You must have experienced white spots on your toenails at some point in your life. The medical term for this is condition is Leukonychia. You observe tiny white dots spread across your toenails. (1)
It is a pervasive problem even with healthy people. More than 40 million Americans suffer from white spots on toenails every year. However, white spots on toenails aren’t alarming at all. They can be treated effectively with some natural remedies. (2)
In this article, you’ll learn the causes of leukonychia and some of the best home remedies to cure them.
Keep on reading to learn:
- The causes of white spots on toenails
- Top 10 Home remedies for white spots on toenails
- Some Tips and Preventive Measures for White Spots on Toenails
Causes of White Spots on Toenails:
Healthy nails in your fingers and toes are supposed to be pink. But for various reasons, you may experience a discoloration of your perfect nails.
You can see the appearance of white spots and lines. The spots start from your cuticles and spread on the nails as they grow. (3)
Let’s get to know the reasons behind white spots on toenails.
Nail Bed Injury
Injury in your nail bed or base is one of the primary reasons for getting white spots on toenails. As the injured nails grow, you can see the spots appearing on it. You may injure your nails by accidentally hitting it on a hard surface, strike with a hammer or getting a pinch while shutting the door. The discoloration of nails begins to appear after a few days or weeks of the injury. By that time the opportunist fungus may enter the nail bed.
You can also damage your nails by exerting too much pressure on it during manicure or pedicure.
An allergic reaction to certain nail cosmetics such as; nail polish, remover, hardener, nail gloss, acrylic nails, etc. can lead to white spots on toenails.
Even a prolonged exposure to detergents and home hygiene products can distort your nails and give white dots on them.
A deficiency of zinc, calcium, minerals and vitamin E in your diet can lead to white spots on your nails. (4)
If you always cover your nails with nail color, then they may lack sufficient oxygen and develop fungus. One of the common nail fungi is onychomycosis. Sweaty feet are also a fungus friendly-environment and can lead to flaky nails, discoloration and white dots on your nails. A fungal infection may turn the white spots on your toenails into brown and yellow shades. (5)
Whitish dots or spots on your nails can be the symptoms of some diseases. The conditions include kidney failure, heart disease, cirrhosis, pneumonia, eczema and arsenic poisoning in your body. (6)
Top 10 Home Remedies for White Spots on Toenails:
If you resort to an over the counter treatment for damaged nails, doctors will prescribe you an antifungal medication at the most. These conventional drugs are slow to reconstruct your nails as before. Most importantly you won’t get the result if you don’t run the full course of the treatment. (7)
Luckily there are various easy and quick natural remedies to get rid of white spots on your toenails at home. (8)
Let’s have a look at these home remedies.
1. Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree essential oil is famous for curing fungal and bacterial infections. This herbal oil comes from the tea tree plant. It has a pale yellow color and mothball-like odor. (9)
The antiseptic and anti-bacterial components of tea tree oil are ideal for the cure of white spots on toenails. (10)
You can add 8 drops of tea tree oil to 4 drops of olive oil and make a solution. Dip a cotton ball in the solution and rub it on the affected toenails. Let the oil solution dry on the nails. Repeat the process twice a day for a week.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda or sodium carbonate is an easy to reach ingredient in your kitchen.
Hear the good news! A homemade baking soda paste can work a miracle on your damaged nails. (11) Baking soda is alkaline based and is full of antibacterial properties.
To treat the white spots on toenails with baking soda you can follow this process: Create a Mixture by adding ½ a cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of peroxide, ½ a cup of vinegar, and ½ a cup of Epsom salt to 4 cups of water.
Then, soak your affected nails with some vinegar and after few minutes apply the mix on them. Now cover the nails with a bandage.
Repeat the treatment daily, for 2 weeks and see the good results.
3. Orange Oil
When it comes to combat the toenail fungus and infection, orange oil is ahead of all other natural remedies. (12) The antibacterial and antifungal properties of orange oil can keep away onychomycosis and treat the already infected nails.
