How to Whiten Nails That Have Turned Yellow

how to treat yellowed nails

Discolored nails have happened to nearly all of us, but as common as it may be, it’s a condition no one wants and can make you feel uncomfortable exposing your toes. While there are some cases of discolored nails that require treatment from a doctor, there are some home remedies you can try to prevent discolored toenails from occurring. 

Tips to Keep Your Nails from Turning Yellow

These tips are best for the prevention of yellowed, discolored nails. If they have already turned yellow, you should attempt these tips, but you may need further treatment from a doctor. 

Use Base Coat

Nail polish is one of the biggest culprits of causing discolored nails, especially dark-colored nail polish. One of the ways to prevent nail polish from staining your nails is by applying a layer of base coat prior to painting your nails. 

Use the Right Nail Polish Remover

Acetone nail polish remover can exacerbate the condition of yellowed, discolored nails. By switching to non-acetone nail polish you can easily remove your nail polish without worsening yellow nails.

Give Your Nails a Break

It’s important to allow your nails to breathe by taking a break from painting your nails from time to time. This is especially important if you like to paint your nails frequently. Nail polish tends to absorb moisture from the nail which can also cause them to become dry and brittle. If you are going to paint your nails often, switch to a nail polish that keeps moisture in the nail and adds nutrients back into your nail.

Quit Smoking

You probably also know that smoking is bad for your overall health, but did you know it’s also bad for your nail health? Nicotine can cause discoloration to your nails and 

Try a Home Remedy

There are a couple of home remedies that may reduce discoloration if it’s minor. Baking soda can help treat fungal infection and neutralize foot odor at the same time. To try this method mix a half-cup of baking soda, a half-cup of Epsom salt, and a quarter-cup of hydrogen peroxide in four cups of hot water. After mixing those ingredients, add a quarter cup of white vinegar and then soak your feet in this solution for ten minutes. When the time is up, rinse off your feet with clean water and dry them completely. Keep in mind this won’t work for everyone, but it may help alleviate some of your symptoms. 

Another home remedy you can try is tea tree oil. This essential oil contains both antifungal and antiseptic properties which is why it can be used to treat a very minor fungal condition. To use this remedy, mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil. Apply the mixture to any infected toenails with a cotton ball. Let it sit for about ten minutes, then gently scrub the treated nails with a clean toothbrush. For best results, repeat this process 2-3 times a day.

Understand When Your Need to See a Doctor

While it’s worth attempting a couple of home remedies to prevent and reduce symptoms of discolored nails, a stubborn fungal infection may require professional treatment by a doctor. There are a few approaches a doctor can take to treating nail fungus which may include topical or oral medications.

If the condition is severe and affecting the quality of the nail causing them to become dry and brittle or thick and discolored a more aggressive treatment such as laser therapy may be needed. 

It’s important not to ignore such symptoms since over time debris can build up beneath the nail causing it to darken. Left untreated, a fungal infection can cause your toenails to thicken or become distorted, or cause unpleasant odors. This type of infection can spread easily and cause additional problems with your feet.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you are unable to prevent or treat your yellowed nails with home remedies, you should contact a podiatrist immediately.  Yellowing of the nail can be the sign of a nail fungal infection or more serious health condition.  If you are experiencing yellow, dry, brittle toenails, contact Fox Podiatry today for an appointment and kick toenail fungus goodbye with laser treatment.