How to Remove White Spots on the Toenails

Is this fungus? How did this happen to my toenail? How can I treat it? Is it permanent? Can it be prevented?

The answers to these questions and more coming up!

Greetings and welcome back!

If you are one of many nail gals who love to get their toenails done relatively often but also leave your polish on your toenails for more than 3 weeks because, hello, polish on toenails lasts like 5 times longer… then you may very well be familiar with this unsightly striation on the toenails.

So, is it fungus?

Let me put your mind at ease. If all you see is this on your toenails, as unsightly as this is, it is not fungus.

The striation on the nails is basically flaking of the nail layers. 

The easiest, most effective way to remove white spots from the nails after removing your polish is to use an efile with a ceramic bit.

I really like this handheld, portable and re-chargeable efile, just for a quick job at home. They also sell ceramic bits. I recommend a fine or medium grit with light pressure. (For 12% off site-wide, you can use code PPN10K).

Be really careful not to over-thin the nails!

How did this happen? 

This type of damage to the nail is widespread. Yet the damage to the nail is actually very superficial and nothing to be worried about.

This superficial damage to the toenail usually results from excessively buffing the nail and applying a very acidic product to it. 

This is my toenail, and I buffed it and used a cheap poly gel product to test, and this happened. Ugh.

But most often than not, having dealt with many a set of feet in the salon, it is due to clients leaving the same nail polish on the toenails for well over 3 weeks. 

It was especially noticeable in those clients that kept their polish on for longer than 5 weeks.

That’s right. If the nail polish is not refreshed ( Removed and reapplied) every 3 weeks, there is a good chance of this happening on your toenails. My clients were clearly able to see and test this theory. 

Because I especially couldn’t expect my clients to come in every 3 weeks for a Pedi. I simply asked them to remove their nail polish at home after 3 weeks to avoid discoloration and this flaking. 

This can also happen on your fingernails, but it is less commonly caused by polish and more than likely caused by pulling off products from the nails, like gels and acrylics.

Can this be treated? and how soon can the nail recover?

The best way to get rid of this is to use a ceramic bit in a vertical direction and begin removing it with very minimal pressure.

You can scrape it off but sealing the nail with a ceramic bit guarantees no re-emerging the flaking in my client’s next visit. If you just buff off with a square buffer or sponge buffer, you will be etching the nail, and it will return. 

If you want to just DIY repair at home, you will have to seal the nail with a 2-way shining buffer. You may find either Walgreens or CVS to have a multi-way buffer.

You can also avoid this from happening by using gel color on the toenails. Leaving gel color on the toenails past 3 weeks did not cause that striation damage to my clients, especially when the gel color was removed with an efile.

Is this damage permanent?

No, the damage you removed should not return significantly if you sealed the nail with a ceramic bit or 2-way shining buffer. 

How to prevent this damage from recurring?

Be gentle to your toenails by not buffing or allowing your tech to buff your nails with gritty buffers or sanding bands. Remove or refresh the nail polish every 3 weeks.

Questions? Comment Below!


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