What causes yellow nails + how to recognize the yellow nail syndrome?
February 7, 2011
Your fingernails are not only a barometer of your general health state, sometimes they can also signal the presence of a medical problem! Why do nails turn yellow? And how to discriminate yellow nails from the ‘yellow nail syndrome’?
Yellow fingernails are often the result of behavior habits: such as smoking, nail polish, cooking with curry, nail fungus, or the use of certain types of medication (e.g. tetracycline).
YELLOW NAILS DUE TO A MEDICAL PROBLEM?
But sometimes nails may take a yellowish teint which is not the result of behavior. Fingernails that are yellow can be an indication of a medical disorder in some cases. These include liver disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and nutritional deficiencies, most notably iron and zinc. Although most cases of yellow nails are not caused by an internal disorder, underlying medical problems should be ruled out if your nails have suddenly changed in color. Simple blood tests can generally rule out most causes of a yellow fingernail.
YELLOW NAIL SYNDROME?
The ‘yellow nail syndrome‘ is a rare nail disorder characterized by yellow to yellow-green, thickening, slowgrowing nail changes – with absent lunula and cuticle: see the picture below. The underlying pathological process if thought to be related to impaired lymphatic drainage.
THE NAIL TUTOR DESCRIBES THE MOST COMMON CAUSES
FOR YELLOWISH DISCOLORATION OF VARIOUS PARTS
OF THE NAIL UNIT:
Example of the yellow nail syndrome: