Why Do Toenails Turn Yellow and How to Prevent It

Why Do Toenails Turn Yellow and How to Prevent It

Have you ever wondered why do toenails turn yellow? Have you ever experienced abnormalities, unusual dents, or discoloration on your toenails? If so, you’re not alone!

These symptoms are often overlooked but in some instances might signal something as simple as aging to something more serious like infections and fungus around your toenails.

Your toenails turning yellow doesn't happen overnight; it's essential to observe and keep track of small changes happening to your body, even if they are as painless and straightforward as discoloration. These shared symptoms can manifest into serious medical conditions that we all want to prevent if overseen.

After taking keen notice of the slight changes in your body, the question might pop up in your mind as to why toenails turn yellow; to answer your question, the following article highlights causes of yellow toenails and incorporates methods to prevent it. 

Top 3 Causes of Yellow Toenails

Nobody wants to have unsightly toes. There is nothing worse than having to hide your feet during summers or when you’re getting busy– just because you're embarrassed about your toenails.

There are a couple of reasons why this could be happening. Let’s dive into each one below, so that we can learn how to prevent ugly toenails in the first place.

1. Aging

Aging is one of the most common and harmless reasons why toenails turn yellow. As our body grows old, like other body parts, noticeable changes in our toenails' color, size, and shape occur. These changes are painless, harmless, and usually do not require medical attention. However, aging might not always cause yellow toenails, so it's essential to look at other reasons and factors that might cause it.

2. Nail Polish

If you wear nail paint often, it might be the cause of why your nails are turning yellow, and your nails may be dismayed from their natural color. Frequently wearing yellow, orange, and red nail polish results in a residual yellowish tint on the surface of your toenails. However, it isn't a serious concern since it does not require treatment and is harmless.

3. Infection

Among the more pressing causes of yellow toenails is fungi, leading to infection. Onychomycosis, a fungus that causes this infection, turns the nails yellow. If not immediately noticed, the fungus can extend to more severe extents and can even lead to an amputation.

It's essential to recognize the symptoms of any potential fungus at its earliest to prevent any adverse side effects in the future. While being the most common reason why our toenails turn yellow, the onychomycosis fungus only affects about 10% of the population.

Even in such cases, patients seldom face extreme or severe stages of the disease. A frequently overlooked factor about the onychomycosis fungus, which often goes unbeknownst to most people, is that the fungus is also contagious. While not all fungi exhibit signs of contagiousness, the onychomycosis fungus can very easily spread to others if proper precautions are not taken.

How to Avoid Yellow Toenails

Preventative measures are great but what you really want is to prevent having yellow toenails in the first place! There are definitely a couple of tried and trusted ways that you can avoid this unsightly fungus from happening to you.

Wear Footwear While Showering

Do you share a shower area with a group of people? Wearing flip flops or water shoes while using public shower rooms or a shared bathroom is always a good idea. You can easily avoid foot fungus transmitted to your feet through bathroom floors by wearing flip flops while showering, protecting your feet from infection.

Invest in Proper Socks

Not all socks are created equal. You want to choose pairs of socks that will wick that moisture away– and pronto. Quality socks are the best way to keep your toes and footwear nice and dry.

Avoid Alcohol

One of the best prevention for yellow toenails is to avoid alcohol. This is because alcohol can dehydrate your body and cause your nails to become brittle and yellow.

Drink Plenty of Water

When our bodies are dehydrated, they try to hold on to as much water as possible, which includes the water in our nails. When we drink plenty of water, our nails will be less likely to soak up the pigment from our polish, which will help keep them looking healthy and colorful.

When to Visit The Doctor

If you observe any of the two or more symptoms stated below, seek immediate medical assistance, as it might cause a severe infection.

● An unusual elevation or depression in the shape of the nail

● Increase in the nail's thickness

● Hardened nail

● Brittle nail

● Bleeding

Yellow Toenails & Underlying Medical Conditions

In rare instances, yellow toenails might be a symptom of a more serious underlying health condition. 

There is also the possibility of this condition occurring due to a medical disorder that causes your nails to turn yellow along with respiratory issues, otherwise known as yellow nail syndrome.

Invest in High-Quality Socks

With proper care and precautions, we can easily avoid the yellowing of toenails. Though there might be many reasons why this condition occurs, the best method to approach it is prevention through high-quality socks and footwear.

If the problem persists, please seek medical attention through a visit to your doctor, who can guide you towards professional-grade solutions.

* The information provided on the Gentleman's Club blog is for general informational purposes only. This blog cannot and does not contain medical advice. The medical information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.

Back to blog