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White Spots on Toenails

White Spots on Toenails

While the presence of white spots on nails is always not a severe condition, treating it and knowing about its cases may help evade bigger problems in the future.
Bhakti Satalkar
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Each one of us have suffered from occasional white spots on fingernails or toenails. The discoloration appears at the cuticle and moves outwards slowly as the nail grows. The most common cause of spots on nails is nail fungi, which is commonly found in dust, air and soil. If you are in the habit of covering your nails with nail polish all the time, lack of oxygen to the toenail can give rise to toenail fungus. At the same time, there are a number of myths which surround the sudden appearance of these spots. Having said that, let's see what is their cause.
Deficiency
Vitamin deficiency as well as mineral deficiency can cause white spots on toenails as well as fingernails. It is also seen that many women suffer from calcium deficiency, which is one of the cause of white spots. Moreover, if your diet is not rich in zinc, it can also give rise to white spots. If along with white spots, you also notice hair fall and slow immune system, you know what is it that is causing the problem.
Infection
Underlying infection is often also a cause of this problem. Most of us keep our feet covered in shoes all the time, hence do not even know that there is an infection, which is eating up into the nails. When the fungus gets under the nail and starts to grow, a whitish area may appear. There are three types of fungal infection, which can affect the toenails, namely yeast, molds and dermatophytes. It often appears somewhere other than the cuticle, more so at the other end, i.e. the tip of the nail. It is often seen, that people whose feet perspire a lot are often prone to the condition. If the discoloration is growing, it can cause the nail to become thicker or thinner, the nail may come apart, start flaking or splitting.
Injury
Often we are so busy with our daily schedule, that we simply choose to ignore an injury or do not even realize that we have had an injury. In some cases, the injury may also be caused, while cutting the nails. However, if you do notice white spots on the nails you may want to check out if it is caused due to an injury. The white spots may not turn up immediately after the injury, it may take a few days to weeks before you actually notice the spots.
Allergy
Allergies to certain products can also cause white spots. The allergic reaction can be triggered off, due to products such as nail polish, nail hardener or even nail polish remover. In case you have changed any of the just mentioned products, then you know what are the steps you will have to undertake to get rid of the problem.
There are a number of traditional home remedies, natural healing products as well as over-the-counter treatments available to treat the condition. There are topical and oral medication, which is often used for treating the condition. However, it is best to speak to your health care professional and find out the main cause of the problem. In case white spots are caused due to any deficiency, it is better to treat it on time. The doctor will be in a better position to know the extent of the damage caused by an infection. You may be given prescription drugs to deal with the problem.
Although most of the white spots often go away on their own, you will have to keep a watch on them. Making nail care a habit will prevent the further occurrence of these spots. If you are of the opinion that the spots refuse to go away, then it can be a serious condition and it is better to get in touch with your doctor to eradicate the problem from the root itself.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.