Did you know that the state of your nails can provide a clue about your overall health? You can even get an indication for diseases of the liver, lungs and heart from your fingernails. You must have noticed that the nails become very white, yellow or dark brown in colour sometimes. A change in the texture, thickness or colour of your nails may indicate that you are not healthy. This type of change in nails can also be due to infection, fungus or allergies.

In this article, we will discuss the causes of the yellowing of nails. Along with this, you will also find out how to turn yellow nails white again.

  1. Yellowing of nails
  2. Yellow nail syndrome
  3. Formation of yellow patches on the nails
  4. Yellow nails can be a sign of serious diseases
  5. Tips to whiten yellow nails
  6. How to cure yellow nail infection
  7. Takeaway
Doctors for Yellow nails

Persistent yellowing of the nails is not a good sign. Fungal infection is the main reason for having yellow nails. As the fungal infection progresses, the nails become thick and may even crumble. In some of these cases, the yellowness in the nails can also be fixed with the use of an antifungal cream. Sometimes, yellowing of nails can occur due to nutritional deficiencies. In some rare cases, yellow nails can also be a sign of skin cancer.

(Read more: Ingrown nails)

Yellow nail syndrome (YNS) can also be the cause of yellow nails. In this disorder, the nails become thick and grow very slowly. Sometimes, there may be a lack of cuticle in the nails. People with this syndrome may also have problems with lymphedema or swelling. Yellow nail syndrome can cause water to collect in the lungs. The causes of yellow nail syndrome include respiratory problems such as chronic bronchitis or sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis and swelling of the lower limbs. In this syndrome, the nails become extremely weak and can be easily damaged. Experts have not been able to figure out why this disorder occurs, but it is a very common problem in people above 50 years of age.

(Read more: How to strengthen nails)

Many times yellow patches develop on the nails. This is a different type of fungal infection known as proximal subungual onychomycosis. The patches usually appear near the cuticle, at the base of the nails in the feet. In this fungal infection, yellow or white patches appear on the nails. Such a fungal infection usually occurs in people with a weak immune system. Not only this, but this infection can also be a sign of HIV.

(Read more: Ways to increase immunity)

In some rare cases, there is a lot of yellowness in the nails. This can be a sign of some serious diseases like:

(Read more: Nail fungus)

The treatment of yellow nails depends on its cause. Yellow nails are mostly caused due to infection or the use of bad products. Following are some ways to whiten yellow nails.

  • Mix tea tree oil with olive oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply it to the affected nail. According to research, tea tree oil prevents the growth of fungus in the nail.
  • The affected nail can be soaked in warm water mixed with baking soda. This stops the fungus from spreading and will make the nails appear clearer than before.
  • Ajwain oil has antimicrobial properties. It is beneficial in effectively removing bacteria and fungus. If you do not know the reason for the yellowing of nails, then you can apply oregano oil mixed with olive, coconut or jojoba oil on the affected nails.
  • Applying vinegar on the affected nail can also prove to be beneficial.
  • Consume an adequate amount of Vitamin E in your diet. Vitamin E is considered to be most useful in the treatment of yellow nail syndrome. Vitamin E stimulates healthy nail growth, so it can also be applied to the affected nail or consumed in vitamin E-rich foods.
  • Applying hydrogen peroxide to the affected nail soaked in a mixture of baking soda with warm water is effective. Hydrogen peroxide has "oxidation" potential, which removes stains. Hydrogen peroxide goes deep into the nail and lightens the yellow colour.

(Read more: Nail biting)

To cure yellow nail infection, you have to do the following:

  • To whiten yellow nails, doctors can treat fungal infections with a cream or lacquer, which is applied to the affected nail. This way, the yellowing of the nails of the feet can be cured throughout the year.
  • Yellowing of nails can also be treated quickly by taking oral antifungal medicines and applying medicine to the nail. Both Terbinafine and Itraconazole medicine is considered to be safe for patients with diabetes. On the advice of a doctor, you can take these medicines to remove the yellowing of nails. Keep in mind, these drugs also have very mild side effects.
  • Research is being done on more new treatments for nail infections. These include laser, photodynamic therapy, etc.
  • In some cases, the podiatrist may amputate the affected nails to remove the infection. This situation arises when the infection spreads too much and is not getting better with any other treatment.

Although a change in the nails can occur due to many conditions, it can also just be the first sign of a disease. Nail colour changes are usually harmless. But if home remedies are not effective on yellow nails or you are highly concerned about the colour of your nails (or some other unusual changes), then you should immediately visit a doctor or dermatologist to find out the underlying cause.

(Read more: Nail care tips)

Dr Shishpal Singh

Dr Shishpal Singh

5 Years of Experience

Dr. Sarish Kaur Walia

Dr. Sarish Kaur Walia

3 Years of Experience

Dr. Rashmi Aderao

Dr. Rashmi Aderao

13 Years of Experience

Dr. Moin Ahmad Siddiqui

Dr. Moin Ahmad Siddiqui

4 Years of Experience

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