Do your nails look like this?
Alarming, huh? You've had a great Summer and you've just removed your nail polish (after having it on for maybe too long.... yes, we are all human) to find this! The horror! What is it? What can I do about it?
Well the good news is, it's more than likely NOT fungus! Phew :)
Your nail has become dehydrated and the white spots you see are actually called Keratin Granulations.
Nail polish can contain harsh chemicals such as acetone, which can dry out your nails leading to this appearance when your nail polish comes off. In my experience, people who have worn nail polish for an extended period are most likely to find their nails like this after their polish is removed.
What Do I Do Now?!
Don't Panic!! You can absolutely get rid of this problem - you just need a little patience. Here are your options:
- Do nothing. Your nail will grow out in time (your big toenail can take 8-12 months to completely grow out).
- Rehydrate your nail. Using a moisturiser on your nail can improve the condition over time. We stock some beautiful foot and nail moisturisers at our clinic which can make a big difference to your nails.
- Gently buff your nails with a nail buff. This can remove some of the chalky nail deposits and improve the appearance relatively quickly
DO NOT DO THIS!
Do not put another coat of nail polish on! I repeat, do not put another coat of nail polish on. You are going to make it worse!
What can a Podiatrist Do to Help Me?
Great news for all of you worrying - Podiatrists see this all the time and can help you get your nails in perfect shape again. We use a special tool that can efficiently remove the white discolouration from your nails. We can also give you advice on the best ways to manage your nails so that you don't ever have to see those concerning white spots again.
Anything Else I Need To Know?
Yes. There is a possibility that you do have a fungal infection - some fungal infections will have a white appearance - this is known as "superficial white onychomycosis" - if you have tried all of the above but you notice your nail is getting worse, that is, more white or flaky, then you should get it checked so that appropriate treatment can be recommended.
I recommend you try to only leave your nail polish on for three weeks or less! This gives your nails the best chance to stay healthy :)