Nail fungus (leukonychia in medical parlance) is characterized by white spots on nails.
White spots on nails can be caused by several factors, the common ones being:
- Infection of a fungus called dermatophytes.
- Yeast or mold infection
- Defective keratinization ( the metabolic process by which nails are formed)
- Allergic reaction to certain nail polish
- Injuries resulting from biting or picking the nails or some other injuries
- Trapping of air in nail beds.
- Zinc deficiency in the body
Depending upon the proper diagnosis of causes, suitable home remedies for white spots on nails is prescribed. However fungal infection is the most common cause of white spots on nails. Some causes may not even need any direct intervention and the spots may disappear on their own, over a period of time.
These fungus flourish in damp areas. If not treated without delay, these have the tendency to spread and may result in other infections like cellutis.
Symptoms of nail fungus include white spots on nails, which over the time turns nails brittle and distorted. The bed of the nails breaks over a period of time causing pain and resulting in onycholysis.
Nail fungus can be of several types. The most common variety of nail fungus is Leukonychia punctata which is characterized by small white spots on the nails. Another common variant is transverse leukonychia, which is characterized by appearance of parallel white areas on the nails. Leukonychia totalis marked by total discoloration is a third variety of nail disease that is a serious condition resulting from arsenic poisoning, kidney or lever failure and needs immediate medical attention.
Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide promotes regeneration of cells and nail tissues. It can be applied using cotton swabs, twice day on the affected areas for treatment of nail fungus and to get rid of white spots on nails.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has vital anti-fungal attributes which make it an effective nail/ toe nail fungus. Coconut oil must be applied locally on the affected areas thrice a day helps to get rid of white spots on nails. In addition to their anti-fungal properties, oil also prevents the contact of nails with moisture thus inhibiting the growth of fungus.
Lemon: Lemon has strong antibiotic properties which are beneficial in curing fungal infection and strengthening the ravished cells. Soaking nails in a mixture prepared by mixing lemon extract and iodine in equal amounts is very effe3ctive in treatment of fungal and to get rid of white spots on nails.
Garlic: Garlic possesses potent antifungal properties. Garlic paste can be applied to the infected nails and left over before it is washed and dried with clothes.
Lavender oil: Applying Lavender oil on the affected nails is an effective home cure for nail fungus. Lavender oil has antifungal attributes which prevent further growth on fungi. It also adds a protective layer on the nails, which protects nails from moisture.
Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is known for its anti-fungal properties. Applying tea tree oil locally on the affected nails is very effective in curbing the growth of fungus in nails. Tea tree oil is one of the best natural home remedies for nail fungus.
Vinegar: Vinegar is a very strong anti-fungal lotion. The nails can be cleaned by soaking cotton in vinegar once a day to inhibit the growth of nail fungus.
Decolorized Iodine: Decolorized iodine is very effective in treatment of fungus related white spots on nail. The lotion should be applied twice a day, topically on the affected areas, for effective results.
Lemon grass: (Cymbopogon citrates)Lemon grass is a powerful anti-fungal herb. It also stimulates growth and regeneration of fresh cells in the nails and is very effective in treatment of nail/toenail fungal infection.
Yoghurt: Yogurt contains Lactobacillus acidophilus which is effective in curing toe nail fungus, especially if the infection is caused by mold or yeast infection. Yoghurt can be topically applied on the nails and left to dry for around 20 minutes before being washed. The nails should be dried thoroughly after the wash.
Oregano oil: Oregano Oil has strong anti fungal attributes which is very effective natural cure for nail/toenail fungus. The oil must be applied twice a day on the affected part for best results.
Thyme: Thyme is an effective antitoxic herb. Thyme helps eliminate nutritional disparities from the body and inhibit abnormal development of fungi. Thyme is a very effective herbal remedy to naturally cure nail fungal infection.
Cinnamon Oil: Cinnamon oil has anti-fungal properties that are beneficial in cure of fungal infection of nails. Cinnamon oil can be applied locally on the affected areas for arresting the growth of fungus.
Food rich in Zinc: White spots on nails can sometime be attributed to zinc deficiency. food rich in Zinc like Mutton,beef, oysters, sesame seeds, roasted Pumpkin seeds, dried watermelon seeds, roasted squash Seeds, dark chocolate and peanuts can be taken in moderate quantities to address this deficiency. Overeating of zinc rich foods can lead to hair loss and increase in body toxicity, so moderation is suggested.
Dos and Don’ts
- Keep your nails clean and damp free
- Drink cranberry juice to cleanse toxic elements from the body.
- Diet should be rich in vegetables and fruits to boost body immunity.
- Drink lots of water.
- If white spots increase or spread over time, consult a doctor for detailed diagnosis.
- If white spots are a result of trapped air, it is better to leave it to disappear on its own.
- Avoid use of nail colors and polishes.
- Avoid consumption of white sugar as it perpetrates the growth of fungus.
- Avoid prolonged contact with moisture as promotes growth of fungus.
- Do not get panicky in case of small white spots – most of them are relatively harmless and disappear of their own accord in around 8 months time.