Prevent & Treat White Spots On Your Nails

White spots or discoloration is a common issue amongst individuals of all age groups and mostly develops around the cuticle of finger nails or toe nails. When we bump our toes on a hard surface, the impact can cause minor damage to the root of the nail, leading to whitish areas that disappear when the nail grows out.

However, in some cases white discoloration or spots under nails is a result of a more serious issue. If the discoloration in your nail does not disappear, increases in size or is associated with changes in the texture of nails (like thickening, yellowing, splitting or separation from nail-bed), you should consult a healthcare professional for an evaluation.

Apart from an obvious nail injury, there are several causes of white spots on toenails listed below that should be evaluated.

  1. Improperly Fitted Footwear: Improper footwear (use of wrong size, either too big to too small) can cause extra stress or strain on the feet, including the toenails, which can cause damage that may lead to development of white spots.
  2. Fungal Nail Infection: Some people are more prone to fungal infections than others. For example, individuals who wear shoes for long periods of time, especially in hot humid environments, are prone to develop fungal infections. Toenail fungus can be picked up in damp areas such as public gyms, shower stalls or swimming pools, and can be passed among family members. Athletes and people who wear tight-fitting shoes or tight hosiery that cause trauma to the toes or keep the feet from drying out are at higher risk. The condition can also spread from one toe to another, or to other parts of the body. Other risk factors include abnormal PH level of the skin, not drying off the feet thoroughly after bathing or exercise, and a compromised immune system in someone who has been exposed to a fungus. Diabetics have an increased risk of contracting a toenail fungus because their immune system is compromised. They should have their nails cut and debrided by a podiatrist.
  3. Nutrient Deficiency: Deficiency of certain nutrients can also be associated with changes in the texture of nails, skin, and hair. White spots on toenails are typically an indication of deficiency of calcium, an essential mineral that is associated with strong bones. In addition, zinc deficiency is also associated with changes in nail and skin.
  4. Allergy: An allergy to cosmetic products like nail enamels, thinners, nail polish removers and nail hardeners can also cause white spots on toenails because of irritation due to allergens. The allergic response may be limited to nails, but can also include skin surrounding nail surfaces.

How Can I Treat White Spots on My Toenails?

There are many wonderful natural remedies that can be tried before seeking medication to treat the white posts on your nails. The results may not happen as quickly when using natural remedies, but they can be effective over time, and much less toxic to the body.

Tea Tree Oil: The most active ingredients of tea tree oil that is responsible for its anti-fungal properties are 1.8-cineole and terpinen-4-ol. In addition to hindering fungal growth, tea tree oil is also helpful in managing the growth of other microbial agents without causing any damage to nails or surrounding skin. You can use 100% tea tree oil applied topically 3 to 4 times a daily after scraping the fungal lesions.

Vinegar Soaks: The acetic acid in vinegar is responsible for its anti- fungal properties. You can prepare a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water, then soak your feet for 30 minutes once daily to help decrease the fungal or microbial growth.

Dietary Approach: An anti-fungal diet can also help reduce fungal growth in the body overall. Eliminating foods containing sugar or sweeteners, white/processed foods, dairy and anything containing yeast/gluten can be effective. There are many versions of the Candida Diet, each with different variations, and they can be very effective in eliminating fungus from the body.

How Do I Prevent Fungus From Spreading?

Because it is difficult to treat or eradicate toenail fungus, it is a good idea to try to prevent it. It helps to wear protective shoes or sandals in public showers, pool areas and gyms, and to avoid borrowing someone else’s shoes or sharing socks or towels with someone who has toenail fungus. An orthotic device can be used to add cushioning and/or control over-pronation, support the longitudinal arch, and reduce stress on the lower leg muscles. Wash your feet regularly, and dry them thoroughly when they get wet. Wearing nail polish on the toes is not advised because it can seal in fungus and allow it to grow. Keep toenails trimmed, and be sure to disinfect any pedicure tools before using them. If you do develop toenail fungus, see your foot doctor.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin!!!

One of my favorite things about Fall is the arrival of pumpkin EVERYTHING season! I love the cool weather combined with warming, nourishing and not to mention delicious pumpkin! Eating seasonally is a great way to prepare your body for the change in weather.

Pumpkins also have many great health benefits, including:

-Pumpkin is an antioxidant/anti inflammatory food so it supports joint health, organ health, stress relief and some injuries.

-Pumpkins are high in vitamin C and zinc so they help boost your immunity.

-Pumpkins are high in vitamin A so they help protect your eyes from cataracts and degeneration.

-Pumpkins are high in magnesium which is great for bone and tooth health.

-Pumpkins contain L tryptophan which can help naturally fight depression.

So this fall, enjoy some pumpkin! Add it to your chili, your smoothies, your oatmeal, pie and more!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Avoid Cold & Flu This Winter

‘Tis the season – cold & flu season. It seems the Northeast is getting hit very hard this year with all sorts of illnesses: flu, strep, stomach bug, you name it. As a certified health coach, I believe many illnesses commonly suffered can be avoided by making simple dietary changes and supplementing with natural immune support when needed. Rather than relying on pharmacies and prescriptions, I like to give my body the natural support it needs to fight off illness and feel its best. When your body is functioning optimally, it is much less likely to get sick, and if you do get sick, the duration will be much shorter.

Some of my all time favorite winter supplements include:

  • Organic Elderberry Syrup: A powerful antiviral that tastes great too! Perfect for fighting off the flu.
  • Garlic: Anti-microbial power that is great for boosting the immune system. It’s most powerful when eaten raw, so I like to chop it up and use in in dips like guacamole and hummus.
  • Young Living Thieves Essential Oil: An anti-microbial blend of essential oils that supports the immune system. I like to diffuse it to clear the air of germs, clean with it, apply it to the soles of my feet to prevent illness and it can also be taken internally as well.
  • Epsom Salt Bath: A relaxing way to pull toxins out of the body. I like to mix lavender essential oil to boost relaxation and reduce stress as well.
  • Probiotics: Replenishing your body’s “good” bacteria will help you to fight off the “bad” bacteria that cause illness. Improving the function of your gut is vital, as this is where the majority of your immune system dwells.
  • Alive Organic Vitamin C powder: Vitamin C can help reduce the duration and severity of colds. Unlike many chemically processed vitamins, this food-based supplement is easily assimilated and digested.

Of course, supplements are great to help support your body, but it is also essential that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet to keep your body feeling its best. Reducing or eliminating sugar is essential to good health. One of the reasons so many people get sick during the holidays is because of the high consumption of sugar, which compromises the immune system. I also like to suggest limiting or eliminating dairy products, as these are mucous producing, which is obviously not ideal during cold and flu season. You don’t have to live a life of total deprivation but making sure your diet and supplementation focuses on whole foods, with little processed “junk” food can really work wonders for your health! Here’s to a happy, healthy winter!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.