Discolored fingernails causes

What causes discoloration in fingernails?

Other, rare causes of discolored nails include the "yellow nail syndrome," an inherited condition that results in slow-growing, yellowing, discolored nails and is associated with lymphedema (swelling of tissues due to the accumulation of fluid) and lung diseases. read more

Other, rare causes of discolored nails include the"yellow nail syndrome," an inherited condition that results in slow-growing, yellowing, discolored nails and is associated with lymphedema (swelling of tissues due to the accumulation of fluid) and lung diseases. read more

Yellow or green nails usually mean a fungal infection in the nail and surrounding skin. If a nail turns red or black after being hit, a hematoma might have formed. Lung and liver disease also cause some discoloration to the nail bed. read more

Abnormalities — such as spots, discoloration, and nail separation — can result from injuries to the fingers and hands, viral warts (periungual warts), infections (onychomycosis), and some medications, such as those used for chemotherapy. Certain medical conditions can also change the appearance of your fingernails. read more

discolored fingernails causes
What Causes Fingernail Discoloration | HealthGuidance

Fingernail discoloration is usually the first visible sign of a fungal fingernail infection. Indeed, it is usually the first symptom of any kind, since at such an early stage, a fungal infection will not be causing any discomfort. The discoloration is generally yellow or brown, and will gradually get worse if the infection progresses. Fungus, however, is not the only thing that can cause a yellowish or brownish color change in the nails. If you notice fingernail discoloration, don't jump to quick conclusions.

Most often, discolored toenails, and fingernail discoloration is caused by fungal nail infection (onychomycosis). Some estimates say the one in ten people in North America suffer from onychomycosis, so it is far from rare. If only some nails are affected, and the color change is something new, the presumption that fungus is the cause is more likely to be correct. Even if the affected nails look entirely typical of onychomycosis, however, it's a good idea to get a proper diagnosis.

If the only sign of trouble is discolored toenails, and the diagnosis is certain, it's a good idea to start treatment right away – the less advanced the infection is, the easier it will be to treat. It will also be easier to prevent the infection spreading to other nails: fungus usually invades the toe nails first, then fingernail discoloration marks its spread to the hands. Early treatment can also prevent complications.

None of the available remedies for onychomycosis work for everybody, but all work best if treatment instructions are carefully followed – and they all take time, even for simple discolored toenails. Don't just opt for an over the counter (OTC) lotion or ointment: especially while your nail is still relatively intact, these treatments are unlikely to penetrate the nail sufficiently to kill the fungus. Oral prescription medication is available, which contacts the fungus from inside the body, and a few topical natural remedies have been formulated to give good nail penetration. Many of the home remedies involve soaking the nails in solution, which softens the nails and allows better penetration of a traditional treatment. Fingernail discoloration may clear up faster than discolored toenails.

Although the human immune system does occasionally fight off early onychomycosis on its own, a wait-and-see approach is likely to just lead to a worsening fungal nail infection. Caught early, the infection can be cleared up relatively easily and quickly. There are many treatment options to choose from: do some searching and choose one that's right for you.

discolored fingernails causes
  • you don't know why a nail has changed shape, changed colour or fallen off
  • the skin around your nails has become sore, red, swollen and warm (paronychia) - this can be a sign of an infection or ingrown toenail

See a podiatrist if:

  • your nails are too tough to cut or you can't reach them

Some GPs may be able to refer you for podiatry. You can also pay to see a podiatrist privately.

Find a podiatrist

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