Nails are made up of keratin, a protein material which is also present in hair. Besides, having a cosmetic value, nails are important for protecting the delicate tips of finger and toes. In its natural form, nails are clear. If you are having white spots on nails or white nails it may be not always be a cause of worry, especially if your health is normal. However, sometime white nails can be an indication of disease too.
A normal healthy nail is colorless. You may observe a half moon shaped white discoloration around the nail bed.
If in any case, when such discoloration of nails is seen without any significant health issue it can be considered as normal. Having said this, it is also necessary to know the reasons for white nails and diseases and conditions which can cause it.
What Are The Causes Of White Nails Disease?
- Fungus infection: fungus infection of nail is very common. Anyone can suffer from it. In most cases it affects the toe nails, but sometime fungus can also invade the finger nails. In the beginning the nail appears rough with few white spots, but after few days the whole nail is affected and become white or light yellow. The nail becomes thick and distorted and brittle. Fungus invades nails through nail cracks. People wearing tight shoes, walking bare foot on public swimming pool floors and public bathrooms are vulnerable for nail fungus infection.
- Disease conditions: skin disease such as vitiligo, chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis of liver and chronic kidney disease can also change the color of nail.
- Injury: injury to the nails can change the color of nails to white or yellow. The nail may not become white soon after injury; it may take time for discoloration. Usually white spots on nails may occur due to minor injury and not serious nail trauma.
- Drugs and chemicals: exposure to certain drugs and chemicals can cause whitening of nails. Arsenic poisoning can also cause white discoloration of nails. It occurs after long period of time. Drugs used for chemotherapy are also known to cause white discoloration of nails.
Home Remedies For White Nails
- If the nail turns white due to trauma, you should not worry as it is not permanent. The new nail which will grow will be colorless.
- If white nails are due to fungus, it has to be dealt with as soon as possible so that it does not spread to other nails.
- Tea tree oil is supposed to be an effective anti fungal home remedy for nail fungus. Apply it directly on the nail and let it remain for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub the area after that so that the fungus on the top layer of nail is removed. You have to apply it for few weeks regularly in order to get proper result.
- Use of vinegar is another useful home remedy for eradicating fungus infection from nails. Soak your nails in a solution prepared by mixing warm water and apple cider vinegar. Then dry your nails with a clean cloth.
- Apply rubbing alcohol on the affected nail. It is also a time tested home remedy for nail fungus infection. Few weeks after the application, there is gradual change of color of nails.
- Once the exposure of chemicals is removed or when the chemotherapy cycle is over the white portion of nail will gradually become colorless and normal. The change is observed in new nail that grows.