Why are my Toenails Thick and Yellow- Here are Reasons for Yellow Toenails

When It’s summer season, people begin to wear flip flops and sandals once again. With temperatures rising more and more, manicured toenails can be seen walking through our cities. You want to join in the barefoot fun, but you have yellow toenails…

Why Me?

Probably the most asked question for any negative situation. As if Karma was trying to hand you back something you did to the chubby kid in sixth grade.

A fungal infection is not Karma.

It is bacteria. It is thriving bacteria living within your nails. It does not mean you are dirty, or that you had your feet somewhere where they do not belong. It means that somehow these organisms made their way under your nail bed, and were able to survive. It does not take much, just somewhere dark, damp, and warm to live.

Sounds like everyone’s shoes, right?

Well, basically..

Don’t worry; having yellow toenails is actually a very common affliction. Once you are aware of the causes of yellow toenails, you will be able to prevent and treat them with ease.

Yellow toenails: Fungal infection

The most common reason for yellow toenails is a fungal infection. There are different types of fungi that can cause a discoloration of your nails. The change in color is due to the colored pigments that a fungus will create while making itself a home on your foot.

The fungus is usually located beneath your toenail and will raise the toenail, in addition to staining it yellow. The umbrella term dermatophyte describes the set of three funguses that usually cause yellow toenails. However, yeast or mold can be the reason for your yellow toenails. You should be careful with a dermatophyte infection as they can worsen, and develop into tinea pedis (athlete’s foot).

Toenails are prone to fungal infections due to wearing shoes. Fungi prefer darkness to thrive, which means that your feet covered in socks and shoes provide the perfect habitat.

Additionally, the sweat that your feet produces offer the moist environment preferred by fungi. Your susceptibility to fungal infections also increases if you have poor blood circulation. If too little blood reaches the toes, the body is often tardy in the attack of the infection. This means that the infection can spread before the body even has taken notice of its presence.

A fungal infection, though manageable, is an infliction that you should treat as soon as possible. The longer you wait to treat your yellow toenails, the more difficult it will get as the fungal infection can spread very easily. If the white part of your toenail, the lunula, has not been discolored, the course of treatment will be simpler.

Nail polish

Wearing nail polish daily or frequently can cause yellow toenails. The discoloration will go away once the nail has grown out, provided that you did not paint your nails during that time. To avoid yellow toenails from nail polish, just use a clear coat before painting with colors.

Yellow toenails syndrome

This is a medical condition of which one of the symptoms is discolored nails. This is a very rare condition, so the chances that your yellow toenails derive from this syndrome are slim. There are various other symptoms that go along with yellow toenails. So, if you are experiencing chronic sinusitis, persistent coughing and swollen legs, you should seek medical advice.

Treatment for Yellow, Thick, and Brittle Toe Nails

There are numerous remedies for the toenail infection and so it is up to you to decide which one will you be comfortable partaking. There are various home remedies as well as prescribed treatments. We shall look into both remedies as it is important for you to choose the best option.

Home remedies:

Using Listerine mouthwash is an effective way to get rid of the infection. Just soak your toes in a basin filled with Listerine mouthwash. You can add any natural acid in the mouthwash for effective results. Lemon could be an effective acid that will help you to get the best results from it. Soak your feet for about 20 minutes and do this daily for best results. To be able to see results you should be able to do this daily for at least one week.

Another method is by soaking your feet in a basin full of warm water mixed with natural apple vinegar in equal amounts for about 15 minutes then dry your toenails vigorously. When removing the affected nail please do it gently as further damage will be recur the infection due to damage and pain.

Using tea tree oil and lavender oil is a handy way of treating toenail infection. Just put equal proportions of lavender oil and tea tree oil on a swab. Put it beneath the top edge of the nail and surrounding 2-3 times daily. It is best to warm these oils is the have more absorption rate when warm. You can do this before you sleep to allow it time to heal as you rest.

Apply oregano essential oil with a small amount of olive oil in affected area for not more than three weeks. Oregano has many antifungal as well as antibacterial properties.

