2 AnswersDr. Michael Roizen, MD , Internal Medicine, answeredIf you use dark nail polish, you may see staining that makes it seem as if your nail has turned yellow. But yellow nail syndrome (YNS) is a whole other can of worms. YNS causes the nail to become yellow, hard, and thick, and it occurs more often in people with chronic breathing problems such as bronchitis, sinusitis, and pneumonia. Or just tobacco use. People with lymphedema, a condition where lymph doesn’t flow properly causing fluid to build up, AIDS, and rheumatoid arthritis can also have YNS.
It’s thought that the nail turns yellow because it is growing much more slowly than normal. Sometimes the yellowing goes away on its own. You can always try taking 800 international units (IU) of vitamin E daily, or rub vitamin E oil into the nail itself. If this doesn’t do the trick, talk to your doctor.
1 AnswerRealAge answeredSymptoms of fungal nail infection include the following:
- Nail may separate from the nail bed.
- Debris may build up under the nail plate.
- Nail may appear thickened, brittle, or dull.
- Nail may appear discolored (yellow, green, brown, or black).
Fungal nail infections are relatively harmless, but if the infection causes you discomfort, pain, or embarrassment, see your healthcare provider for treatment options.
1 AnswerGood hygiene and good habits will prevent most nail disorders:
- Keep your hands clean and dry so bacteria won't get under your fingernails and cause an infection.
- Trim nails short (this helps keep bacteria and debris from getting trapped under your nails, where it can cause infection), but avoid rounding the edges of your nails, which increases your risk of ingrown nails.
- Don't trim or push back cuticles. Cuticles help guard the nail against bacteria and fungus.
- Avoid biting your nails as this can also introduce bacteria and excess moisture into the nail area, creating favorable conditions for infection.
- Wear comfortable, well-fitting, breathable shoes and socks to lower your risk of ingrown toenails and fungal infections.
1 AnswerIt depends on how much pain you are in. Bruising underneath a nail due to a crushing injury is called a subungual hematoma. If your nail is simply black and blue and you do not have much pain associated with it, then the bruise should grow out as your nail grows. If the bruise is large enough, the buildup of blood between your nail and skin may cause the nail to eventually fall off. If your pain is significant, you may want to see a doctor. The buildup of blood underneath the nail can cause pressure that results in pain. The doctor may need to relieve the pressure for you. (This answer provided for NATA by the Eastern University Athletic Training Education Program)
1 AnswerBlood underneath your toenail is referred to as subungual hematoma. Subungual hematoma is caused by fluid (blood) accumulating under the nail bed in fingers and in toes due to a jamming of your finger or toe, dropping a heavy item on your finger or toe or repetitive stress to the nail itself. (This answer provided for NATA by the Eastern University Athletic Training Education Program)
1 AnswerRealAge answered
If your toenails look thick and yellowish, you probably have an infection called onychomycosis. These infections are usually caused by a fungus but can also be caused by yeast. Those of the fungal kind, which claim about 90 percent of toenail infections, can be transmitted by direct contact or by contact with objects such as clothing, shoes, nail clippers, nail files, shower and locker-room floors, and carpets. While they are not brought on by stress, they can stress you out due to their beauty-busting presence. People who get this in their fingernails tend to have a bigger problem than those who only have it on their feet. I understand how annoying it can be, and it’s certainly not something you want to live with forever, much less spread to other nails in you and your family. Unfortunately, topical treatments usually don’t do the job, but an antifungal prescription under your doctor’s supervision such as Sporanox, Lamisil, or Diflucan that kills the wily beasts from the inside out can help do the trick. (And wear flip-flops in those germy public showers.)
From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.
1 AnswerHealthy nails are less prone to infection and can protect the tissues of your hands and feet better. Nails that are unhealthy due to exposure to certain conditions or products, or nutritional deficiencies, may be weak or brittle. This may cause them to break, which can be limiting or painful for you and put you at greater risk for infection.
1 AnswerSupplements for nails are available in pills and drink mixes. They typically contain nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, even gelatin, and usually carry promises of making nails stronger or helping them grow faster. Although nutrient deficiencies can sometimes cause problems in nails, there is no good evidence that taking supplements can make nails grow stronger or faster in people who consume a healthy diet. The one possible exception is biotin, a B vitamin. In a recent review of multiple studies that have looked at dietary supplements for nails, doctors at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York concluded that supplements of biotin could improve brittle nails. The best approach may be to include biotin-rich meats and cereals in your diet. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
1 AnswerRed discoloration under your fingernails can be caused by a number of conditions, some of which could be serious. Talk with your doctor or dermatologist about what may be causing the redness. Some conditions that can lead to a red or brown discoloration under your nails include the following:
- A splinter hemorrhage. This vertical red or brown line under the nail can be caused by an injury, fungal infection, or nail psoriasis, or can be a sign of a heart condition.
- Heart failure. This can cause redness in the white half moon at the bottom of your nail.
- Kidney disease. This can cause the nails to have a reddish appearance beneath the surface.