Have you ever noticed your toenails taking on a yellow hue? You might have assumed that this is normal, but it isn’t. This discoloration could be relatively harmless, but it could also originate under the surface of your toenails and might become more serious if you fail to treat it. Fortunately, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and the rest of our Austin podiatry practice are here to help you better understand and care for your feet. You spend a good portion of every day on them, and they can have an impact on your overall well-being, so you ought to keep them healthy! In the following blog, Dr. LaMour and our team will answer a question patients often ask us: “why are my toenails yellow?”
Most probably, if you have yellow toenails, you’ll know it just by looking down at them. However, there are certain symptoms that often accompany this toenail transformation. Yellowing often occurs alongside:
- Harder, denser nail texture. Nails might begin to feel heavier, become more difficult to cut, and become visibly thicker.
- A reduction of shine in nails. Yellow nails also tend to be dull.
- Changes in nail shape. Your toenails may begin to deviate from their usual form.
- Small cracks or breaks in the nails. Your nails may appear as if they’re falling apart.
- Jagged or deteriorating edges.
- Other health concerns. This may seem odd, but Livestrong reports: “The color and overall health of your nails can be a reflection of your overall health.” The reverse is also true; more general body conditions can cause symptoms related to your toenails.
If you experience any of the above, contact our office for an appointment with Dr. LaMour.
Common Culprits of Color Changes
There are a variety of reasons your nails may become yellow. These include:
- Fungus. This is by far the most common cause of yellow nails. Livestrong explains: “Yellow toenails are characteristic of a common fungal nail infection called onychomycosis, which affects some 12 percent of the U.S. population, according to the AAD.” In moist conditions—such as within a sweat-filled sock, or walking across a wet, dirty locker room floor—fungi can thrive and infect the tissue beneath your nail. If you don’t treat foot fungus early on, it can eventually take over your toenail, even cracking it.
- Yellow Nail Syndrome. Yellow nails are the characteristic symptom of a rare systemic disease believed to be genetic. Rare Diseases describes: “Yellow nail syndrome is an extremely rare disorder characterized by malformations affecting the fingernails and toenails, abnormalities affecting the lungs and the airways…and swelling or puffiness.” This is just one of many reasons to contact a podiatrist quickly if you begin to notice yellowing. Enki Village points out: “people with conditions like bronchiectasis, sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer are more likely to develop yellow nail syndrome.”
- Polish. The most benign beginnings of yellowing nails lie in small, shiny beauty bottles. Red, blue, black, and purple nail polish may be a bold fashion statement, but it can leave behind a considerably less attractive mustard hue.
These are but a few of the most prevalent possible sources of yellowing nails. For a more customized, complete diagnosis, you should come see Dr. LaMour for an examination.
The treatment Dr. LaMour recommends will depend on the specific source of your discoloration. We often utilize our advanced Pinpointe™ FootLaser™ to treat patients with toenail fungus. Unfortunately, if you suffer from Yellow Nail Syndrome, the color of your nails may be irreversible, but we can recommend options to better care for them and refer you to an appropriate doctor to help you with your other symptoms. If nail polish is the root of your yellowing, Enki Village describes how you can return them to their original color by “buffing your nails lightly,” scrubbing your feet with a little hydrogen peroxide, putting baking soda on your toenails, or even “[applying] toothpaste” with a “nailbrush to scrub your nails gently.” To prevent this yellow after-effect from recurring, you should use one or two base coats of clear polish, which creates a buffer between the dark color and your natural nail. After Dr. LaMour assesses your feet, he will determine which treatment (or combination of treatments) is appropriate for you.
Are Your Toenails Yellow?
Don’t hesitate to call our podiatry practice! A trip to your Austin foot doctor could help you improve your toenail color and protect your overall health. Contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.
Original Source: https://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/why-are-my-toenails-yellow/