Health Effects And Treatment Options For Yellow Toenails

Yellow toenails

Yellow toenail is one of the nail conditions caused by factors like fungal infection, age factor, lack of cleanliness, and medical conditions. Mostly, you can treat it with simple home remedies.

People usually believe that nail color and appearance have something to do with their health condition. They panic when they notice changes in their nail color or texture. If you ever come across this situation, read this to know all the things related to yellow toenails.

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Why Do Your Toenails Turn Yellow?

Your toenails may turn yellow for various reasons. Some trigger points may be natural and predictable; others may be serious health conditions. Understanding the causes is helpful and important to treat them with the right methods and diagnose the health issues at the initial stage. 

As we age, we can expect more changes in our internal and external organs. Skin dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles are some skin changes. Like that, our nails also undergo changes like nail breakage, splits, and color changes.

When you walk barefoot, the fungi and other germs in the ground, dirty mats, and other surfaces enter your nails through breakages and wounds. It may lead to a fungal infection called onychomycosis and eventually yellow toenails.

Sometimes, your nail polishes can also be the reason for this yellow color. We all love to try different colors and different nail shades. Some dark colors like red, maroon, or orange may leave a yellowish coating on our nails. It will become more visible when the nail polish layer peels off or once we remove it with remover liquid.

Yellow nails can be the tell-tale sign that reveals the secret that you are a smoker. How are smoking habits and nail color connected? The chemicals in smoke deposit over your nails and turn them yellow. These chemicals also block blood and oxygen supply to your nails. This can also be a reason for this color change.

If you have the habit of visiting a spa for a manicure and pedicure, this section is for you. When your nail technician uses the same tools for different customers without proper cleaning or sterilization, those tools spread the germs from one person to another, causing infections.

Sometimes, your body gives you hints about some serious health conditions through these yellow toenails. It can be anything from the following list.

  • Jaundice, a medical condition, turns your nail, skin, eye, and mouth yellow. 
  • Yellow, thickened, curved nails may indicate Yellow Nail Symptoms, a sign of respiratory issues.
  • Yellow at the nail tip can be a symptom of nail psoriasis.
  • Yellow nails, bleeding, color changes in the nail bed, and inflammation may indicate sarcoidosis.
  • Diseases like diabetes may also turn your nails yellow. Diabetes patients may get frequent fungal infections. This infection also turns their nail yellow.
  • Thyroid variations may create imperfections in the nail’s shape, color, and structure.
  • Paronychia, a nail infection, may create some abnormalities in your nail shape and color.

How Can You Deal With Yellow Toenails?

You can deal with this issue easily by avoiding the causes and analyzing the symptoms at its early stage. You have two choices to treat yellow toenails. One is relying on simple home remedies; the next one is consulting your doctor to get proper treatment.

Whatever, the right treatment at the right time saves you from serious complications.

Simple Remedies To Fix Yellow Toenails

Before booking an appointment with your doctor, try these simple, harmless home remedies. These are capable of giving better results in less time.

  1. Taking a break from nail polish can give you visible results for some time. It gives a relaxing time for your nail to breathe and protects it from chemical exposure. But you cannot expect a long-lasting result with this method. Your nail color may turn yellow once you apply the nail color again.
  1. Rubbing a half piece of lemon on your nail for 30 to 50 seconds is another remedy for your yellow toenail. Your nails absorb the lemon extract when you rub it on them, and the whitening properties of lemon extract turn the yellow nail into white.
  1. Soak your nails in a denture cleaner. Prepare the solution by diluting denture cleaner tablets in water. Soak your nail for at least five minutes in it. The bleaching property of this chemical is capable of removing yellow stains. You should do this at least twice a week. This process may take some time to show visible results. But you can expect a positive one.
  1. Soaking your fingers in a solution that is made of combining warm water, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda can also be a resultful remedy for this yellow stain. You have to soak your fingers in this solution for 5 to 10 minutes.
  1. Prepare a scrub by combining lemon extract and salt. First, scrub your nail and leave it on for some time; finally, wash your nails and fingers with lukewarm water to get a polished look.
  1. If fungal infection is the cause of your yellow toenail, you can try this oil treatment. Apply the combination of tea tree oil and coconut or jojoba oil on your nails. It can be a better treatment to relieve the infection.

Whichever method you follow, moisturize your skin as the final step because the direct contact between chemicals and your fingers may remove the natural oil and moisture from your skin and nails.

Tips To Prevent Yellow Toenails

  • Maintain proper nail hygiene.
  • Wash your feet with soap or mild cleansers.
  • Don’t leave your feet wet.
  • Don’t wear wet shoes or socks.
  • Don’t walk barefoot in wetlands or public places.
  • Trim your nails regularly with a nail clipper.
  • Don’t apply nail polish on the discolored or damaged nail.
  • If dark colors stain your nails, go for light colors.
  • If you find any medical condition at its initial stage, consult your doctor and treat it with oral or topical medications.

The causes of yellow toenails may vary from simple to complex. If you do not get the expected results through home treatments or have pain or swelling around your toenails, consult a podiatrist to diagnose the underlying condition and get prescribed medication.


Q: Which oil is best for treating yellow toenails from fungal infection?

A: Oregano oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, and olive oil are some choices with antifungal properties to treat yellow toenails from fungal infection.

Q: How does your podiatrist analyze the real cause of yellow toenails?

A: Your podiatrist will cut a small piece of your nail and send it to a laboratory for a thorough examination. There, they check the microscopic view of this nail to find the fungus growth or other conditions.

Q: How can you say that you have healthy nails?

A: If your nail is pinkish in color without any flaws, pain, breakages, and color changes, you can say that your nails are healthy.


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