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Keratin accumulation under the toenails

Keratin is a type of protein that can be found in the hair, nail and the outer layer of the skin and also helps the nail become strong and hard. Accumulation of keratin under the toenail makes the nail discolored, distorted and brittle.

Accumulation of keratin can happen in fingernail and toenail. Keratin is a hard material that can become soft under the nail when comes in contact with moisture. Keratin is also a part of the nail known as the nail plate which is made of many layers of dead and flattened skin cells which has large amounts of keratin. Due to excess accumulation of keratin, the nail can be separated from the nail bed. Sometimes, white keratin spots found under the toenail can develop due to deficiency in nutrition and some diseases of the nail such as onycholysis. A traumatic injury to the nail can cause the accumulation and it can be minimized by preventing fungal infection or trauma to the nails.

Common causes of keratin build up under toenails

  • Fungal infection in toenail which destroys the keratin found in the nail. The debris of keratin will form under the nail that cannot be detected until the nail becomes discolored and separated from the nail bed.
  • Trauma to the toenail or some conditions such as thyroid disease, lichen planus, side effects of some medications and chemicals can cause damage to the nail and eventually lead to the accumulation of keratin beneath the nail.

Accumulation of keratin debris under the nails causes tiny bits of discoloration that can be seen under the nail, usually around the edges. The debris can be white or yellow; the nail becomes thick and colored yellow and begins to separate from the nail bed.

Keratin

Trauma to the toenail or some conditions such as thyroid disease, lichen planus, side effects of some medications and chemicals can cause damage to the nail and eventually lead to the accumulation of keratin beneath the nail.

Treatment and home remedies of keratin build up under toenails

  • Apply a prescribed topical cream on the affected area helps in eliminating fungus in the nail. After a few applications, the debris is soft and easy to remove by gently scraping it using a manicure tool.
  • In a bucket of warm water, add a few drops of apple cider vinegar to it and then place the foot in the bucket for at least 10 minutes. Dry the foot using a hair dryer once it is out of the water. Apple cider vinegar is helpful when dealing with fungal infections. Perform the procedure every day for a week to effectively eliminate the germs.
  • Crush 5-6 cloves of garlic extract and place it on the affected toenails. Another option is to consume 1-2 cloves of raw garlic at least three times every day. Garlic possesses antifungal properties that helps deal with the accumulation of keratin under the toenails.

Tips and prevention

The accumulation of keratin debris can be prevented by keeping the fingers and toes properly cleaned and washed on a daily basis. Dirt should be removed under the nails and regularly trimmed and clipped.

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