If you notice that your toenails have turned yellow, it is important to understand that it could be a sign of an underlying condition. While there are several causes of yellow toenails, the most common one is a fungal infection. Also known as onychomycosis, a fungal infection can affect any toenail and cause it to become thick, raised, and yellow in color.
Fungal infections thrive in warm and moist environments, making the feet a prime location for infections to develop. This is especially true if you wear tight-fitting shoes, socks or if your feet tend to sweat excessively. The fungus can then infiltrate your toenail bed and cause damage to the tissue, leading to the yellow discoloration you see.
Apart from fungal infections, there are other potential medical causes of yellow toenails. For example, individuals with diabetes mellitus may experience yellow discoloration of the nails as a result of persistently high blood sugar levels. Additionally, lymphedema, a condition characterized by chronic leg swelling, can lead to yellowing of the nails as well.
It’s also important to consider external factors that could be causing your toenails to turn yellow. Frequent use of certain nail polish brands can stain your nail beds over time. This can also take several months to grow out and the nail may need to be buffed or treated by a podiatrist.
If you have yellow toenails, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist as soon as possible. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is a trusted professional who can diagnose and treat a range of foot conditions, including toenail discoloration. After a thorough examination, he may recommend antifungal medication or another appropriate course of treatment to help address the underlying cause of your discolored toenails.
To prevent yellow toenails from occurring in the first place, it is important to maintain proper foot hygiene by washing your feet regularly and wearing well-ventilated shoes that fit properly. Avoid sharing shoes or socks with others, which can increase your risk of fungal infection. Additionally, try to keep your toenails trimmed short and avoid wearing nail polish for prolonged periods of time.
In conclusion, yellow toenails can be a sign of several underlying medical conditions, including fungal infections, diabetes mellitus, and lymphedema. If you notice yellow discoloration on your toenails, it’s important to take prompt action and seek medical attention. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is a qualified podiatrist who can help diagnose and treat the root cause of your discolored toenails, and provide tailor-made recommendations to help prevent future occurrences.