White spots on toenails can be caused due to varied reasons. They are generally harmless and tend to disappear on their own.
Listed below are some of the varied causes –
1. Vitamin and minerals deficiency
One of the major causes of white spots on toenails is deficiency in different vitamins and minerals. A number of women tend to suffer from such abnormal, unusual spots due to deficits in calcium intake. Such spots may also arise if your diet lacks adequate amounts of zinc. When the white spots occur along with a slow immune system and hair fall, then it usually signifies deficiencies in diet.
Most of us tend to injure the toenails and the areas around them during manicures or nail-clipping. Such injuries are mostly minor and often ignored by us. The injuries can lead to formation of white spots on toenails, generally some days or weeks after the injury has occurred.
An infection is another common cause of white spots on toenails. Our feet are usually covered in shoes for most of the day and hence we generally are not aware of any sort of nail infections. A fungal infection tends to grow after getting under a nail and causes development of a whitish patch.
Toenails are normally affected by 3 types of fungal infections, that is, molds, yeast, and dermatophytes. Such infections typically occur at the tip or end of the toenail. Individuals who sweat a lot at their feet are at greater risk to such infections. Spread of the infection can result in growing discoloration and tinning or thickening of the affected nail. It may also experience splitting or flaking, or may come apart.
It is a blood disorder caused due to deficient RBCs and hemoglobin. Pale or whitish nail beds can be a symptom of anemia
The presence of allergies to certain products can also lead to development of white spots on toenails. The allergic reaction may occur due to contact with chemicals present in nail hardeners, nail polish, or nail polish removers. Patients who experience the abnormal spots just after changing the brand can consider the new product as being allergenic.
In some cases, white spots may also signify liver or kidney diseases. It may however be noted that kidney disorders usually cause partial whitening, while liver conditions affect the entire nail.
Treatment of white spots on toenails
The condition is typically not dangerous. It is however necessary to consult a doctor when affected by prolonged instances of this nail anomaly.
- Changes in diet, varied natural remedies, good personal hygiene, and certain lifestyle changes can also help in removal of the white spots.Fishes like sardines and salmon, dairy products, kale, broccoli, and spinach are calcium rich, while zinc can be obtained from lamb, beef, sea foods, and legumes like peas, beans, and lentils.
- It is important to avoid injuring the nails when cutting them. Topical and oral medications can be used to treat minor injuries. Fungal infections can be treated via application of anti-fungal creams on the affected toenail.