Health and Fitness

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment

The shape and color of nails are judged on the state of human health. Pay attention to any changes in the nail plate, as they can be a symptom of serious diseases. So, yellow nails may indicate the development of a fungal infection, diabetes, psoriasis, lymphedema, other pathological conditions, and bad habits. In the article we will talk about the main causes of yellowing of nails, we will offer treatment methods and natural methods of bleaching.

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment

Why nails turn yellow

Healthy nails are usually transparent, without cracks, vertical lines or points. They protect fingertips from damage and act as a visual indicator of health, as mentioned above. Vary depending on our lifestyle. If you notice that the nails on the arms and legs are yellow, and their condition does not improve, do not over-tighten with a visit to a dermatologist. Few people know that there is such a specialist involved in the treatment of diseases of the foot and leg, like a podiatrist: if possible, sign up for an appointment!

But let’s find out what could be the problem.


Bruising of the nail plate often leads to yellowing of the nail, its separation from the bed. In women with long nails, injuries often lead to the same effects as in the photo.

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment

Fungal infection

Yellow nails can be caused by a fungus that manifests itself with such symptoms:

  • thickening and uneven nails;
  • brittleness, brittleness;
  • yellowish or white stripes;
  • lack of shine;
  • bad smell;
  • cracks between the fingers;
  • pain when wearing shoes.

Dermatophytes are pathogenic fungi that live on the skin, in hair, nails, and other body surfaces.which is contained in the skin and nail, is what the dermatophyte feeds on. On examination of the patient, the doctor may diagnose onycholysis. To avoid fungal infections, it is important to keep your feet dry and air more often.

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment


Ugly yellow shade of nails – one of the symptoms of diabetes. An imbalance of sugar in the blood leads to the fact that glucose is attached to collagen protein and leads to a transformation of the nail color from normal to yellow. Also on the plate may appear white spots, which are more common in older people.

Old age

We are aging, and not only the hair changes color but also the nails, which, unfortunately, become opaque and yellow.

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment


Nicotine can cause staining of nails in yellow. This is especially noticeable in smokers who smoke often and for a long period of time. The shade of the nail plate varies from light yellow to dark brown. Smoking blocks oxygen delivery to the fingers, negatively affecting the capillaries and blood vessels


The disease, also known as primary lymphedema, is rare and causes discoloration of the nails. Accompanied by fluid retention, severe swelling of the extremities, and impaired lung function. The nails grow slowly and turn yellow. Lymphedema is also associated with such pathology as yellow nail syndrome, in which discoloration occurs, thickening, loss of nails, lack of cuticle.


The thyroid gland is responsible for all the processes that occur in our body and cell growth. With a decrease in its function – with iodine deficiency, especially – and nails suffer.


Infections of the toes (blistering, ingrown nail, nail too short) are quite common, especially in patients with weak immune systems.

Nail polish

Frequent use of nail polish, especially dark colors and removal of acetone-containing products worsens the aesthetic appearance of the nail.

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment


The condition of the liver, in which the nails, skin, mucous membranes, and scleras turn yellow. These warning signs signal that the sick person should immediately seek medical attention.


The texture and color of nails vary significantly during pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes occurring in the body of a woman. For some pregnant women, the nails are broken and broken.

Poor blood circulation

The quality of nails depends on blood circulation. Obesity, lack of exercise contribute to the acquisition of a yellowish hue on the nails, cramps in the legs, weakening the pulse, pale skin, slow the growth of nails.

Topical treatment

Therapy depends on the cause of the yellowing of the plate. So, for not running mycotic lesions, the doctor will prescribe antifungal gels, creams, powders, a special coating for nails with antifungal action. A novelty appeared on the market – antifungal socks soaked in a special compound. Of the drugs are particularly well suited:

  • Terbinafine or Lamisil;
  • “Itraconazole” or “Sporanox”;
  • Griseofulvin or Gris Peg;
  • Fluconazole or Diflucan.

In some cases, they are prescribed together with oral agents. Do not expect immediate results – treatment can last up to 6 months to permanently get rid of the infection. If the reason is the constant use of varnish, it is necessary to give a break to the nails, doing a manicure and pedicure without coating until the restoration of normal color.

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment

When the nails turn yellow, laser therapy works well. The number of treatments depends on the severity of the condition.

As home remedies, we have recommended ourselves quite well:

  • Tea tree oil. It has pronounced antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties, and is effective in treating various infections and inflammations. Oil is applied 3 times a day to the affected area until the condition improves, but not less than 2 months.

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment

  • Vinegar. Mix a little vinegar with warm water and make a bath for nails 2 times a day for 20 minutes. Each time, use a clean towel to soak the feet after the procedure.
  • Hydrogen peroxide. It works great if you do not know what to do when your nails turn yellow and you need to immediately whiten them. Take three teaspoons of a 3% peroxide solution and mix in half a cup of warm water. Soak your nails in liquid for 30 minutes, then rinse your nails with clean water and wipe. Repeat the procedure every day until the nails brighten.

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment

  • Lemon. Lemon juice and whiten, and strengthens the nail plate. For a positive result, immerse the nails in the bath with juice for 15 minutes twice a day. Then rinse and spread hands (or feet) with moisturizer.
  • Baking soda. Contains whitening and exfoliating ingredients that help remove yellow spots on the nails. To make this tool more effective, simply mix equal proportions of soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide, and then wipe your nails with a cotton pad.
  • Whitening toothpaste. To clean the nails from yellow plaque, you can massage the plate with toothpaste and leave it for a few minutes before washing it off.
  • Vitamin E. Studies show that rubbing an oil solution of vitamin E into the nail promotes healing and whitening of the plate.

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment

How to prevent yellow nails

Prevention is always better than cure, so try to follow these tips:

  • wipe your feet thoroughly after washing before putting on your socks or shoes;
  • change socks every day, as the fungus thrives in a dirty, warm and humid environment;
  • pick up comfortable, not cramped shoes, in which your feet will be comfortable;
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public places (swimming pools, saunas, gyms, changing rooms, etc.), since it is likely to pick up a fungus there;
  • observe all doctor’s prescriptions during treatment;
  • cut your nails regularly and file off gently;

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment

  • use antibacterial soap with a drying effect, if you are prone to sweating feet;
  • in order to avoid infection, do not give your things and towels to other people;
  • Do not get carried away polishing and coating nails with bright red varnishes.

Yellow Nails: Causes And Treatment

If you notice a barely noticeable yellowing of the nails, try to listen to our advice on self-diagnosis and do not hesitate with going to the doctor and treatment. The sooner you take action, the easier and faster you will manage to get rid of the problem!

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