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Nail Discoloration

What is Nail Discoloration?

Nail discoloration is the change of color of the nails due to various reasons.

Symptoms of Nail Discoloration

 White, yellow or green nails

 Signs of infection with slight or prominent discoloration of nails

 Pain, itch or discomfort in the area

 Red or black nails

Causes of Nail Discoloration

 Malnutrition Malnutrition is one of the most common reasons of discoloration of nails.

 Staining Staining due to cosmetics or nail varnishes.

 Fungal or bacterial infections Fungal or bacterial infections in the nail bed cause the nails to appear yellow or green.

 Poor hygiene Poor hygiene could lead to infections that cause nail discoloration.

 Injury or trauma Injury or trauma could lead to accumulation of blood underneath the nails making them appear red or black in colour.

 Ingrown nails Ingrown nails leave a red or a purple colored hue underneath or around the nails.

 Chronic diseases Discoloured nails are one of the prominent signs for chronic diseases like diabetes, conditions of liver, lung, heart or kidneys.

 Inadequate oxygen content in blood inadequately oxygenated blood makes the skin and the nails appear blue.

 Lymphedema Lymphedema causes the colour of the nails to change to yellow. It is also called as the Yellow nail syndrome and it occurs due to lung diseases or swelling of tissues because of accumulated fluids.

 Onycholysis Onycholysis is the condition that occurs when the nail is separated from the nail bed. This also makes the nail look yellowish in colour.

Treatment of Nail Discoloration

 Medical Counselling counselling is required for an in depth diagnosis of the medical condition that causes nail discoloration.

 Medication Anti inflammatory medication or medication to cure diseases that cause nail discoloration could be prescribed.

 Topical treatment Topical treatment is effective for discoloration caused by fungal or bacterial infections. It also hydrates the nail and the surrounding skin and prevents fungal or bacterial growth.

 Nail surgeries - Nail Surgeries like Matricectomy or Partial nail avulsion may be required for severe conditions that are caused by fungal or bacterial infections or due to ingrown nails.

What one should expect from nail discoloration treatments

 Discoloured nails are a sign of many underlying diseases. Treating these diseases may reduce the visible appearance of discoloured nails.

 Recovery time could be extended till a healthy new growth of nail is completed.


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