Have you ever looked at your toenails and noticed that they just don't look healthy? They used to be clear, now they look opaque, thickened, and have a white surface. 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 trauma to our toenails, the fungus can infect the toenail, which causes the nail to become thickened and discolored. Fungal toenails can be managed in a variety of ways. Topical medication, such as Clarus, are suitable for mild and moderate toenail infections. Oral medication, such as Lamisil, and the new laser treatment are suitable for moderate to severe infections. As the fungus resolves, the white surface of the toenail should clear as well. Your Houston podiatrist will be able to advise you about the best treatment for your fungal toenails.
Fungus is not the only cause of a discolored toenail. Trauma can also cause the nail to become discolored, deformed, and thickened. Depending on where on the toenail is injuried, will determine how it effects the toenail. If the trauma is to the nail itself, often resulting in bleeding beneath the toenail, the discoloration 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 persistant 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 appearance 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 Enriched Nail Polish, that does not contain these chemicals is the best of both worlds. It allows women to wear a stylish polish without damaging the toenails. The polish even had vitamins and natural antifungals to keep the nails even healthier.
Don't let a white, discolored toenail go unchecked. Visit Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider to learn what treatment is best for you. You can also stop by our office for Dr's Remedy nail polish. If you live outside the Houston area, you can order Dr's Remedy Nail Polish online.
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