Have you ever looked at your toenails and noticed that they just don’t look right? They used to be clear, now they look opaque, thicker, and their surface is white. What can cause toenails to turn white?
Most people first consider the white discoloration of the toenail to be a fungal infection of the toenail. This indeed can be the cause of the white appearance. Fungus is an opportunist that lives naturally on our feet and in our shoes. If there is any injury to our toenails, the fungus can infect the toenail, which causes the nail to become thickened and discolored. Fungal toenails can be treated in a variety of ways. Medication applied to the toenail, such as Formula 3, are useful for mild and moderate toenail infections. Oral medication, such as Lamisil, and the revolutionary laser treatment are appropriate for moderate to severe infections. As the fungus resolves, the white appearance of the toenail should clear as well. Your foot doctor will be able to guide you towards the best treatment for your toenail fungus.
Fungus is not the only cause of a white toenail. Injury can also cause the nail to become discolored, deformed, and thickened. Depending on where on the toenail the trauma is, will determine how it effects the toenail. If the trauma is to the nail itself, often resulting in bleeding beneath the toenail, the damage can be temporary. There will be discoloration to the toenail, because it is lifted from the nail bed, but often will resolve on it’s own as the nail grows out. It is useful to use a topical anti fungal medication to ensure that the damage to the nail will not allow a fungus infection to occur.
When the toenail is injured at the matrix, the group of cells responsible for growing the toenail, the damage can be permanent. This results in a continued thickening of the toenail and a persistent white discoloration. While there may be a fungus infection of the toenail at the beginning, use of an anti fungal medication will not fully improve the toenail’s appearance. In these cases, using an conditioner for the toenail will help to improve how the toenail looks.
Toenails also develop a white discoloration due to damage from toenail polish and toenail polish remover. Most nail polish have chemicals, such as formaldehyde and toluene, that dry and damage the toenails. Nail polish remover also has chemicals, such as acetone, that does the same. Using a healthy nail polish and remover, such as Dr.’s Remedy, that does not contain these chemicals is the best solution. It allows women to wear a stylish polish without the damage to the nails. The polish even had vitamins and natural antifungals to keep the nails even healthier.
Don’t let a white, discolored toenail go unchecked. Visit with your podiatrist to learn what solution is best for you.