Why Are My Toenails Turning Yellow?

Eugene Pascarella
Dr. Eugene Pascarella, with a desire to help people, began Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida in July 1984.

Halloween is getting so close you can practically smell the candy in the air. This means it won’t be long until young trick-or-treaters (and not-so-young partygoers) dress up in costumes and head out on the town. If you celebrate—or will be accompanying your children as they go door-to-door—we hope you already have your costume picked out and ready to go!

This is a bit of an oversimplification, but the roots of dressing up for Halloween go back to people pretending to be evil spirits in order to get free food and drink. (Thus, the “trick” and “treating.”)

Pretending to be someone or something else once a year for Halloween is okay. Pretending that your toenails turning yellow is completely normal isn’t okay!

toenailsWhen your nails start turning yellow—and especially if they also become ragged, crumbly, and distorted—it’s an indication of a fungal infection. We know the thought of fungus growing on your body might make your skin crawl, but hopefully it will help at least a little to know that this is actually a fairly common condition – one we often treat.

In spirt of being common, this doesn’t mean the condition should be left unaddressed!

So how did you end up with a case of fungal toenails?

Fungal spores are microscopic and can be found in many places. They especially like to make themselves at home in warm, moist environments. If you think about it, these conditions can be used to describe feet encased in socks and shoes. Fungal infections tend to be more prevalent in warm weather—like the climate we are accustomed to in Florida—when feet sweat more (as they attempt to stay cool).

The offensive microbial organisms do not require sunlight to survive. They can be easily picked up in public pools, gyms, locker rooms and other damp areas, and may start out as a case of athlete’s foot. The infection can infiltrate tiny cracks in the nail—or find a home under the nail fold—and then begin to spread.

Toenail fungus is a stubborn infection, one that can spread from one toe to another. With that in mind, early treatment is best (as is the case for most medical issues).

You can take measures to hide your infected nails, but a better approach is to come see our doctors at Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida for professional fungal toenail treatment. We have advanced treatment options, so contact us today by calling 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if calling from Lake County).
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