Monday, 12 April 2021 00:00

What Causes Toenails to Turn Yellow?

Yellow toenails that are not due to aging or nail polish residue can sometimes be a sign of a fungal infection. Fungal nail infections, or onychomycosis, are commonly caused by dermatophytes which eat the keratin in nails. This can make the nail turn yellow or black, or develop white patches or yellow spots. Athletes, or people with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and poor blood circulation are more likely to develop toenail fungus. You can help prevent toenail fungus by keeping your toenails clean, dry, and trimmed straight across, wearing clean socks and shoes that fit properly, and airing out shoes after use. Toenail fungus is usually treatable with anti-fungal medicine. If you notice any change in the color, texture or thickness of your toenails, contact a podiatrist.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.


  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail


If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.


In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in River Oaks and Sharpstown in Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


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