why do toenails turn yellow and thick
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.
Although not all cases of toenail fungus need to be treated, thick toenails may be a sign that the fungus has gotten worse. Several methods are available to treat your toenails. You can try some home-based treatments first and then talk to your doctor about prescription-based options. Topical and oral medications are the mainstays of therapy. Clean the affected area with soap and water daily. Groom your nails regularly. Soften your nails first by applying (Aluvea, Keralac) and wrapping your feet in bandages at night. Then wash off the urea cream and use a nail clipper and nail file to trim your nails. Apply an over-the-counter fungal treatment after you gently file your nails.
Apply Vicks VapoRub on your toenail each day. This help the infection subside. Apply snakeroot extract to the toenail every third day for one month, twice a week in month two, and then just once a week in month three. Apply tea tree oil twice a day every day. Toenail fungus may require medical interventions as prescribed and recommended by your doctor. These include: Treating toenails for fungus may require you to stick to the treatment plan for several months. Toenails grow slowly, and they can take 12 to 18 months to grow out. You may experience a recurrence of toenail fungus after treatment. If youвve treated your fungus and want to avoid it from coming back, you can try methods to prevent it from growing in your toenails again.
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