Why Are My Toenails Turning Yellow And Thick


ToenailsChanges in the usual appearance of the nails can be a sign of some kind of problem or condition in them, so it is necessary to pay attention. When the nail of the big toe, instead of looking pink and translucent, has a yellowish tone and, in addition, thickens, striates or presents other variations, it can be a consequence of some conditions such as fungal infection, nail psoriasis, blows, misuse of footwear, among others. Keep reading this article of ONsalus to discover all the possible causes and find an answer to the question of why I have the nail of the yellow big toe. We also show you what treatment should be initiated in each specific case.

1.Yellow ToeNail Causes:

Toenail thickened and yellowed by fungi

The thickening of the nail of the big toe and the yellowing of the nail can be a sign of onychomycosis, which is an infection of the nail caused by fungi. The fungi that usually cause this type of infection are the so-called dermatophytes, which usually proliferate and affect the health of the nails by factors such as frequent wet and warm spaces, keep feet wet or damp, wear shoes or socks that do not favor the perspiration of the skin, suffer excessive sweating on the feet, etc.

When the toenails are affected by the proliferation of fungi, they may present the following signs:

  • Nails of the feet yellow or with a presence of yellow stripes. This tonality may darken as the infection progresses.
  • Nails thickened, deformed, rough and much more fragile.
  • Breaks in the nails, usually, this happens around the edges at the beginning and can reach the point of separating from the skin.

In addition to the above signs, nail fungus can also cause pain and discomfort in the toes when pressure and rubbing with the shoes and inflammation, redness and itching in the surrounding skin.


If you have the nail of the big toe of the yellow and thick skin by fungi, it is essential that you initiate the appropriate treatment before the infection advances. In this case, topical antifungal medications should be used, which are applied directly to the affected nail several times a week. In the event that the root of the nail has been affected, the specialist may recommend the taking of antifungal drugs by mouth.

2.Toenail thickened and yellowed by fungi, Psoriasis

The nail psoriasis or nails affects about 50% of people who have psoriasis in other body areas and 80% of people with psoriatic arthritis. It is a chronic inflammatory skin disease of which the exact causes are unknown, but it has been pointed out that it could be related to genetic and environmental factors. Their symptoms can vary considerably from one person to another, and when this disease affects the nails, the alterations and injuries that can be observed in these are the ones detailed below:

Thickening of the nails.

  • Nails that change color can be yellow, salmon or brown. They may also have white or reddish spots underneath.
  • Lines that cross the nails.
  • The appearance of furrows or holes.
  • Greater fragility
  • Scaly on the edges and sides.
  • Detachment


There is no definitive cure for nail psoriasis, but the treatment will be aimed at relieving the symptoms of the condition and avoiding new outbreaks of it. Topical creams and ointments may be prescribed, which usually contain vitamins A or D or corticosteroids. In the event that these drugs do not work, the specialist may indicate oral medication or phototherapy.

3.Yellow Due to Foot Trauma

The blows to the toenails or continuous rubbing with the wrong shoes can also cause nail toe damage and therefore looks thick and yellowish. Both the direct blows to the nail and the injuries caused by the use of very narrow shoes at the front can cause alterations in the usual appearance of the nails, causing vertical or horizontal lines or violet, white, yellow, blue, etc. to appear, due to small hemorrhages of the blood vessels of the nail bed.


Although in many cases the symptoms disappear with the days, the case of perceiving pain, inflammation, subungual hematoma or detachment of the nail, it is important to see the doctor. This can perform if deemed necessary, drainage of blood from the hematoma to relieve discomfort. It may also be indicated to keep the nail protected and use a topical disinfectant to prevent possible infections.

5. Due To Ingrowth

Ingrown nails are those that do not grow properly and that do so by burying their edges inside the skin of the toe. This occurs more frequently in the big toe than in the others and can be a consequence of different factors, such as congenital factors, the use of very narrow shoes, not cutting and grooming the nails in the correct way, the injuries in the nail, the excess of sweat on the feet, suffering from diabetes or poor blood circulation, etc.

When a nail is incarnated, its edges or ends are inserted into the skin of the toe, which causes symptoms such as inflammation, redness, and pain, in addition, the nail can swell and present a yellow coloration and suppuration of white, yellow or greenish pus in case of advanced infection.


Before the first signs of an ingrown nail, you must go to the podiatrist to solve the problem in a professional and specialized way. In addition, it is essential to maximize the hygiene of the area, bathing in warm water with salt several times a day and applying a disinfectant solution on the affected nail.

Yellow toe of the big toe: treatment

Depending on the cause of the nail of the big toe of the yellow foot, the treatment indicated in each case must be carried out. However, it is advisable to always go to the doctor or podiatrist to be a specialist who recommends the treatment and measures to follow. Below, we show some of the daily cares and habits that should be taken into account to prevent problems in the toenails and keep them always healthy:

Keep the toenails short and fix them properly. It is important to cut them straight when they are still a little wet and leave the edges a little visible to prevent them from becoming incarnated.

  • Keep feet dry and avoid getting wet or wet for a long time. Dry them well after washing and avoid staying for long periods of time with sweaty socks or wet feet.
  • Always wear shoes that are wide at the front, allowing the foot to breathe and stay well ventilated.
  • Wear cotton socks and change them frequently.
  • Properly hydrate feet and nails daily.
  • Avoid the use of bad quality glazes.

Disclaimer:  this article is purely informative,we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to go to a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

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