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Yellow Toenails: Potential Causes and Tips To Clear Nail Discoloration

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Maybe you have noticed your toenails getting progressively more yellow and discolored over time, or maybe the yellow tinge is a new development.

Seeing a different color on your nails than usual can be jarring, but it doesn’t always mean something is wrong.

In this article, we will go over the most common causes of yellow toenails and throw in a few tips on what you can do about it.

Normal aging

As you get older, certain parts of your body start looking different, and your toenails are no exception.

In general, toenails become more yellow and thicker over time.

As long as there are no cracks, strange rough textures, or weird colors (black, green), this is probably normal and nothing to worry about.

If it really bothers you, and you want to get those toes out-and-about during sandal season, you can easily cover the yellow with your favorite nail polish - even a light pink or skin tones color for a more natural look.

Nail polish

If you discovered the color change after taking of a nail polish color and the yellow was not there before the polish, some of the color may have leached its way into your nails.

This may happen more often with bright oranges, reds, or cheap nail polishes.

If you can’t pass on your favorite firecracker red polish, but don’t want your nails underneath to suffer, try painting on a clear or protective base polish layer before applying the top bright color.

Nail Fungus

A stubborn nail fungus, or Onychomycosis, is also a common cause of yellow toenails.

If your nail yellowing comes along with lines, cracks, rough textures, itching, crumbling, additional strange colors, or discomfort, you likely have a toenail fungus.

Toenail fungus tends to be difficult to get rid of, so it is recommended to speak with a doctor to get prescription therapy.

Even with strong prescription treatments, toenail fungus may take up to or more than a year to clear.

If you suspect a nail fungus is the culprit for your yellow toenails, you can have an Online Visit with our doctors to see if our Strut Nail Formula is a good fit for you.

If you are a good candidate for treatment, your prescription nail medication can be shipped right to your front door.

Underlying Conditions

Sometimes, if you can’t identify a clear reason like normal aging or a fungal infection, the yellowing may be coming from an underlying medical condition.

Some of the conditions that can lead to yellow toenails are:

Yellow nail syndrome



Thyroid conditions



Jaundice (from liver issues)

If you already know that you have one or more of these conditions, it is possible that the condition is causing the yellowing of your nails.

But, if you aren’t sure what has brought about the gradual or abrupt yellowing of your nails, it is always best to speak with a doctor about it to make sure nothing more serious is going on.

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