If you have seen someone with yellow toenails, you probably wondered what may have caused this unattractive toenail abnormality. Yellow toenails are almost always caused by toenail fungus. You may be wondering what the other symptoms of toenail fungus infection are. Before we look at the symptoms, we need to understand what causes toenails to turn yellow, and what causes toenail fungus.
Causes of Yellow Toenails
Yellow toenails are usually caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes, but yeast and molds can also cause toenail fungus. Toenail fungus is picked up from public amenities like showers and swimming pools. Toenail fungus loves a moist and warm environment like the one under your toenails. The fungus is contagious and can be spread in many ways.
- Sharing socks and shoes with a person who is infected.
- Sharing personal effects like towels.
- When you do not wash your feet after a vigorous activity like playing sports.
- Using unsterilized tools during a manicure or pedicure.
- Walking barefoot in public places.
- When your feet do not get sufficient air circulation.
- After washing your feet, you forget to dry them thoroughly and between the toes.
- Not changing your socks regularly.
- Wearing tight shoes.
When a toenail becomes infected by nail fungus, yellow toenails may be the earliest sign. The nail will change color and eventually lose its shininess. The nice color of the nail is due to the keratin, and this is what the dermatophyte fungus attacks. The change in color will cause your nails to look dull due to keratin loss. Later, the shape of your nails will start to change too. Some nails will rise because of the debris forming under the nails. Your nail may also become brittle. These symptoms may differ from one individual to another.
Other Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
- Yellow or white streaks.
- Nail thickening
- Brittle nails which are flaky.
- Deformed nails.
- Feeling itchy around the toenail.
When you observe these symptoms, it is a good idea to take action. Many people ignore these symptoms and the toenail fungus infection can worsen. The earlier you begin treatment the better.