To do the treatment, you can mix 4 drops of orange oil with equal amount of tea tree oil and make a blend. Soak a cotton ball in the blend and apply it on your affected nails. If you redo the process regularly, the white spots will go away soon.
4. White Vinegar
White vinegar is a combination of alcohol and acetic acid. Thus, it is a powerful remedy for toenail fungus which causes white spots. (13) You can try the following vinegar bath for your feet to get rid of toenails infection.
Add 500 ml. of white vinegar to 1 liter of lukewarm water. Soak your feet in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes. Let your feet air dry after the process. If you repeat the treatment regularly, you’ll see good results in 2 weeks time.
5. Garlic Oil
Garlic cloves are power packs of antifungal and antibacterial properties. Garlic essential oil comes from garlic cloves. The accilin component in garlic oil can effectively treat the toenails infection and white spots. (14)
Simply, mix 4 drops of garlic oil with vinegar and make a solution. Now apply it to the affected nails and cover up with a bandage. A regular repetition of the process can cure the infection and white spots on your nails in the quickest possible time.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a panacea or cure-all as a home remedy. Its potent antioxidants and antibacterial properties fight off the villain onychomycosis fungi and cure toenails infection. (15)
Dilute some apple cider vinegar with double the amount of water. Now soak a cotton ball in the solution and rub your affected nails with it for 15 minutes. Do not wash off your nails. Let the solution air dry on the affected nails. Redo the process 2 times a day for a week.
7. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is well known for a host of therapeutic properties. This favorite herbal oil comes from the evergreen foliage- Lavender, grown in Northern Africa.
This sweet-scented herbal oil is rich with anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. (16) Lavender oil can be a powerful remedy for the discoloration and white dots on your toenails.
Soak a cotton ball in a few drops of lavender oil and apply it directly on the infected nails. Now, tie up the nails with a cloth and allow the oil work on the infection and discoloration. Repeat the process regularly to cure white spots and damaged nails.
8. Oregano Oil
Oregano essential oil comes from the dried wild oregano flowers and leaves. This therapeutic oil has a spicy aroma and golden color.
Carvacrol and thymol in oregano oil are two powerful anti-microbial properties to ward off toenails infection. A blend of oregano and olive oil can rebuild your damaged nails and remove the white spots. (17)
Just mix 4 drops of oregano oil with 4 drops of olive oil and make a blend. Now massage the mixture on the toenails with a cotton ball. Repeat the process twice a day until the nails come to a healthy state.
9. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is full of citric acid and antibacterial properties. You can use lemon juice directly on your toenails to cure the infection. (18)
Soak a cotton ball in some fresh lemon juice and rub it thoroughly on the infected nails. Continue the massage for 10 minutes. Redo the process daily, to regain healthy nails in few weeks.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil comes from the meat or kernel of the giant nut- coconut. It is an essential oil with versatile practical and health benefits. Its potent antifungal properties can be an ideal remedy for white spots on toenails and fungal infection.
Moist feet are a perfect environment for the fungus to grow. Coconut oil can also create a protective shield over the nails and keep it away from moisture. You can use this oil directly on the nails without any risk of side effects. (19)
Massage coconut oil on your feet and nails thrice a day. Repeat the process regularly until the nails are free from infection. You can make coconut oil application a daily practice to prevent the onslaught of fungal infection on toenails.
Tips and Preventive Measures for White Spots on Toenails:
- Avoid using nail cosmetics such as polish, remover, and gloss if they give you allergic reactions.
- Always keep your nails dry and clean. Do not cut them too thick so that it touches the flesh.
- Always wash your socks with warm water after one use. Fungus thrives in a moist environment. (20) So never wear wet shoes and socks.
- Change your footwear, if they are too tight and puts pressure on your toenails.
- Switch to wearing sandals if your toenails are already infected.
- Do not use nail colors on infected toenails. The chemicals in the nail polish can worsen the infection.
- Add foods to diets that are rich in zinc, minerals, and vitamins.
White spots on toenails are not a severe medical condition. You can effectively treat them with the simple natural remedies discussed above. Share with us your personal experience with white spots and fungal infections in toenails.
Write in the comment section below.