What Causes Orange Toenails?
Are you concerned about the color of your toenails? Or do you shudder at the thought of sandal season or showing your feet in public? If you’ve noticed a discoloration of your toenails, you might be experiencing the signs and symptoms of toenail fungus.
Onychomycosis is the most common cause of toenail fungus, and nail discoloration is one of the first indications that you’ve acquired this infection. Although this condition isn’t life-threatening, it can certainly take its toll on your personal or social life. However, researches suggests that approximately 10 percent of people in the United States have this condition. Additionally, it has been proven that there’s an increased chance of developing toenail fungus as you age.
What are the symptoms of toenail discoloration?
Toenail discoloration stemming from a fungal infection may present in a variety of ways, which includes:
- Your toenails have a yellow-brown hue to them
- You see white spots on your toenails
- Your toenails have become brittle, break easily, and have jagged edges
- You notice your toenails are misshapen
- Your toenails increase in thickness and become more difficult to trim with standard nail clippers
- If dirt and debris accumulate under the nail, the toenail may appear dark
- There’s a foul odor emanating from your feet
In some instances, toenail fungus doesn’t cause discomfort, though misshapen nails can pose a problem when wearing shoes. On other occasions, this can wind up being more than just an unsightly cosmetic issue. However, in more severe cases of infections, the toenail may loosen from the nail bed or fall off together. This can also spread to the surrounding skin, which causes an uncomfortable, itchy condition known as athlete’s foot.
What causes orange toenails?
Healthy nails are usually clear in color and don’t have any major issues like cracks, indentations, ridges, or abnormal shapes. If your toenails have a different color, such as orange or yellow, it could be a result of something. Here are some of the possible causes your orange toenails.
Aging can be a natural cause of orange toenails and fingernails. The color, thickness, and shape of the nails tend to change as people grow older. Aging individuals will often have a more different color to their nails.
Your nails can also be discolored as a result of the polish, if you paint your nails frequently with nail polish that’s red or orange in color. Taking a break from painting your nails should make the discoloration go away.
Having orange toenails isn’t dangerous by itself, however, if the cause of your toenail discoloration is an underlying medical condition, it may be a sign that something is wrong. Go see your doctor if your nails also have any of the following:
- Change in shape or thickness
- Any bleeding
One of the most common causes of orange toenails is an infection by a fungus that attacks the nails. This happens more in adults than children, and can lead the nail to turn orange, have spots, white patches, or even turn black.
The fungal infection is caused most often by dermatophytes, which eat keratin to grow. According to American Family Physician, it occurs in about 10 percent of the adult population, and the risk of getting it increases with age. Additionally, about half of people over the age of 70 get the fungal infection.
Some people are more prone to getting orange toenails or catching a fungal infection.
Can orange toenails be prevented?
Yes, orange toenails can be prevented and here are some tips for prevention of this condition:
- Always wear clean socks
- Always wear shoes that are made of breathable materials
- If shoes become wet, be sure to dry them properly before wearing
- Wash your feet often, especially during hot or humid days when sweat can build up easily
- During treatment, follow your doctor’s instructions completely
- Avoid walking barefoot in areas that are public and damp
- Avoid coming into contact with anyone with a fungal infection
- Avoid sharing towels, bathmats and clothes while having or healing from a fungal infection or if someone else has a fungal infection
- Clean and dry your feet and toes thoroughly and daily
- Talk with your doctor about all possible treatments methods before using the product
- Talk with your doctor at the first sign of discoloration
- Maintain proper foot and toenail hygiene. Keep toenails well-trimmed and cleaned
- Never cut your nails too short and always cut them straight across
How to prevent orange toenails from spreading?
If you have toenail fungus or orange toenails, there are several things you can do to prevent the infection from spreading to other people, such as:
- Never share towels with other people
- Never walk around barefoot in areas that others may come into contact with
- Always wear shoes or sandals in public showers, locker rooms, health spas, and gyms
- If possible, avoid public swimming pools or areas where others may be walking around barefoot
When to see a doctor?
Unless the suspected cause of your orange toenails is excessive nail polish use, you should consider seeing a doctor as you may need a prescription to treat the condition. This is important for people experiencing other symptoms alongside their orange toenails. These symptoms include:
- Pain in the toenail
- Bleeding toenail
- Changes to the shape or thickness of the nail plate
- Swelling of the nail
Treatment for Orange Toenails
Unfortunately, toenail discoloration is challenging to treat, rarely goes away on its own, and typically requires medical intervention. There are several over-the-counter and prescription options to choose from to help you address the root of the problem, even though your toenails may take a while to become healthy.
You’ll find plenty of creams, polishes, and powders purporting nail repair benefits, if you take a walk through your local pharmacy aisles. However, a search for OTC medications yields a mixed bag of results with regards to treating toenail discoloration and nail fungus.
Your doctor may prescribe a medication to treat the underlying cause of toenail discoloration. You may be prescribed an oral antifungal drug regimen such as Lamisil, Nizoral, Sporanox, Diflucan, and others.
The downside to using oral medications is that they take several weeks to months to work, and you might not see results until a new toenail grows back. However, oral antifungals can cause side effects, such as headaches, stomach upset, rashes, and liver toxicity.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved some different types of laser treatments for toenail fungus, and initial evidence suggests they may be helpful at reducing the symptoms.
In some cases, medications may not resolve the condition, and surgical intervention might be necessary. Your doctor may consider surgery to remove the toenail if you have an infection that is resistant to drug therapy.
However, some several home remedies may help with orange toenails. These include:
- Mixing tea tree old with a carrier oil and applying it to the affected nail
- Soaking the affected nail in hot water mixed with baking soda
- Applying vinegar to the affected nail
- Including a sufficient amount of Vitamin E in the diet
- Soaking the affected nail in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and hot water
There are several possible causes of orange toenails. For most people, the cause could be because of fungal infection or overuse of nail polish, while for some, it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.
If you have orange toenails, here are the products available over the counter in the market today which could help you treat your toenails.
Where to Buy
This is one of the best treatments on the market for getting rid of orange toenails. Its an effective 3 in 1 foot and nail system that harnesses the power of Tea Tree Oil, Oregano Oil, Camphor Oil and various other types of essential oil. The ingredients of this product are 100% natural so you won’t have to worry about any side effects.
This is an another incredible antifungal and antibacterial treatment for treating orange toenails, plus it is one of the best-selling treatment in the world today and treats over 75 types of severe skin condition such as toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, acne, hemorrhoids and more. This is also made from high-quality ingredients such as Tea Tree Oil, Castor Oil, Vitamen E, etc. These ingredients are very effective in fighting against your orange toenails helping you to live a fungus-free life.
This is the most affordable toenail fungus treatment and is one of the best-selling toenail fungus treatment on the market today. It comes with an easy to use applicator brush, and you can apply it twice daily, once before you put your sock and shoes on in the morning and once before you go to bed at night as well.
All the ingredients listed in this treatment are FDA approved and are very effective in treating toenail fungus. It also has an affordable price and a 90-day money back guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied.
Practicing good foot hygiene, keeping the toes clean, and treating any underlying conditions may help to prevent yellow toenails.