.
- The nail should get better in a matter of days or weeks.
- If you let your nails grow out because the moisturizing agent is not working; the bad news is that toenails and fingernails only grow at a rate of 1 millimeter per month. This means 6-9 months for toenails and potentially even longer for fingernails.
- It is very difficult to make the nails grow any faster. There are many gimmicks out there that report stronger nails, but really all you can do is increase your metabolism and health by getting some more sun and exercising. Fun Fact: Nails grow up to 50% faster in the summer over the winter.
For more on keratin granulations:
2) White patches due to trauma
White Patches can also occur due to damage to the keratin(the substance that makes up the nails) and it is usually irreversible and you should just wait until it grows out. Think of this as a scar that happens to your nail plate.
Home treatment guide
- The bad news is that toenails and fingernails only grow at a rate of 1 millimeter per month.
- This means 6-9 months for toenails and potentially even longer for fingernails.
- It is very difficult to make the nails grow any faster.
- There are many gimmicks out there that report stronger nails, but really all you can do is increase your metabolism and health by getting some more sun and exercising.
- Fun Fact: Nails grow up to 50% faster in the summer over the winter.
3) White stains that are due to superficial white onychomycosis (nail fungus)
Nail fungus can look very similar to keratin granulations. It is very difficult to differentiate these from keratin granulations. One factor that may lead you more to this is if you can try and scrape off the fungus.
Home treatment guide
- Go see your podiatrist to make sure.
- If you treat your nails as keratin granulations and they don’t get better after 1-2 weeks, suspect this.
- If you are immune suppressing medication, suspect this.
Click on this link to our comprehensive nail fungus home treatment guide. Always be sure to see a podiatrist if you are ever unsure!
4) White nails due to systemic problems
If the nail does not seem like described in the above three situations, it may be due to a vitamin deficiency or systemic problem
Consider these scenarios for white patches on toenails:
- Do you have any systemic medical conditions
- Are you are many medications?
- Has your diet decreased.
- Do you not get enough vitamins and nutrients?
If this applies to you go see your podiatrist or foot doctor.
I hope that with all information presented here you will be able to take care and solve problem with your white patches on toenails!