Not many people are aware of this fact but the truth is that our nails can provide useful information on our body’s general health. Sometimes, the nail can present a certain discoloration and turn a yellowish shade. This can be a sign of infection or it can be a sign for various conditions of the skin. In some cases, the nail thickens and the growth might even be decreased. The affected nail might lack the protective cuticle and it might also detach itself from the nail bed.
Both men and women can suffer from yellow nails and it is always important to identify the underlying condition. This has to be treated first for the nails to return to their normal color. For many people, the concern is also of aesthetic importance, as having yellow nails can be a source of embarrassment. Whether the condition affects the fingernails, the toenails or both, the basic aspect is the same. You need to find what is causing it and then treat it.
Causes of Yellow Nails
These are the most common causes that lead to the appearance of yellow nails:
- Respiratory disease (bronchitis)
- Nail polish (the pigments used in the nail polish can stain the nails, especially when it comes to darker shades)
- Fungal infection (with Trichophyton rubrum, for example)
- Chronic liver disease
- Excessive smoking
- Poor lifestyle habits
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Congenital heart disease
- Yellow nail syndrome – this is a hereditary condition in which three major health modifications occur. The first is related to the nails, as these suffer from discoloration and dystrophy. The nail will grow more slowly and they will have a yellow color. The patient will also suffer from swelling of the hands (lymphedema) and chronic respiratory disease affecting the lungs.
How to treat Yellow Nails?
In order for the appearance of your nails to improve, you will have to follow a specific treatment for the medical conditions that were presented above. For the yellow discoloration presented in the yellow nail syndrome, the most efficient treatment turned out to be clarithromycin.
Apart from that, there are certain home remedies you can try in order to improve the appearance of the nails as well. These are:
This is recommended for whitening yellow nails, as the active substances contained in the lemon juice can act as bleaching agents. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice, put it into a bowl and soak your nails for a quarter of an hour. Then, use a soft brush in order to improve the color of the nails and scrub the yellow discoloration off. Rinse in warm water and apply a moisturizer made from natural ingredients. Repeat twice a day until the nails resume their natural color. The same process can be followed by using lemon essential oil, as an alternative to fresh lemon juice.
This is recommended because of its whitening properties but you need to be careful and use solutions that contain only 3% of this substance. The recommendation is that you mix the hydrogen peroxide with water and soak your nails for two minutes. Then, you will have to scrub them with a gentle toothbrush and rinse with warm water. You can also apply the substance directly to the nails, if the discoloration is severe and then follow the same process. Apply a moisturizer to prevent the skin from becoming dehydrated.
This is recommended because of its whitening and exfoliating properties. One indication is that you mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and then apply the mixture on the yellow nails. You keep it for three or four minutes, then rinse in warm water and apply moisturizer. Another indication is that you mix baking soda with olive oil and fresh lemon juice, apply the mixture and leave it on for five minutes. The first procedure should be repeated every six to eight weeks, while the second every two weeks.
Tea tree oil
This is recommended especially when the yellow discoloration is caused by a fungus infection. Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide and it has amazing antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. You can use it to fight against the fungi infection and also to restore the natural color of your nails. Using an eyedropper, apply the tea tree oil for a few minutes, then rinse in warm water and apply moisturizer. This procedure should be repeated two times a day. Or, if you want, you can mix the tea tree oil with olive oil and apply it to your nails.
Apple cider vinegar
This is recommended because of its antifungal properties. Mix the apple cider vinegar with warm water and soak your nails for about twenty minutes. Dry your nails with a soft towel and repeat the procedure at least three times every day.
Pictures of Yellow nails
Collection of pictures of yellow nails, fingers and toenails…