The discoloration of the toenail happens due to a various reasons. The toenails turn white either because of fungus or trauma caused to the nail. These are the two most common reasons for white toenails. However, in very rare cases, liver diseases, poisoning, or renal failure could also lead to this condition.
Fungus: Fungus gets into the nail through the various cracks. In humid and moist conditions, the chances of getting a fungal infection are very high. This fungus later leads to discolored toenails, where they become yellow and later turn brown. This infection in the form of a small dot which gradually increases to cover the entire nail. It makes the surface of the nail very rough and eventually the nail starts becoming brittle. This condition is very painful and there may be a foul smell emanating from the nails, in severe cases. Preventing nail fungus is not difficult. It is necessary to wear clean shoes and socks daily, ensure that you are not barefoot in public places, and treat the cuts and nicks on the toes immediately to avoid it getting infected. If the fungal infection is not treated on time, it may spread to all the other toenails.
Trauma: This is not a serious problem, however, it needs to be treated. The toenail suffers from trauma when something heavy falls over it, or when there is excessive pressure on the toenails. These white spots on toenails disappears after some days with the growth of the nail.
If the toenails have become white due to trauma, then there might not be any need to treat as the spot will go away when the nail grows. However, treatments are necessary for fungal infections. When you see a white spot on the toenail and if it is growing, visit your doctor without any delay. The doctor will prescribe medications which will be both, oral and topical. This toenail fungus treatment will go on for about 10 to 12 weeks. Another point is that it is vital to trim the nail properly. Keep the toes dry and make it a point to use antibacterial spray to clean the inside of your shoes. Change your socks daily and wipe your legs dry after your bath. Avoid wearing shoes in your home, you can move barefoot or wear slippers which will ensure that your toes are dry. If you sweat excessively, then dust foot powder over the area. Doing so will keep nails and toes dry. In some cases, toenail fungus may have to be treated with the help of laser treatments.
There are several natural treatments that you can follow at home to get rid of the fungus before it spreads. Using tea tree oil after trimming the toenails will make the nail soft and enable it to cure faster. Rubbing alcohol is also a tried and tested toenail fungus remedy. A pedicure with hydrogen peroxide is another excellent home remedy.
People with diabetes should seek immediate treatment, as they are at a greater risk of the infection spreading due to their erratic blood sugar levels. People who are on high medications are also at the risk as their immune system is suppressed. If left untreated, this infection may become a chronic condition or skin disorder. Regular nail care at home eliminates the possibility of suffering from nail fungus and other problems. Do not ignore the fungus as it becomes very messy and painful to deal with later on.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.