Yellow Nail Syndrome

Yellow Nail Syndrome

When you are taking off your shoes for the day, you don’t always look at your feet. Examining your feet on a weekly basis can be very important to your overall health and wellness. By just examining your feet, you can help to prevent many different disorders and diseases. You can also notice that your toenails have started to yellow. Do not panic - there are many reasons why your toenails can be yellowing, one of which is known in the podiatry world as Yellow Nail Syndrome.

Yellow nail syndrome is a rare but serious cause of yellow toenails in people all over the world. There are three typical features that are associated with this disorder: 

1) Yellow Nails: The yellow nails are slow to grow and do not need to be trimmed very often. They are thickened and discolored with a yellow or green color. There may be ridges across the nails as well as more curving. In more severe cases, the nail can completely detach itself from the nail bed.

2) Lymphedema: There is also swelling of the limbs because of the buildup of excess fluid that is trapped in the body. This usually affects both legs but in some cases may also affect the arms and the face. Around 80% of people with yellow nail syndrome will develop lymphedema. Approximately one third of cases have lymphedema as the first sign of yellow nail syndrome.

3) Lung Problems: Many people with this syndrome will experience lung problems such as shortness of breath and coughing. Half of people with yellow nail syndrome will suffer from recurring chest infections or bronchitis. Pleural effusions (excess fluid in the space surrounding the lungs) affect roughly 40% of people with yellow nail syndrome.

People who have at least two of these three symptoms are usually diagnosed with yellow nail syndrome. Yellow toenails and or fingernails are usually always seen in this condition. Vitamin E may be given to help reduce nail discoloration. Treatment usually focuses on the lung issues and lymphedema and then tends to the yellow nails.

If you suspect you may have yellow nail syndrome, you should seek prompt medical advice. Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn can help you treat your yellow nails and determine whether it is a fungus, yellow nail syndrome, or something else entirely. Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC located in Chandler, Arizona, is friendly, professional, and knowledgeable about your feet and their care. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today.