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Burke VA Podiatrist Answers: Why Does Nail Polish Turn My Toenails Yellow?

burke va podiatrist nail polish yellow nailsGiven that the nail industry is worth billions of dollars, it’s not hard to believe that our Burke VA podiatrist gets many inquiries about the relationship between nail polish and yellow toenails. Getting regular pedicures is the norm for many people these days, and some are dealing with stained toenails as a result. Although having painted toenails is appealing cosmetically, our Burke podiatrist wants you to know the best way to enjoy the look, while also maintaining healthy toenails.

Our Burke VA Podiatrist Gives Tips for Healthy Toenails

What Causes Yellow Toenails?

We all know our toenails exist for our protection, but what you may not know is that they’re porous and absorbent. This means that when you’re wearing polish, your toenail is absorbing the chemicals in the polish. Many nail polish brands use mineral pigments that are known to cause yellowing of the toenail, especially when the polish is left on for an extended amount of time. According to our Burke podiatrist, in order for your nails to be healthy, they need exposure to oxygen, which means regular breaks from nail polish.

How to Prevent Yellow Nails

Luckily, there are multiple ways to prevent yellow toenails, as recommended by our Burke VA podiatrist below:

  • Apply a clear base coat prior to polishing to create a barrier between your toenail and the nail polish
  • Use lighter colored polish, since dark colors are more likely to stain
  • Look for nail polishes that don’t contain formaldehyde
  • Give your toenails time to breathe between polish applications
  • Don’t leave nail polish on for an extended period of time

Contact Our Burke VA Podiatrist for Help with Yellow Toenails

Following this advice from our Burke podiatrist will help you keep yellow toenails at bay. It’s important to remember; however, that nail polish isn’t always the cause of yellow toenails. Other contributing factors could be a fungal infection, pulmonary disease, psoriasis, or exposure to certain foods or chemicals. If you’re unsure what’s causing your yellow toenails, contact our Burke VA podiatrist for a consultation.

The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to podiatry, feel free to contact The Podiatry Center, with a convenient podiatry office near Burke VA, by clicking here or by calling 301.656.6055.



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The Podiatry Centers located in Bethesda, Maryland (MD) and Springfield, Virginia (VA) treat all medical and surgical foot and ankle conditions. Licensed Podiatrist,
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