Having chalky white toes would be very embarrassing, especially if you are wearing open shoes, which is what everybody is into these days. They are noticeable, unsightly, and ugly. The problem might not seem serious to you, but you will know how to get rid of white chalky toenails permanently in this article.
The two major things that cause white chalky toenails are keratin and moisture. Because without moisture, nails will become brittle and crack. Then when it gets wet, the moisture makes the nail flake off (white chalky toenails). The best solution to get rid of white chalky toenails is simply moisturizing your nails.
In this article, I will discuss the causes of white chalky toenails and how to get rid of them.
What Causes White Chalky Toenails?
White chalky toenails can be a sign of many things, but fortunately, they are not always serious most of the time. Several different things can cause white chalky toenails, and each case will be unique, but there is one thing in common, and that is something you can do about it. This detailed list will help to find the cause of your white toenails and solve it if necessary.
1. Leaving Nail Polish On For Too Long
Suppose you use nail polish remover very frequently or leave your nail polish on for a very long time or constantly expose your nails to harsh or drying chemicals like cleaning products. In that case, your nails can become dehydrated, leading to keratin granules. The granules clump together and appear white and chalky on the nail surface.
It can sometimes be tricky to tell what the real problem is from the similarity in the appearance of the granules to fungal nail infections. However, using a medical sliver or splinter, your doctor can give you the proper diagnosis and get rid of the keratin granules in one appointment, and the result will be instant.
2. Fungal Nail Infection
Nails are composed of keratin, and that’s what fungus feeds on when it takes hold of your toenails. This can cause changes to the nail appearance, such as white spots, streaks, and patches.
Fungal nail infections are of different types and severities. Some may deform the nail’s appearance in a way that it becomes white or yellow, flaky, and crumbly, while some may cause your nail to peel away from the underlying nail bed. When the nail is disconnected from the nail bed, it will change from normal pink color and appear white.
3. Nail Matrix Damage
The damage may be from something dropping on your foot, someone standing on your toe, or even wearing shoes that are tight in such a way that your nails repeatedly hit against the end of the shoe and are pushed back upon.
Apart from the appearance of the spot, it does not cause any harmful symptoms and is not dangerous. There are other changes in the appearance that the damage to your toenails can cause, such as deformation in their shape, thickness, and how they grow.
4. Psoriasis of the Nails
Psoriasis of the nail is often mistaken for fungal nail infection and vice versa, but this disease primarily affects the nail matrix at the nail base.
Although the disease process behind psoriasis of the nail is not well understood, it can indeed affect anyone at any age. This disease that affects the toenails can cause white, scaly accumulation of material on the nail surface, nail separation from the nail bed, improved nail speed growth with subsequent damage, and a host of other nail changes.
When all these affect the nail appearance, white patches are often a result.
5. Calcium Deficiency?
Although there are stories about white spots meaning a calcium deficiency, research shows that it is very uncommon, though possible.
Calcium and even zinc deficiencies may cause white spots on the nails, even though they should on no occasion be the first suspects. Malnutrition and low blood pressure are other rare causes of white spots, as are medical conditions and diseases like poisoning, heart disease, kidney failure, chemotherapy, eczema, and more.
How To Get Rid Of White Chalky Toenails
The first thing you should do is soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salt. Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfates which will help increase blood flow. This will help bring blood flow to your toenails. The second thing you should do is massage the nail with vitamin E oil for several minutes and then wrap it in a bandage overnight.
The oil will help moisturize your skin and make the nail softer. The third thing you should do is drink plenty of water. This will also help bring blood flow to your nails. Just remember to talk to a doctor before trying any of these methods for improving your circulation.
To prevent your nails from getting white and chalky, it’s best to avoid breaks from nail polish, nail polish remover, and chemicals such as cleaning products. In addition to this, use hand creams and moisturizers to rehydrate the skin around your nails.
White Chalky Toenails Home Remedy
1. Vicks Vapo Rub
This is a topical originally designed for suppressing cough, but its active ingredients (camphor and eucalyptus oil) can help treat toenail fungus. Just apply a small amount to the affected area at least once a day.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Also known as Melaleuca, this is an essential oil with antiseptic and antifungal abilities. According to some small-scale clinical studies, it might be effective against toenail fungus. Just paint the tree tea oil onto the affected nail directly with a cotton swab two times daily.
3. Oregano oil
According to a review, this oil contains thymol, which has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Apply oregano oil with a cotton swab to the affected nail twice daily.
Some people tend to use oregano oil and tree oil together, but this may cause allergic reactions or irritation as both products are very potent, and combining them may increase the risk.
4. Olive Leaf Extract
Oleuropein is an active substance in olive leaf extract that is believed to have antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and immune-boosting abilities. Olive leaf salve can be applied to nail fungus directly or ingested in capsule form.
You can also take one or three capsules with meals two times a day for more effective treatment, and it is recommended that you drink plenty of water throughout the entire treatment period.
5. Listerine Mouthwash
Ingredients with anti-fungal and antibacterial properties such as menthol, thymol, and eucalyptus are present in Listerine mouthwash. And this may be the reason for is a popular remedy for treating toenail fungus.
It is recommended that you soak the affected foot in a basin or bowl of Listerine for about thirty minutes daily.
How To Prevent White Toenails
- Wash and dry your feet thoroughly before putting on your socks and shoes.
- To protect the delicate tissue under the nail, clip your toenails straight across in such a way that the nail doesn’t extend past the tip of the toe.
- Always wear shoes that fit properly to allow your feet to breathe.
- Change your socks to a dry pair as soon as you notice that your feet have become damp.
- Spray your shoes with an antifungal product. Because your shoe is a great habitat for fungus to flourish.
- In public places such as around pools and in locker rooms where other people walk barefoot, wear shower shoes.
- Clean your nail clippers and other pedicure tools thoroughly between uses.
Good toenail hygiene and maintenance are critical factors in keeping your toes healthy and looking their best. You just have to find your way to get rid of it. While the causes of white chalky toenails could be many, in this post, we have narrowed down the possible causes and listed several home remedies that are easy enough for anyone to do to cure white chalky toenails.
1. White Chalky Patches on Toenails: Fungus or Dehydrated Nails? -Jennifer Moller MS, PA-C
2. Removed Your Toenail Polish and Have White Chalky Patches?