The causes of yellow nails and how they can be treated

Your nails can say more about your health than any other factor. They may be signaling you for help, and it is for you to be attentive enough to dodge the danger. So what are your nails signaling you? Do you see them becoming yellow by the day?

Solid nails are smooth in texture and have a steady color. Anything else influencing the development or appearance of the fingernails or toenails may show an anomaly. Abnormally yellow nails definitely are a sign of concern.

Source: WebMD

What does having yellow nails mean?

Yellow nails can be caused by something minor, or a grave underlying issue. It is for you to determine the cause by getting yourself checked when you feel there is an issue. You cannot self-diagnose yourself.

Here are the multiple causes of yellow nails.

A case of fungus

Nail fungus can influence all your nails at the same time. As the contagious disease goes more profound, nail it may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and disintegrate. It starts with a yellow spot initially.


“Because nails grow slowly, a systemic medication would need to be prescribed for 3-6 months in order to fully eradicate the fungal infection,” says Susan Massick, MD, a dermatologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Source: myDr

You wear nail colour far too often

Yellow nails can often be a result of too much nail colour application. You may not realize, but dark nail colours often leave their tint behind. Your nails may turn yellow due to this. Nail polish has chemicals such as toluene, dibutyl phthalate, dimethyl and diethyl phthalates, camphor, and formaldehyde.


Avoid overuse of nail colour. If you feel your nails are being discoloured, give them a break and apply ingredients on them that will result in them achieving their natural colour. Buy water-based polishes that will protect your nails from harm.

Source: Giphy


Smoking can be hazardous for your nails. It makes them yellow which may make you look ill. Cigarette smoke has carbon monoxide, that meddles with the oxygen flow in your system, and nicotine, which lessens blood flow. This may cause your nails to become yellow and brittle.


Mix 3-4 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in water. Put in your nails for two minutes. Dip a toothbrush in the water, and rub it onto your nails. You will be seeing the results soon. Your nails would go back to their natural colour.



Thyroid diseases such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can damage nails. This is one of the early signs of the disease.


Yellow nails will be treated once the disease itself is given attention. However, mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil. Apply it to the affected nail for a duration of a few weeks.


It can be hereditary

Yellow nails are reportedly hereditary as well as they have been detailed to run in families proposing that they are genetic.


You can outgrow yellow nails over time if you keep applying Vitamin E ointment on it.



Jaundice is an illness that makes your skin turn yellow, along with your nails and eyes. Therefore yellow signs are more often than not a sign of jaundice.


The solution of yellow nails, when linked to jaundice, is not very simple. The only way is to treat jaundice itself, and then your nails will return to their normal condition. Jaundice is life-threatening, therefore, there should be no delay in seeking help.

Source: agingcare


Diabetes can cause yellow nails. It has got to do with high-circulating sugar levels. People with diabetes have super thick nails.


Diabetics may have to face this problem on a regular basis. Terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox) are both considered safe for people with diabetes, in case their yellow nails catch an infection.

Source: Healthline

What should you add to your diet to prevent yellow nails?

The correct food is exceptionally vital to keeping up sound nails. Protein is significant, as are omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin A and C are essential and will keep your nails healthy, rather than dryness and brittleness getting the best of them.

Maintaining a diet with Vitamin B will help your nails become more solid. Add zinc and iron to your lifestyle to prevent damage to your nailbed.

Eat foods that contain biotin. For example eggs, almonds, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and spinach. Biotin encourages to build healthy cell growth and amino acids that are essential for nail growth. 

Source: Dr. Weil

Your nails represent you wherever you go. Often when people want to determine a person’s hygiene, the first thing they look at is your nails or your feet. Make sure you take good care of them as your first impression may just be formed on the basis of their condition. Pay attention to the colour and texture. Lastly, consult a professional if you suspect there is something unusual in their form.

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