White Spots on Toenails: Its Nature, Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Causes | Treatment | Prevention

White spots on toenails are common. In other words, apart from the black spots you may notice underneath your nail, white spots on toes may also develop. Fortunately, this problem is usually not acute and there are still means of addressing it immediately.

According to experts, white spots on toenails develop due to a nail injury. It was observed that white patches on toenails may be observed after several weeks following a traumatic event. Most of the time, you are recommended to consult a physician if you often encounter white marks on your nails.

You may also talk to your doctor if you are simply concerned about the white stuff on toenails. Some women even thought that their white spots on toenails after removing polish are normal. Little did they know that there is more to this condition.

If you want to find out, kindly read the excerpt below to find out the answer to your question “Why are my toenails white?”

What Causes White Spots on Toenails?

You may have asked yourself “Why do my toenails have white spots?” The possible answers are given below in detail:


There is a variety of diseases that may lead the development of white toenails. These spots may actually be indicators that are you suffering from certain ailments in other areas of your body.

Among the medical issues that may cause you white toenails are liver cirrhosis, anemia, diabetes, kidney disease, issues with protein digestion, too much protein in the intestine, heart failure, eczema, and hyperthyroidism among others.

There is also a possibility that white marks on toenails may develop if you have an infection on the skin or nails of your feet. As your nails try to heal and grow, white spots tend to appear. These represent that a condition or an injury has taken place.

Fungal Infections:

Fungus development in your nails may also lead to the development of white marks on toenails. These fungal infections may result from excess moisture exposure, wearing too tight shoes, and cracking of nails that let the organism to thrive in the nail bed.

Common symptoms associated with the presence of fungus in the nails are thickening of nails, discoloration, buildup of extra skin under the nails, and separation of the nail from the skin.

Toenail Injuries:

If your nail and cuticle suffered from minor or small injury, white spots on toenails can definitely develop. Remember, the said spots are harmless. Normally, you will only find them as a chip or mark on the surface of your skin.

White spots on toenails also appear when you undergo harsh pedicures. Make sure to avoid salons that may clean your toenail without due consideration of your safety. You can only consider the white marks as signs of fungus if a large part of your toenail is already discolored.

The accidental impact to your toenail may also result to white spots as long as it is not too painful. If the injury is caused by a heavy object, a black spot may develop instead.

Allergic Reactions:

There are also allergies that may result to white spots on toenails. For instance, you have used cosmetic products that have led to the reactions of your nails or skin. Common items that may result in white marks on your nails are nail polish removers, nail polishes, and herders.

Fortunately, if you use the aforementioned products, the white spots on toenails may only appear for a short period. The allergic reactions may also be different based on the response of an individual. There are chances that you may not be affected by it.

Mineral and Vitamin Deficiency:

If you are lacking certain nutrients, you may also develop white spots on toenails. Apparently, if you do not get sufficient vitamins and minerals, you will suffer from poor toenail structure and low immunity.

Zinc deficiency is a common cause of white marks, which may also cause skin problems and hair fall. Furthermore, lack of calcium may also result in the white spots since it is fundamental to the development of teeth, bones, and nails.

Low levels of vitamin E may also result to the nail discoloration since the nutrient is important in fighting away bacterial and fungal infections.

Lastly, iron deficiency may also lead to toenail’s white spots. This is due to the fact iron affects the circulation in the body, resulting in white marks and brittle toenails.

Tight-Fitting Footwear:

Your improper choice of footwear may also lead to your toenail’s development of white spots. This is due to the added friction and pressure on certain part of your foot and nails.

Also, if it became a habit for you to actually wear the said type of shoes, you may suffer from injuries. Take note that tight-fitting footwear may also lead to poor air circulation and excessive sweating of the foot. Consequently, you may suffer from fungal infections.

How to Get Rid of White Spots on Toenails

There are various ways to address the development of white marks on your toenails. Given below are the following categorized in two:

Medical Treatments

To provide you ideas of medical solutions available to address your toenail’s white marks, given below are the following:

  • Ciclopirox. This is known as an antifungal nail polish. In other words, this is a good solution if you want convenience in addressing your white spots problem. It can treat the nails and cover up the spots.

In order to use it, you simply need to apply it to the nail bed and surrounding skin once every day. Every application will develop a protective coating for your nail. On the seventh day of applying the nail polish, you need to remove the said layers using an alcohol-soaked cotton swab.

  • Loprox. This is a prescription topical solution that is also recommended by doctors for white spots on your nails. Simply follow its application regularly for results. Normally, it is used on the affected area two times every day for 14 days.
  • Diflucan or Lamisil. The remedies are considered to be anti-fungal solutions that are taken orally. In order to obtain considerable results, the medications must be consumed for several months. You may have to take the medication longer if you have fungal infection other than the white spots.
  • Prescription Supplements. If your physician believes that your toenail’s white spots may be due to lack of nutrients, you may be provided supplements, such as for normal levels of zinc and calcium.

Home Remedies

  • Baking Soda. In order to use this natural solution, you need to mix four cups of hot water, a quarter cup of peroxide, one-half-cup of baking soda, and one-half-cup of Epsom salt. After combining the ingredients, you should add a quarter cup of vinegar.

Apply the resulting solution onto the affected areas. Afterward, you must use a bandage or cloth to cover up the treatment area. You need to repeat the process for four weeks.

  • Tea Tree Oil. The essential oil will certainly be on the list as well due to its strong antiseptic compounds. It can make white spots on your nails disappear. You basically need a few drops of it and an equal amount of thyme or olive oil.

After diluting the essential oil, you may apply on the affected nails. Let the remedy sit in for around 10 to 15 minutes. It may also work to get rid of your toenail infections.

  • Vinegar. You may simply use vinegar to remove the white spots of your toenails. You simply have to dip the affected toenails in the solution, particularly diluted with water. The soak will take about 20 to 30 minutes.

You may use the same solution for three days. Simply make sure that the mixture is clean.

  • Vicks VapoRub. The magic of the product never fades since many patients still attest the effectiveness of the solution in clearing white spots. To use it, apply it on the affected toenails, preferably with a cotton swab.
  • Coconut Oil. The natural remedy for toenail fungus may also be effective in getting rid of white marks on your toenails. It has natural fungicides and other helpful compounds that can promote cell recovery in your nails.

Applying it is easy since you only have to rub it onto the affected part of the toenails. Let it absorb and dry naturally. Its use should be repeated two to three times every day.

Tips to Prevent White Spots on Toenails

There is nothing more favorable than preventing the condition than treating it. If you do not want to suffer from the unlikely appearance of white spots on your toenails, you may follow the given steps:

  • Wear protective sandals or shoes, especially when going to public areas like gyms, swimming pools, and public showers.
  • Do not share socks or shoes with others who had toenail fungus.
  • Use orthotics to reduce pressure on your feet.
  • Clean and wash your feet regularly.
  • Avoid keeping your feet wet and exposed to moisture.
  • Prevent wearing nail polish on the toes.
  • Trim and cut your nails short regularly.

Given the aforementioned details about having white spots on toes, you will find it easier to prevent or handle the condition. If you think the problem is recurring, there is nothing better than consulting a doctor right away. Otherwise, use the home remedies and wait for results.

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