There's only one healthy reason for white chalky toenails. You bake bread with your feet and flour dusts your toes.
(Unless you're gluten-intolerant and I'm not going down that rabbit hole)
Anyway, before you sprint off for the calcium tablets, take a breather...
White Chalky Toenails
Like any health query you google, there's a hail of explanations for pale 'n' dotted toenails.
Now, you could have psoriasis, a mineral deficiency or any number of other curious causes.
But truly, it's best to work from what's most common. And those ^^^ aren't.
When it comes to milky dots 'n' spots on your toenails, the answers are (usually) far more boring.
Glue, Yeast and Trauma
The cases I see are typically from shellac damage, shoe corruption and fungus.
What unites all of the above? They look alike.
Where they're different is their cause (and thus. treatment)
In fact, the toughest part is working out exactly what's causing the issue.
Good news about this though: it's a case of letting time pass.
So let's take a look at the three most common causes of white chalky toenails.
1. Shellac: So Durable it Hurts
I often lay awake at night wondering if shellac was a military invention. Like superglue and duct tape, it's durable as hell.
And this is part of the problem.
Not only can the vivid plastic melt your top toenail layer off; it smothers them of oxygen.
So if your naked toenails (or fingernails) are a fetching shade of chalky, think back.
Had any recent gel polish applications? Even worse, have they been back-to-back, gel on gel?
Low UV = High Shine
If so, leave Mother Nature to do her thing. This means no visits to the light box for at least a month.
In other words, heal and let allow your nails to breathe awhile.
They'll smooth up and shine up. Fast.
While we're at it, avoid any solutions with tea-tree oil for thirsty nails. Believe it or not, it turns into something similar to bleach when applied to toenails.
But, if you haven't worn gel polish, then we could be looking at something contagious.
2. Fungal Feast
Ah, fungal infections, that notorious source of white chalky toenails.
It comes from athlete's foot spores Micro-dust makes its way up and settles in to dine on your keratin.
To put it mildly, the fungus eats your toenails like a time-lapse corn cob.
(Fun fact: fingernails are fungal-resistant)
Now, there's good and bad news about this yeast invader...
The good: pearly spots mean it's early stage. You can treat it without tablets.
The bad: it won't go on its own.
Pearly White Problem
I've been known to argue in bars why fungal nail infections are such a glittering success.
One day you've got white chalky toenails; the next they're yellow, cracked and brown.
A big reason is that it seems so impotent. Unlike foot corns, there's no pain and it doesn't affect your shoe choice.
(It's also simple to cover with shellac)
Your biggest giveaway it's still there after a long break from the nail technician.
3. Toenail Trauma - When Shoes Strike Back
"Toenail trauma" — it sounds so dramatic when you say it out loud.
But bear in mind, this spans a lot. From cold anvils dropped on your warm toes to painless shoe rub.
But as the old saying goes: trauma is trauma.
Countless knocks from the tops of your shoes damage your top nail layer. It pits and splits so, raw and exposed, your toenails turn chalky and pale.
Use Your Fingers (to Finger Nails)
Remember: chalky white toenail trauma looks almost identical to gel and fungus debasement.
To differentiate, have a good feel for any ridges, bumps or general unevenness.
Pay close attention to obvious chalky spots.
(Because trampled toenails adapt to the assault and grow thick as protection)
White Chalky Toenails: Home Remedy
White chalky toenails out of the blue. Or perhaps they've annoyed you for ages.
Anyways, you can home-remedy.
For gel-polish shellac damage steer away from the fluorescent gel. Yep, that mean no shellac for a few months.
You need to stop early-stage fungal nail infections now, before they dig deeper.
Toenail trauma comes from the shoes you wear the most.
Now, this doesn't mean wearing clown shoes — but consider something more spacious.
To speed up recovery from all three conditions, I use Gehwol Nail Care for my patients.
(When you put it on it soaks through the nail like magic)