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Understanding Keratin Granulations: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

 If you've ever noticed small, white, rough bumps on your toenails, you might have keratin granulations. Although it's a common condition, many people mistake it for toenail fungus. In this blog post, we'll explore the difference between keratin granulations and fungus, the causes and effective treatments to manage the condition.


keratin granulations

Keratin Granulations: Causes

Keratin granulations are caused by the removal of natural oils from the toenails, which makes them dry and brittle. This is often due to prolonged exposure to moisture, such as from sweaty shoes or walking barefoot in damp areas.

Some common causes include:

  • Prolonged exposure to moisture
  • Wearing tight shoes or socks
  • Walking barefoot in public areas like swimming pools, gyms, or locker rooms
  • Using harsh nail products or chemicals


Keratin Granulations: What Are They?

They are small, white, rough patches that develop on toenails due to prolonged exposure to moisture. They are caused by the removal of natural oils from the nails, which makes them dry and brittle.

Lesions are not a serious condition, but they can be unsightly and uncomfortable. They are often mistaken for toenail fungus, which is a more severe condition that requires different treatment.

Keratin Granulations vs Fungus

Keratin granulations are often mistaken for toenail fungus, but they are different conditions with distinct causes and symptoms. While keratin granulations are caused by exposure to moisture, toenail fungus is caused by a fungal infection that affects the nail bed.

keratin granulations toenails

Toenail fungus is typically characterized by thick, discolored, and brittle nails, while keratin granulations appear as small, white patches on the nails. In addition, toenail fungus can spread to other nails and cause pain and discomfort.


The treatment involves keeping the toenails dry and healthy. This can be achieved by taking the following steps:

  • Wear breathable shoes and socks
  • Avoid walking barefoot in damp areas
  • Keep toenails clean and dry
  • Use a moisturizer to prevent nail dryness
  • Avoid using harsh nail products or chemicals
  • Use a nail buffer to smooth out the rough patches


Keratin Granulations Home Remedy

There are several home remedies that can help manage this problem. These include:

  • Soaking the feet in warm water with Epsom salt
  • Applying tea tree oil to the affected area
  • Using apple cider vinegar as a natural antifungal agent
  • Applying a mixture of baking soda and water to the nails
  • Rubbing Vicks VapoRub on the nails

While these home remedies may provide relief, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional to ensure they are safe and effective for your specific condition.

Should You Polish Toenails with Fungal Infection or Keratin Granulations?

If you have toenail fungus, polishing your nails is not recommended as it can trap moisture and exacerbate the condition. However, if you have keratin granulations, it's safe to polish your nails as long as you use non-toxic, breathable nail polish.

It's also essential to keep in mind that nail polish should not be used as a treatment for keratin granulations or toenail fungus. Proper nail care and medical treatment are necessary to manage these conditions effectively.

Keratin Granulations on Toenails Treatment

The treatment for keratin granulations on toenails involves proper nail care and medical treatment. In addition to the steps mentioned above, healthcare professionals may recommend the following treatments:

  • Prescription antifungal medication
  • Topical antifungal cream
  • Debridement or removal of the affected nail


Keratin granulations are a common condition that can affect toenails due to prolonged exposure to moisture. Although often mistaken for toenail fungus, keratin granulations are a different condition with distinct causes and symptoms.



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