Why Do Toenails and Hands Turn Yellow?


Many of us have no idea why the nails on the hands or feet turn yellow, and when faced with this phenomenon, they start to panic and invent a lot of terrible diseases for themselves. There are many reasons for concern, it is important to understand each of them. The problem may lie in the lack of vitamins, and fungal diseases, which at the initial stage are well treatable. In men, this phenomenon is usually observed on the legs, in women in the arms.

Causes of Yellow Nail Color

Nails turn yellow for many reasons, both in the development of diseases and due to external factors:

  1. Medication for a long time. This can be many medications, such as antibiotics.
  2. Quite often, toenails or hands turn yellow in people who abuse bad habits, in particular smoking. After some time, accumulation of nicotine and toxins in the body.
  3. The impact of chemistry. In the course of his life, the hands of a person are constantly in contact with some household chemicals. It can be anything – varnishes, cleaning products, acetone. The longer it will work on the hands, the more the nail plates will be damaged.
  4. Fungal diseases. Most often nail onychomycosis occurs in athletes, miners, bathhouse attendants, metallurgists and the military. Yellowing of the nail plates, an unpleasant odor and sores on the fingers can also be observed with athlete’s foot and rubromycosis of the nails. The most difficult forms of treatment are the advanced forms of the fungus, since it has already penetrated the deep layers of the skin. Here, external means are not enough and you may need to take systemic medications (Diflucan, Lamisil, Griseofulvin) and the use of external agents (Clotrimazole, Lamikon, Pimafucin). In particularly difficult cases, it is necessary to remove the nail affected by the fungus using keratolytic agents or surgical intervention.
  5. Onychia. A group of nail diseases that can cause yellowing, deformation, thickening or thinning of the nail plate on the hands and feet. Most often, onychia occur on the background of serious endocrine diseases, fungal infections, chronic dermatoses and mechanical damage.
  6. Nail psoriasis can also cause yellowing of the nail plate. This is a rather rare, but still occurring form of psoriasis.

These are the main reasons why the yellow color appears on the nails. Below we offer you a photo of nails yellowed from the fungus, ways to diagnose and treat common diseases that caused the described symptom.


If nails on your hands or feet have turned yellow, you need to undergo a full diagnosis, so contact your medical institution. This may indicate the development of a disease. How is the examination:

  1. Visual inspection. The doctor carefully examines the condition of the nails, spots on the nails, the degree of yellowing, the presence of associated symptoms. After the doctor receives the test results, he will be able to soberly assess the whole situation and prescribe adequate treatment.
  2. A specialist will prescribe to donate blood for glucose. The nail is covered like a yellow film, it feels rough to the touch.
  3. Sowing to identify fungal diseases.
  4. X-rays are performed in order to identify the following diseases – pneumonia, tuberculosis.
  5. General blood analysis.

After the examination, it will become clear why the nail plates have turned yellow, the doctor will choose and prescribe a treatment plan.

Photo of Yellow Nails Due to Disease


It is impossible to self-medicate, without a survey you will not be able to identify the cause of this condition. Perhaps the whole thing in the use of varnish, which has expired. It can also be a consequence of a serious illness. Since the range of causes is wide, it is impossible to call a single method of treatment. It is individual for each patient.

For example, most types of fungus should be treated with special antimycotic agents aimed at destroying yeast or mold mycoses. That is why a microscopic examination is carried out for the beginning, the genus of the fungus is determined and only then the antifungal drug is selected. Many experts have recently actively recommended using nail polish varnishes, especially at the initial stage. Those who do not want to risk, immediately ask to choose the doctor the most effective drugs from nail fungus, which, although they have a number of contraindications, cope with their main task perfectly well. We are talking about drugs on the basis of Fluconazole (Flucostat, Diflucan) and on the basis of Terbinafine (Lamisil, Terbisil).

If you know what the problem is, you can try to fix it yourself. Otherwise, the doctor should be involved in the examination and treatment. So, what measures can be taken independently at home:

  • Get high-quality varnishes before applying them on the nail plate, cover it with a base coat. Every 4 days wash your nail polish so your nails can rest.
  • If the nails are yellowed due to smoking, you can neutralize the yellow color with lemon juice. It is useful to hold the bath with sea salt.
  • Tea tree oil is a fairly powerful natural remedy that eliminates yellowness from the nail plates.
  • It is useful to take baths that can be prepared from apple cider vinegar.

These are the main measures that allow to eliminate the yellow color a little, the rest of the treatment should be prescribed by the attending physician.

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