Everyone wants healthy and shiny-looking toenails. But, some individuals experience yellow, brittle, dull, or even purple toes. Do you know what causes yellow toenails?
You can treat yellow toenails at home with essential skin care tips and home remedies.
However, it could also indicate the presence of a more serious medical issue that necessitates medical attention. Hence, you should not overlook it.
This article will cover some of the most obvious causes that lead to yellow toenails. Along with this, we will discuss some reasons and prevention methods.
Why Are My Toenails Yellow?
Yellow toenails are caused by applying nail paints and not maintaining proper feet hygiene. Sometimes, yellow toenails are an indication of a more serious underlying condition.
Causes of Yellow Toenails
- Fungal Infection
Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is the most common problem that leads to yellowish discoloration in toenails.
Over-the-counter remedies for toenail fungus are ineffective and generally take several months of prescription treatment. Also, some medicated nail polishes are recommended to eliminate fungus.
The majority of people have yellow toenails and fingernails as a typical result of aging.
In the process, the color, shape, and strength of your nails tend to change as you get older. Besides, as people grow older, their nails look more yellow, which is not a medical problem.
- Nail Polish
If you paint your nails frequently with warm shade nail lacquers, your nails may become discolored due to the polish. This is because nail paints contain harsh chemicals.
Therefore, it is crucial to take a break from painting your toenails to eliminate the yellowness.
- Yellow Nail Syndrome
Yellow nail syndrome is a rare disease that affects the nails and the respiratory and lymphatic systems. Although the disease can be inherited, it usually strikes people over 55-60 years.
It can lead to yellow nails, thickening your nails, and making your cuticles weak over time.
Yellowing of toenails is one of the symptoms of diabetes. It happens in a few cases as it weakens your immune system. By this, you are more vulnerable to infection.
However, more often than not, this is due to sugar breakdown. This is how it affects collagen (a protein in your nail tissue).
- Underlying Medical Condition
Yellow nails can be caused by various medical conditions, including bronchiectasis, jaundice, psoriasis, diabetes, tuberculosis, and thyroid.
Not only this, specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies can result in yellow and brittle nails.
If no proper diagnosis and treatment are considered, yellow nails may gradually impact your immune system. Thus, it would make you more prone to infection.
Prevention Methods of Yellow Toenails
Below are some tips by which you can prevent toenail fungus and yellow toenails.
- For boosting healthy growth patterns and preventing ingrown toenails, cut them short, straight, and slightly rounded at the tips.
- Soak them in warm salt water with some hydrogen peroxide. Keep it for fifteen to twenty minutes to make them clean and disinfect.
- To avoid fungus, wear flip-flops at the pool, public showers, and places with warm and damp surfaces.
- Make sure your shoes are comfortable and breathable for easy airflow.
- Don’t delay in contacting a dermatologist or podiatrist if you notice any signs of fungus or infection around the toenail region.
Remedies for Yellow Toenails
- Tea Tree Oil
The antiseptic and antifungal properties of tea tree oil help heal infection, which helps regain the charm.
For this, apply a few drops of tea tree oil to the nails and massage in a circular direction. Moreover, you can mix tea tree oil with olive oil and dab it onto the affected nail.
- Rubbing Lemon
Lemons have astringent properties that act as a bleaching agent. Lemon may help in repairing the yellow toenail symptoms and adds shine.
Soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes in lemon juice and brush your nails gently. At last, apply some lotion and wear socks once you rinse your feet with warm water.
- Oregano Oil
All of the natural components in oregano oil have antifungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties that add luster to dull nails.
The oregano oil is an excellent option for treating yellowness in nails. Also, apply two drops of oregano oil to one teaspoon of olive oil to the toenail directly. Massage the oregano oil for some time and let it stay.
- Hydrogen Peroxide
You can remove yellow stains from your nails with a three percent hydrogen peroxide solution. You can combine this with three to four tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and 12 cups of water.
Soak your nails in warm water for 5 to 7 minutes and gently scrub them. Rinse and repeat once a week until you see the difference in your toenails.
- Listerine Mouthwash
Listerine mouthwash contains antifungal ingredients, including eucalyptol, menthol, and thymol. Moreover, these ingredients will help in targeting the discoloration of the toenails.
For one week, soak toenails in Listerine for 20 minutes each day.
- Vicks Vapor Rub
Vicks helps you with a stuffy nose or a lingering cough for ages. Moreover, you can also use it to treat fungal nail infections.
Once a day, apply a small amount of this greasy ointment to the nail bed. Furthermore, you can even apply it near the cuticle, or wherever there is discoloration.
When to see a Doctor?
If the following condition persists, see a dermatologist or a podiatrist at the earliest.
- You are experiencing pain in or around your toenails.
- Using at-home treatments for a month or two, you still have not seen a better appearance of your toenails.
- You are experiencing breakouts, drainage, or redness around your nails.
- You have health issues including diabetes, psoriasis, thyroid disease, lung problems.
The Bottom Line
Yellow toenails signify that something is wrong or deficient in your body. Yellow toenails can result from nail polish or the natural aging process.
However, you should always check your nails for any changes regularly.
The most common cause of yellow toenails is a treatable fungal infection. If your nails are turning yellow, you should see your doctor.
If you have any other concerns, such as a change in shape or thickness, bleeding, discharge, pain, or swelling, take medication.
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