Yellow Toenail causes & Symptoms
If your toenails have seen better days, they may be yearning for some tender loving and care. Those yellow brittle and misshapen nails tend to make most people especially young kids flinch and in response, victims are forced to wear sandals with high black socks. But Yellow toenails are more common than you think. Also known as Onychomycosis, this amorphous blemish affects about 10 percent of the world’s total population.20 percent of people below 50 and 50 percent of people above 70 become victims. So what is really happening here?
In over 75 percent of the cases, yellow toenails are usually caused by toenail fungus. The fungal infections are mostly caused by personal habits like wearing non-breathable shoes which allow bacteria to mix with sweat. Other causes include walking around barefoot in wet public places or not allowing your toes to air out. Other causes of yellow toenails include:
-Weak or brittle toenails
-Removing or applying toenail polish
-Yellow nail syndrome
-Weakened immune systems, diabetes or circulation problems
-Athletes are also more vulnerable to fungal infections because they spend most of their time in a single pair of shoes performing repetitive moves like running, jumping, and starting and stopping instantly. Most of these movements can make your nail toes susceptible to trauma. Additionally, wearing the same shoes for extended periods and not allowing the shoes to air out, can promote bacterial and fungal infections, which can eventually lead to Yellow Toenails.
Discolored toenails are mostly accompanied by other symptoms. These symptoms can be a big indicator of the underlying cause of the problem. Sometimes the toenail will become weak and brittle and start to flake or crumble. Occasionally, the nail will thicken and have a raised appearance. In some cases all the nails will turn yellow and other times only one or two may turn color.
How to Get Rid of Yellow Toenails
1. Soak in Juniper Berries Water
Juniper berries can be a very effective disinfectant. To get a teaspoon of its juice, just crush some of the berries and add it into a bowl of water and soak your toenails in for around 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse with lukewarm water and do not forget to use a moisturizer after the treatment.
2. Use Baking Soda
Baking soda works great because of its exfoliating and bleaching properties. You only need 2 and half tablespoons of baking soda and then mix it with 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl. Then apply this mixture directly on the stained nails. Leave the mixture there for about 5 to 10 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
3. Try Hydrogen Peroxide
Thanks to its bleaching features hydrogen peroxide can be a remarkably good counter for yellow toenails. You only need to mix 3 tablespoons of the chemical into a cup of water and then mix them thoroughly. Then immerse your feet in the solution for about 5 to 10 minutes and then scrub your nails with a brush. Do this once every week until you are happy with the results.
4. Try Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil works extremely well if the discoloration is as a result of a fungus related infection. The natural fungicide has anti-fungal features and can disinfect your toenails to bring them back to their appealing natural colors. Just apply the oil to your nails and leave it there for some minutes, then wash it with warm water.
5. Turn to Medical Methods
If these remedies do not help, you will need to use more advanced medical techniques to get rid of your yellow toenails. For infections, your dermatologist may recommend a medicated polish that has ciclprox to treat less severe infections. For more severe infections, the doctor may recommend oral antifungal medications such as Sporanox or Lamisil.It is also very important to keep in mind that the doctor may also consider a surgical procedure to remove the yellow infected nail if other treatment options fail.
Tips to help prevent yellow toenails
1.- Trim your nails straight across so that it does not go beyond the tip of your toe. This is mainly because the tip of the nail is usually the most vulnerable to fungal infections.
2.- Avoid going barefoot when showering in a public facility such as a spa or gym. Always wear spa slipper or shower shoes.
3.- Because sweaty feet harbor toenail fungi, always keep your shoes dry and bacteria free by sprinkling your shoes with anti-bacterial foot powder and wearing moisture wicking socks.
4.- When getting a pedicure, it is good to bring your own nail tools to reduce the risk of infection. In addition, only use accredited and licensed nail salons and ask important questions about the facility’s sterilization procedures before booking an appointment.
5.- Avoid sharing bathmats, clothes and towels while healing from or having a fungal infection.
6.- Always clean and dry your toes and feet thoroughly every day before wearing shoes.
7.- Do not leave your shower floors dirty or wet or they will breed fungus.
8.- You can invest in a shoe sterilizer to eliminate the bacteria and fungus that cause toenail fungus
9.- Always wear breathable shoes.