Laser Treatment for Yellow Toenails

The best remedy for toenail fungus is laser treatment. This type of fungus cannot be removed through surgical methods, phenol and drastic procedures.

Laser treatment for toenail fungus is a new treatment for removal of fungal infection. Apart from laser treatment, other surgical treatments suggests the toenail removal permanently.According to Foot and Ankle centre of washington , laser treatment produces the heat that destroys the organisms which are responsible for toenail fungus infections. It surrounds the healthy tissue and nail plate.

Laser treatment for toenail fungus has many advantages like:

  • Quick recovery
  • Short treatment
  • Painless
  • No anesthesia
  • No side effects and improvement in toenails visibility.

There are different types of laser treatment for toenail fungus such as Noveon laser, Transungual laser therapy and Pinpointe Footlaser.

Noveon Laser

Noveon laser is of low power and utilizes infrared light for destruction of microbes. During clinical trials, Noveon laser treatment for toenail fungus has shown 76% success rate.

Another laser treatment for toenail fungus is Transungual therapy. This process involves the preparation of partial small holes on nail plates for the better absorption of anti- fungal topical medications. When combined with medicines, Transungual laser treatment helps in the healing of the toenail fungus.

PinPointe Foot Laser

Patholase also called as PinPointe Foot Laser treatment contains high power pulse that combats against disease causing organisms for fungal infection.

Clinical reports has declared 88 percent success rate. Laser therapy is successful in all aspects of foot care and insurance benefits may not cover the laser treatment for toenail fungus. This treatment costs between 600 dollars to 1200 dollars.

Laser therapy does not affect the surrounding tissue and has no complication , no adverse reactions. This treatment has shown positive results till now. Toenail fungus is also known as onychomycosis. These lasers are utilized for irradiation of toenails that includes fungal and bacterial infections.

How is the laser treatment for toenail fungus done ?

Firstly a well experienced practitioner directs the laser light on nails. This light goes inside the nails and kills the fungus completely. It also removes fungus from surrounding nail beds.

This treatment is painless and is completed in 10 minutes.

Check out whether the insurance companies cater for laser treatment cost. As toenail fungus is considered as an aesthetic treatment,insurance companies do not cover the cost for the laser treatment.

If the toenail fungus is too severe, repeated sessions are suggested. Generally toenail fungus can be cured in one session, but if it is severe the condition may differ from one session to multiple sessions. After completion of laser treatment for toenail fungus, keep the nails tidy, clean and dry. Toenail fungus generally occurs due to the presence of moisture inside the nails.

This fungus is spread in almost 25 millions of American people. The laser treatment helps in vaporising the fungus and keeps skin undamaged. 90 percent of the toenail fungus patients have shown the positive impact resulting in the appearance of the original nail.

There are no age restrictions for taking this laser treatment. Schering- plough drug companies has worked on ointments, pills and lotions for removal of the toenail fungus. But most of the laser practitioners are recommending the laser treatment for toenail fungus.

This laser treatment draws everyone’s attention as it provides a free side effect therapy and painless method. Instead of depending on drugs, medicines and antibiotics, one can blindly trust for laser treatment for toenail fungus. Laser treatment for toenail fungus is a recent development that has become popular in these days.


It is easy to get yellow toenails, but it is also easy to treat the infliction. Prevention is, of course, always more useful than treatment. So, to avoid yellow toenails you should not wear shoes that are too tight and cut your nails regularly to avoid any unintended cuts.

Wash your feet and hands on a daily basis using soap to remove the dirt under your nails and make sure that you properly dry your nails after washing hands and feet.

This may seem pedantic, but keeping your nails and cuticles dry avoids fungal infections very well. If you follow these guidelines, you will significantly reduce your chances of getting yellow toenails.

Prediet Plan Editorial

Prediet Plan Editorial

Patrick Kihara is a weight loss enthusiast and fitness blogger. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism and several health and fitness certifications.

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