Yellow Toenails – Cause For Concern?

Yellow Toenails

Yellow toenails are not only unsightly, but they are also a sign of a fungal infection. Toenail discoloration is the result of a fungus that is living in or under the nail. Some people may even notice toenails turning black. Yellow toenails are just one symptom of onychomycosis, or toenail fungus.

When most people first notice yellow toenails, they are often inclined to search for toenail fungus home remedies. You can ask your pharmacist about over the counter remedies that are applied to the affected nail and the skin around it. These include Lamisil and Penlac. Since the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot often is the culprit in toenail fungus, athlete’s foot preparations might also be helpful. Often these products need to be used for up to a year in order to be effective. There are also a variety of home remedies using natural substances that are known for having antiseptic or antifungal properties. These include apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, oil of oregano, tea tree oil, lavender and olive oil or combinations of these substances.

In some cases, no topical onychomycosis treatment resolves the problem. The embarrassing yellow toenails and the infection persist. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal. This is expensive and has some possible nasty side effects. Not everyone is a candidate for an oral antifungal. Recently, doctors are using highly sensitive lasers to reach the fungus under the nail and destroy it completely. Left untreated, toenail fungus can result in permanent damage or loss of the nail. People with diabetes, compromised immune systems or other chronic conditions need to be particularly careful.

You can take some simple steps to prevent toenail fungus or to keep it from returning. Keep your feet dry, changing socks several times each day if necessary. Wear absorbent cotton socks. Do not share your shoes, socks, nail clippers or nail file with others. If you must shower in a public place, wear shower shoes.