yellow-fingernailsYou recently noticed your nails are yellow. What’s up with that? Yellow fingernails are commonplace among smokers but smoke doesn’t affect the toenails so why are they discolored?


Causes Of Yellow Fingernails and Toenails:

  • Various factors result in discolored nails including medical conditions you may not be aware you have. When a person has lung or liver disease, diabetes, kidney disease or nutritional deficits this can prompt nails to turn yellow.
  • Another factor is fungi, which results in an infection and turns nails yellow. The most common nail fungi are called trichophytonrubrum. The reason fungi changes the color of nails is because it produces different colors (pigments) when the fungi get under the nail.
  • Lymphedema is a genetic condition that causes fluid to accumulate, resulting in swollen tissues. This results in yellow nails and is, in fact, referred to as ‘yellow nail syndrome.’ This condition prompts slow growth of nails. The lunula and cuticle of the nail do not exist when a person has this condition.
  • The lunula is a crescent shaped marking or structure located at the base of the nail. It looks like a half-moon thus the term ‘lunula.’
  • Thick yellow or yellow-green nails are typical when lymphedema occurs. Yellow nail syndrome also occurs when a person has pulmonary issues or a systemic disease.

How to Avoid Yellow Nails:

  • Try adding vitamin E to your diet to prevent yellow nail syndrome.  Vitamin E consists of antioxidant properties. When applied topically to the nail it is effective in treating yellow nail syndrome.
  • A sub par diet can result in discolored nails. When a person is deficient in iron and zinc his nails urn yellow. Iron is vital. It makes red blood cells form and transports oxygen to body tissues, including the nails. Without oxygen, body parts cannot survive. An iron deficiency not only results in yellow nails, but brittle nails. Eat an iron rich diet.
  • Biotin, which is a vitamin B, prevents nails from splitting. It also strengthens nails that have become brittle and fragile.
  • If there is an odor emanating from the yellow nail this is the outcome of the fungi tearing down parts of the nail. Nail fungal infections do not resolve without intervention. You need to see a doctor and take anti-fungal medicine.
  • Sometimes nails become detached form the nail bed. This is called onycholysis, which is a disorder of the nail. The nail plate spontaneously separates from the supports underneath the nail or lateral to the nail. The nail may turn yellowish-white when this occurs.
  • When a person wears nail polish 24/7 the nail is deprived of oxygen. This leads to discoloration. Give your nails a break from polish.

Getting Rid Of The Yellow:

If your physician has determined your yellow nails are not the result of an infection or an indication of an underlying disease but purely a cosmetic problem there are steps you can take to correct the situation.

  1. Put a denture tablet into water and let it dissolve. Soak your nails in the solution. These tablets whiten teeth and also help whiten discolored nails.
  2. Buff your nails occasionally. Too much buffing causes breakage and you certainly don’t want that. Occasional buffing makes your nails grow faster because there it increases circulation to the nails. Buffing also removes some of the discoloration.
  3. If the nail tips are yellow use a whitening pencil under the nail.
  4. Lemon juice is good for getting out discoloration. Soak your nails in it.

There is help for discolored nails. Don’t despair. Consult with your physician, first, to determine is there is an infection under your nails or if there is something medically wrong with you. If you are given a clean bill of health, follow the above tips to prevent and whiten yellow nails.

Adam LambertAuthor:
Adam Lambert
About Me
I write for the Houston Nail Clinic, whose mission is to rid the world of fingernail fungus and toenail fungus. Writing about treatment for toenail fungus allows people to learn about the best methods for getting rid of this unsightly infection.

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Posted on: 24.02.2013 14:28

My nails are turing yellow, what should i do? Please suggest me some home remedy.


Posted on: 24.02.2013 14:28

Stop smoking. Put lemon juice on them and let it dry. Do this several times a day.

You could have a fungus. If so, your nails will slowly become detached from the nail bed. You would need prescription medicine if this is the case.


Posted on: 24.02.2013 14:28

Please consult a Doc. asap. Nails turning yellow is usually not a sign of vitamin deficiency, but a very known and obvious sign of a health problem.


Posted on: 24.02.2013 14:28

you could be having a fungal infection so run to the dermatologist.
if you're using dark polish constantly, lay off. that could be another contributing factor.
use a base coat before applying colored polish.


Posted on: 24.02.2013 14:33

hi there!
nail discoloration might means of that you have lack of vitamins, always use of nail polish, and too much nicotine/excessive smoking. To prevent nail discoloration eat nutritious foods and fruits fo lack of vitamins, for nail polish soak your nails in warm water with salt, it is to refresh its surface and for smoking, as much as possible avoid to much cigarette to lessen nicotine level... God bless! =)


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