Nail Discoloration Brown, Yellow, Black, From Nail Polish, Diabetes, Cancer, Pictures, Treatment

Sometimes, you can find yourself having discolored nails. In this article, we look at nail discoloration, which leads to brown, black and yellow nails, emanating from nail polish, diabetes, cancer.  We shall also highlight on treatment options that are available.

Nail discoloration brown

Most of the people do not give the fingernails much needed attention other to cut, trim and also decorate them. But, the fingernails might also be a crucial indicator of a person’s health. Normally the nails are somewhat white to some light brown color having a pink to red tinge because of the underlying blood flow.

Nail discoloration

Nail discoloration

There might be some degree of variation in the white color which is usually considered normal, and also similar to variations in the teeth color. When fingernails are overtly discolored then it may be an indication of a nail problem or a systemic disease.

There might be several different colors that are evident in discolored nails.  A brownish discoloration is one such abnormality that is referred to as melanonychia.

It may affect the entire nail or happens only as spots, or bands. Racial variations in skin and nail color can also be incorrectly described as discoloration but this particular type of racial melanonychia is taken as being normal.

It can also happen during pregnancy but will resolve after childbirth. These particular causes are not considered to be serious or even a symptom of underlying disease although it might arise with some of the disease in pregnancy.

External Causes of Discoloration

Brown discoloration of nails can happen because of the fact that there are external factors. There might also be no internal abnormality that causes changes in nail color and if external factor is removed, then the nails should be able to return to a normal color given some period of time. Some of the factors may include:

  • Tobacco smoking
  • Paint or dye contact
  • Excess use of nail polish remover
  • Heat damage
  • Certain nail varnish
  • Mechanical trauma to nails which includes nail biting
  • Radiation exposure
  • Foreign body under the nail

Skin and Nail Diseases

There are several skin and nail diseases which can be responsible for brown discoloration. This can include:

  • Nail fungus
  • Psoriasis
  • Nevi
  • Scleroderma

Toenail discoloration yellow

If your nails are damaged by harsh products, the new nail growth should thus be a healthy, clear color. If your nails become yellow in color, there might be something else that is going on in your body.

Sometimes having yellow nails might be a sign of something that is serious. Vitamin or mineral deficiencies may also lead to nails appearing yellow, and introduction of a multivitamin supplement to your regiment can stop the problem.

In some of the cases, nails which remain yellow despite having repeated treatment might also be a symptom of thyroid conditions or diabetes. In very rare situations, yellow nails indicate presence of skin cancer.

Nail discoloration

Nail discoloration

A condition known as yellow nail syndrome is indicated by yellow nails and the respiratory or even the lymphatic problems.

How to get rid of yellow nails

Treatment of yellow nails depends on the cause. Most likely, your nails can become discolored due to an infection that you have or even a product which you used. These home remedies are normally based on causes of discoloration.

But, it is crucial to be aware that some of the home remedies are not always effective. See your physician if home remedies aren’t helpful in getting rid of the discoloration.

Tea tree oil

If your nails are discolored due to a bacterial infection, this oil is any easy treatment which can be tried.

Mix a drop of tea tree oil with some carrier oil like olive oil or jojoba oil, and swab the mixture on affected nail. A study has indicated that tea tree oil may effectively stop the common strains of the nail fungus from growing.

Baking soda

Fungus grow in an environment where pH level is acidic. Soaking your nails in hot water that is mixed with baking soda can prevent the fungus from spreading. Baking soda usually creates an alkaline environment and, over some soaks, can leave your nails being much clearer.

Oregano oil

Oregano oil is said to have the antimicrobial properties. It’s very effective against bacteria and also fungi, which makes it a very great treatment if you’re not sure what’s causing the nails becoming yellow.

Similar to use of the tea tree oil for treatment of the nail discoloration, the oil should be mixed with some carrier oil before applying topically to affected nails.

Nail discoloration black

Fungus infections of fingernails can turn the nails brown or even yellow. The texture can similarly change; nails become very thick and can crack or even peel. Nail fungus infections are common in toes than fingers.

They affect about 15 percent of Americans and can also run in families. These infections are very difficult to treat, and taking of an oral antifungal medication is needed.

Dark streaks rather than full discoloration of nails might also be brought about by bruising, melanoma (which is a type of skin cancer), chronic infections, and medications like from cancer chemotherapy.

Treatment of darkened nails will largely depend on what’s leading to the discoloration in the first place. It’s important to understand what other symptoms you might be having and what medications that you are taking.

Discolored nails from nail polish

If you enjoy pedicures, you can be displeased to learn of your toenail discoloration which has actually been brought about by nail polish. On the other hand, even people who go to nail salon weekly do not have the discolored nails. The other plausible for your strangely colored toenails is the white toenail fungus.

Although the two problems are deeply disturbing, it is crucial to find out exactly why you have the nail discoloration. Unfortunately discolored toenails which is brought about by nail polish can only be cured one of the two ways; either you allow the toenail growth or you bleach your nails. Both of the processes can be time consuming, but none of them is a risk to your health.

