Yellow Nails Their Causes and Treatment

Yellow nail is a condition in which the nail becomes thickened with yellow or yellowish green discoloration.  The yellow nails make the fingers appear ugly.  Unless addressed immediately, it may turn out to be a health concern in addition to being a cosmetic problem. It is difficult to hide yellow nails so it is necessary to find the cause and treat yellow nails as early as possible.



Causes of Yellow Nails


Medical etiology for yellow nails: Yellow discoloration can be due to certain medical conditions like lungs and liver diseases, diabetes, urinal problems or they may be due to nutritional deficiencies with zinc and iron deficiency being prominent. Though they may not be the cause behind yellow nails but to be on a safer side, it is recommended to consult a physician and get the blood tests done.


Fungal infection and yellow nails: Fungal infection usually spreads from the tip and spreads downwards till whole nail is embraced by the infection. It generally causes yellow discoloration and if at any times you notice bad odor coming from nails along with discoloration spreading downwards and flaring then you should immediately consult a doctor.


Yellow nail syndrome: Y.N.S is an inherited condition that brings about yellow color of nails and it can be due to accumulation of fluids in the tissues, medically termed as lymphedema. Yellow color is also attributed to onycholosis, where the nails get detached from nail beds.


Tobacco consumption leading to yellow nails: Tobacco consumption, be it in the form of chewing or smoking, is causative factor of yellow nails. Continued use of tobacco for years can stain both the nails and the skin of the fingertips yellow or yellowish-brown. Constant contact with the nicotine and tar in tobacco for prolonged periods has this damaging effect on the nails. If it is persistent, consult a doctor without delay.


Over Usage of Nail Paints Leading to Yellow Nails: Though using nail paints increasesthe beauty of hands and makes them more attractive but in the long run they have a deteriorating effect causing yellow discoloration. The most possible reason is that nail paints cause oxygen deprivation to the underlying tissues.


According to Mona Monaghan who is the senior V.P and G.M of Sally Hansen Group, “Red, burgundy, and brown-based polishes contain dark pigments that can leave behind a yellow stain on nails, especially if you skip a protective base coat”.


Some Ways to Treat Yellow Nails


Quit smoking: The first and foremost way to get rid of these stains and to get many other health benefits is to quit smoking. If you think quitting is impossible, staining might be reduced by placing the cigarette in an ashtray between puffs rather than holding it in the fingers as an immediate effect.



 Avoid applying dark nail paints for long durations: Leaving your nails without nail polish for short periods will help to get rid of yellow fingernails. Yellow nail is often caused by staining from wearing darker nail polishes. Soak your nails in lemon juice or white vinegar. The acidic juice will work to get rid of yellow stains from fingernails.


Nail Bleaching: Bleaching the nails is another way to remove yellow stains from nails. Make a solution of 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with two and half tablespoons of baking soda in a small plastic bowl. Use a cotton swab to press some of the mixture firmly under the tip of each nail as well as over the top of the nail, covering all the nails on one hand. Allow the mixture to remain in place for about three minutes.  Rinse with warm water. Repeat with the other hand. Use this treatment every six to eight weeks.



Application of tooth pastes: Whitening toothpaste works well to remove stains on your nails. The bleaching effect helps to get rid of yellow dis-coloration of the nails.


Using base coat: As a preventive measure apply a clear nourishing base coat before applying nail polish.


Role of nail polish remover: Yellow nails can also be removed by rubbing alcohol or by nail polish remover with a nail brush and just scrub it off. Or soak them in bleach as it doesn't cause any hurt but cures the yellow nails.


After you are done with all the above mentioned preventive measures, just apply a moisturizer to prevent the nails from becoming brittle. In this way, you will be able to maintain the original sheen and smooth texture of the nails.

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