Why Are My Toenails Yellow?

If your toenails are starting to look a little yellow—and you’re certain you didn’t just forget you polished them the other day!—the unfortunate reality is that you’ve probably contracted a fungal infection.

Yellow toenails are caused by a class of fungi known as dermatophytes, which also cause a number of other skin rashes and irritations—most notably athlete’s foot. These microorganisms feed on keratin, a fibrous protein that is found in abundant supply in your nails as well as the outer layers of your skin. If they manage to get under one of your toenails, they won’t leave without a fight. With everything they need to thrive and the natural protection of the nail plate, fungal toenail infections can go on indefinitely.

They don’t need a big opening. Cuts so small you can’t even see them, a tiny separation between your nail plate and nail bed, or a mild ingrown toenail can provide plenty of opportunity for fungus to sneak in.


But where do they come from in the first place? Unfortunately, the fungi that cause this infection can be transferred to you indirectly from infected surfaces. They love warm, moist environments. That could mean gyms, showers, and pool decks, but it could also mean shared towels that haven’t been fully cleaned, or a sweaty pair of shoes that doesn’t have time to fully dry out before you use them again. We may not be able to pinpoint the exact instant you contracted the infection, but if you’re going barefoot on the pool deck, or sharing shower space with someone else with the infection, your risk is much greater.

Fortunately, yellow, infected toenails can be treated, and we’re the first clinic in Oregon to offer an exciting, advanced new option that’s proven to be highly successful: Clearanail. This revolutionary process allows antifungal medications to reach the infected tissue under the nail bed through a series of near-microscopic holes in the nail plate, created by a computer-controlled tool. Because of the precision of the instrument and failsafe system, there is no pain, no bleeding, and no damage to soft tissues. It’s also far safer and more effective than traditional oral medications. Also, because you only need one appointment followed by home care, it’s far cheaper than other advanced options, such as laser.

Yellow toenails won’t go away on their own. To get help for yours, give Wilks Advanced Foot Care a call today. You can reach us in Roseburg at (541) 673-0742, or fill out our online contact form.

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