If you are experiencing a fungal nail infection, it might be quickly spread to your other toes and other people if you are not very careful. Although you might rely on just about a nail fungus home remedy, you also can get worried about the problem reemerging later in life.

The easiest way which you can use to tell if your discolored nails have been brought about by fungi versus nail polish is through taking of a long and close look at your nails. Discolored toenails brought about by polish can be otherwise healthy, strong and also too thick.

But, unhealthy nails can be weak and a bit crumbly. If nail polish is the reason, your nails might also be tinted in a range of colors, like red, blue, black or even orange. Nails that has been affected by fungus tend to be off white or even yellow in color.

Rested assured that your nail discoloration can clear up with time, no matter what treatment method which you decide upon. If you go for nail fungus laser treatment, you will have fast results. In total, your nail discoloration should last for no more than six weeks.

So as to prevent your nails from being discolored again in future, stay away from brands of the nail polish or even the environments that brought out your issue in the first place. Also try to go to a different spa for the pedicures and ensure that you use shower shoes while going barefoot in the public places.

Discolored toenails diabetes

Chronically high blood sugar levels might also be associated with the serious complications in those who have diabetes. The feet are at risk. The conditions known as diabetic neuropathy and also the peripheral vascular disease might damage the feet in those who have diabetes.

Thick, yellow-brown, or even opaque nails are very much common with fungal nail infections.

The infected area might crumble or appear to pull away from the rest of the nail. Fungus thrives in warm, dark environment that is created by wearing of the closed-toed shoes. Nail injury can also increase the risk of the fungal nail infection.

These infections are too difficult, but not impossible, to be treated. Oral medications can work best in treatment of the fungal nail infections. Topical treatments are effective for a few fungal nail infections. Sometimes, surgery is good in removal of the infected areas of the nail.

Discolored toenail cancer

Melanoma of the nail unit is a variant of acral lentiginous melanoma (melanoma which arises on palms of hands and the soles of feet). Other types of melanoma which rarely arising under nails are nodular melanoma and also the desmoplastic melanoma.

Melanoma of nail unit affects either a thumb nail or even the great toenail but any toenail can also be involved. The term includes:

  • Subungual melanoma (melanoma that is originating from nail matrix)
  • Ungual melanoma (melanoma that is originating from under nail plate)
  • Periungual melanoma (melanoma that is originating from skin beside nail plate)

Who gets melanoma of nail unit?

Melanoma of nail unit is usually rare, thus accounting for only about 1.5% melanoma among the white-skinned individuals. It arises in people of all the races, whatever their skin colour.

Although not very common in dark skin than the fair skin, it is the most common type of melanoma that is diagnosed in pigmented individuals. It is usually diagnosed between the age of 40 and 70.

It is not thought to be because of the sun exposure. Trauma might be a factor, accounting for greater incidence in great toe and thumb.

What does melanoma of the nail unit look like?

Subungual melanoma normally starts as a pigment band that is visible along the length of nail plate. Over some months, the pigment band:

  • Becomes wider at its proximal end
  • Becomes irregular in pigmentation which includes light and brown brown
  • Extends to the adjacent nail fold
  • May develop a nodule, ulcerate
  • May lead to thinning, cracking or even distortion of nail plate.

However, in up to half of all the cases subungual melanoma is amelanotic.

Ungual melanoma can also form a nodule especially under the nail plate, lifting it up. It may look like a wart. It is usually painless, but an advanced tumour that is invading underlying bone might lead to severe pain.

Discolored toenails pictures

Nail discoloration

Nail discoloration


Nail discoloration

Nail discoloration

Nail discoloration treatment

  • Systems – The Purely Northwest toenail fungus system makes use of the powers of tea tree oil. The system has three main parts. It gets rid of the fungus from under, around, and also in the nail.

As the fungus which is living in your nail dies, the nail starts to lose the discoloration. As long as you continue to use the system, it can restore your nail’s health completely.

  • Gels – Using Xenna NonyX nail gel can restore the nail to its original color. The ingredients clears the keratin debris from under nail. It’s a popular over-the-counter treatment which is widely recommended by podiatrists.
  • Liquids – Applying Omiera Labs will assist in curing of the nail fungus. It also has a substance known as the Podazole, which assists in whitening of the discolored toenails. This will assists your nails to look good quickly, giving a boost to your self-confidence.
  • Polishes – Not strictly a treatment, but we all want a way that we can use to cover up yellow nail fungus. Use of a non-medicated polish isn’t recommended. The good news is that you might use an antifungal polish.



  1. Why are my fingernails turning dark:
  2. Toenail Discoloration – From Nail Polish or Nail Fungus:
  3. How can diabetes affect my feet:
  4. Melanoma of nail unit:
  5. Finding an Effective Toenail Discoloration Treatment:
  6. Yellow Nails:
  7. Nail Discoloration: Symptoms & Signs:
  8. Brown Fingernails – Causes Of Brownish Color, Spots, Streaks:



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