Why Are My Big Toenails Yellow?


Why Are My Big Toenails Yellow?

How many people have typed “why are my big toenails yellow?“ into a search engine? We may never know, but 50% of men over the age of 40 have watched their big toenails take on a yellowish tint, never knowing why.

Nail fungus is the leading cause of yellow toenails, though toenail discoloration can be caused by a number of things. This is why the doctor looks at your nails during a routine check-up (it can be indicative of a lot of things). Call your doctor right away if you notice anything out of the ordinary, including discoloration, as it may indicate more serious underlying health conditions. In all likelihood, you will be diagnosed with a fungal infection. Here is some information that you might find in the follow-up packet.

Causes of Yellow Toenails

Fungus enjoys moist, warm environments, like shoes that don’t fit right, or can’t breathe right. Foot fungus is extremely contagious and can lead to tetanus if not addressed right away. Going barefoot in wet public places, like the shower at the gym, can lead to foot fungus. Always wear sandals in public showers or around public pools, never let someone use your shoes and never ask to wear theirs, even for a few minutes.


Baking soda is delightful in a cake, but it can also be used to treat foot fungus. Try mixing warm water and baking soda in a basin large enough to soak your foot in. Baking soda softens the water, allowing it to seep more deeply and more easily into the pores of the affected toenails. Soak for fifteen minutes three times a day. After each soak, dry your feet thoroughly so that the fungus cannot spread. You may notice bits of dampened skin peeling away as you dry off. This is normal, and it means you did it right.

After the morning soak, prepare a paste of equal parts lemon juice and baking soda and apply it to the affected areas. Citrus fights the infection and baking soda dries it out. This is doctor recommended. If the infection has persisted or spread within two months, contact your doctor for a follow-up, as antifungal medication may be required. Antifungal medication is hard on the liver, so keep this option aside for a last resort.

Get some over-the-counter antifungal ointment from your local pharmacy. It usually comes in a small bottle with a convenient little brush, like toenail polish. Apply it to the affected areas after each soak. This can be used in conjunction with the paste, though apply the ointment first.

When at home, wear sandals or go barefoot, but use caution. Again, foot fungus is extremely contagious, and your family will be affected first. When you do need to go out, wear shoes that breathe. Avoid leather. Most sufferers gravitate towards mesh and athletic shoes because they allow the foot to breathe. Ensure that your shoes fit well, neither too big nor too small. Shoes that are too big allow sweat to build up around the foot. Shoes that are too small will hurt the affected areas.

If you’re looking for the latest reviews on toenail fungus treatments refer to our product comparison for tips on clearing up yellow toenails.

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