Can yellowish nails be a sign of disease?

Expert answer:

Yes, yellowish nails can be a sign of some diseases and health problems, such as hepatitis C, ringworm, poor circulation, diabetes, asthma, bronchitis and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

However, having yellow nails does not always indicate that the person is sick. Prolonged use of antibiotics, frequent contact with water and excessive intake of vitamin A may also leave the nail yellow.

People who have the toenails too long may also have yellowish nails. In this case, the color change is caused by the detachment of the nail which, because it is too long, can generate a lever and detach itself from its bed.

There are even situations where the nail can become yellow without having a definite cause. This is the case, for example, in the 20-Nail Syndrome, in which the nails do not grow, have no cuticles, become thicker and yellowish.

Among the diseases, the main ones responsible for leaving the yellow nails are the ringworm, O diabetes and the lung problems.

Onychomycosis (nail fungus) is caused by fungi that consume the protein that forms the nail, leaving it thicker, weak and brittle or rigid. In respiratory diseases, the nails thicken, grow very slowly and become more yellow.

Healthy nails have a shiny appearance, they do not usually flake or show signs of lack of hydration. Nails that change color, peel, darken, have grooves or stains may indicate various health problems.

To assess whether yellowing of the nail is a sign of disease, consult a dermatologist.

Learn more at:

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