How Nail Polish Can Affect Your Toenails


Getting a pedicure at the salon is a great way to unwind and relax, but be aware that repetitive painting of your toenails can lead to issues. Pedicures can help to get rid of things like calluses and dead skin, and can also leave your feet feeling refreshed. It’s even a great activity to do with a group of friends. Although getting pedicures can be a fun experience and a great pastime, they can sometimes come with certain health issues for your feet.

What does nail polish do to my nails?

Repeatedly painting your toenails can cause discoloration. Repetitive painting is a common cause of yellow nails. It’s not a medical issue, but it can be an unwelcome sight to see yellow nails. Plus, it could throw you off since yellow nails aren’t always from nail polish. Fungal infections, age, and a number of diseases can cause yellowing in your toenails. If you do notice this issue, check in with us to make sure that it is nail polish and not something else going on!

Why does nail polish turn my nails yellow?

There’s an ingredient in many brands of nail polish called iron oxide. Over time, iron oxide can absorb into your nail and turn it yellowish. This situation is particularly common when using red or orange or darker shades. Frequent painting without leaving the nail bare between can trap moisture underneath the nail bed. This can lead to infection, which will also cause the discoloration. Nail salons without proper hygiene and sanitation techniques can also spread fungus pretty readily.

How do I treat yellowed nails?

As with many of these issues, prevention is the best treatment. Painting a clear base coat before applying nail polish can reduce the likelihood that they will turn yellow. Go for lighter colors and avoid darker colors or red and orange. If your nails are prone to yellowing, the easiest thing to do is leave the nails bare for a while. After a time, the nails will recover and turn back to their original color. 

Yellowed nails can be unsightly and stressful to get rid of! If your nails are yellow, call your podiatrist to rule out the possibility of fungal infections. Here at Bay Podiatry Associates, our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Argirios Mantzoukas can help to diagnose and treat any foot or ankle issues you might be experiencing. To schedule an appointment at our Brooklyn, NY office, give us a call today at (718) 266-1986.