You’ve just finished your workout. You’re removing your shoes, then your socks, and then there they are. Your toenails are yellow! And then there’s that scream in your head,

OMG! Why are my toenails yellow?

Yellow is generally a happy color, but if it’s this sickly-looking shade and it’s on your toe it’s not cool. It’s just yellow or black toenails. Now, the quickest solution to hide toenails that are yellow would be to simply apply a base coat of nail polish, then paint on a dark, sexy color.

And just like that, no more yellow toenails! But wait a minute. Although this one-minute solution is a great idea (you can’t go wrong with pretty colored toenails), it still doesn’t answer that screaming question in your head, “Why are my toenails yellow?”

What causes yellow toenails?

So, why are my toenails yellow? There are a number of reasons why toenails turn yellow. Like if you just recently colored your toenails in orange, red or yellow shades, your nails might become stained even after you’ve wiped the nail polish off.G657

Also, if you wear nail polish a lot, your toenails might become yellow because of the chemicals and in polish that removes the natural color and shine of toenails.

Yellow toenails can also be signs of toe trauma caused by tight shoes. Toenails also turn yellow if you’ve been wearing tight, pointy shoes.

However, yellow toe nails can also be a sign of more serious health conditions. These health conditions include diabetes, lymph edema, poor blood circulation, a weakened immune system or toenail fungal infections.

This is why if you have any signs of toenail discoloration, it is best to consult a doctor right away.

What is a toenail fungal infection?

Now, if you don’t have diabetes, a weakened immune system or lymph edema, then there’s only one culprit – a fungal infection. Yes, toenails are yellow also because of a fungal infection.

And if you do have a fungal infection, it just means either your shoes aren’t right or you have poor hygiene. Fungi just love warm and moist environments. And if your shoes are made of non-breathable materials, your feet tend to sweat and this might become a breeding ground for fungal infections.

Or if you wear the same shoes every day and don’t air out your shoes this could also promote fungal growth. Toenail fungus’s also grow in moist public places like public showers, gyms and pools.

How can yellow toenails be treated?

Now that you’ve answered the question, “why are my toenails yellow,” you should also know how to treat it. If the discoloration is caused by nail polish, then stop using nail polish for a while or until the discolored part grows out. I think you can live without colored nails for a few weeks.

If the yellow toenails are caused by a fungal infection, your doctor might prescribe anti fungal nail gels that can penetrate the nail and kill the germs. The doctor can also prescribe a special medicated nail polish containing the ingredient cicloprox.

If the fungal infection is more severe, your doctor might also prescribe oral anti fungal.

A simple home remedy to treat toenails yellow because of fungi is by soaking your feet in baking soda for fifteen minutes, three times a day. Baking soda is delicious in cakes, but it will also help soften your toenails and lessen the infection.

How do I prevent yellow toenails from fungal infections?

And the best place to start is to practice better hygiene. Throw away your old shoes and start wearing shoes made from breathable materials. This is also a good excuse to shop right?

Also, avoid walking barefoot in damp, public places, instead wear sandals or slippers. Be sure to always wear clean socks. If you always have sweaty shoes, dry them out first before wearing them.

With these tips, no more yellow toenails for you! And no more shocked, “why are my toenails yellow?!”

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