why do my toenails have a yellow tint

Healthy nails are usually clear in color and donвt have any major issues like cracks, indentations, ridges, or abnormal shapes. If your toenails are turning yellow, it could be a result of something less serious, like aging or nail polish. Or it could be due to a more serious issue, like an infection. Aging can be a natural cause of yellow toenails and fingernails. As people grow older, the color, thickness, and shape of their nails tends to change. Aging individuals will often have a more yellow color to their nails. If you paint your nails frequently with nail polish thatвs red or orange in color, your nails can also be discolored as a result of the polish. Taking a break from painting your nails should make the yellow go away. Having yellow toenails isnвt dangerous by itself. However, if the cause for the yellow toenails is an underlying medical condition, it may be a sign that something is wrong.

For example, yellow toenails can be caused by an infection, fungus, or medical disorder. In rare cases, yellow toenails can actually be a sign of a disorder called yellow nail syndrome (YNS). Doctors donвt know what exactly causes YNS, but people who have it have yellow, curved, thickened nails that grow slowly, along with other symptoms like respiratory problems. Their nails also may have ridges or indentations in them and can also turn black or green. One of the most common causes of yellow toenails in an infection by a fungus that attacks the nails. This is called, and it happens more in adults than children. It can lead the nail to turn yellow, have yellow spots, white patches, or even turn black. The fungal infection is caused most often by dermatophytes, which eat keratin to grow.

Keratin is found in skin and nails. According to American Family Physician, onychomycosis occurs in about
of the adult population, and the risk of getting it increases with age. About half of people over the age of 70 get the fungal infection. Some people are more prone to getting yellow toenails or catching a fungal infection. If you have a medical condition that causes poor blood circulation in the legs, like diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or other autoimmune disorders, youвre more prone to foot disorders in general. Athletes or people who spend a lot of time in hot or moist conditions are also more prone to getting a foot infection. Have you ever noticed a yellowish stain on your nails after removing your polish? It s definitely a little unsightly and just makes you want to put more polish on to cover it up.

Here s how to prevent it. Why do nails turn yellow? The most likely reason is a color reaction. Darker-colored polishes in particular can stain nails due to a chemical reaction between the colorant and the nail plate. This reaction is hard to predict because it doesn t happen for everybody and for every dark polish. It can also take a few days to a few weeks to occur. It s possible that formaldehyde (a common polish ingredient) is causing the problem. This chemical can react with the keratin protein in your nails and make it brittle and yellow. While rare, nails that are very yellow could be an indication of a nail infection. How do I prevent this? Don t try to scrape off the stained area because it will damage and weaken the nail. Stick to lighter colored polish (dark colors are more likely to stain).

Wear a base coat to protect your nails from staining. Look for nail polishes that don t have formaldehyde on the ingredient list. (There s no guarantee that this will work but it s worth a shot especially if you get yellowing from lighter colored polishes) Stop wearing polish and wait for your nails to grow out (this can take a while though). Don t leave dark polish on for a excessive time period, I personally have found that staining gets worse over time. While not a problem for everyone, those of us (including me! ) do have some options. Take care of your nails by choosing the proper shade, wearing a protective base coat and removing polish regularly. If the problem persists you may want to check with your doctor. For more science based beauty tips check out the More from SELF:

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