What Causes Orange Toenails?

What Causes Orange Toenails?

Are you concerned about the color of your toenails? Or do you shudder at the thought of sandal season or showing your feet in public? If you’ve noticed a discoloration of your toenails, you might be experiencing the signs and symptoms of toenail fungus.

Onychomycosis is one. The term refers to the most common fungal infection of the nail. Although both toenails and fingernails can be affected by onychomycosis, this condition affects more on the toenails. One of the first indications that you have acquired onychomycosis is yellow discoloration on your nails. This condition is not life-threatening, although it can negatively affect your personal or social life.

However, researches suggest that approximately 10% of Americans have this condition. In addition, there’s an increased chance of developing this nail fungus as you age.

What are the symptoms of toenail discoloration?

Toenails that have been infected by fungus may present any of these symptoms:

  • Your toenails have a whitish or yellow-brown discoloration.
  • Your toenails have thickened.
  • Your toenails have become brittle, crumbly, or tended to chip easily.
  • Your toenails have jagged edges.
  • Your toenails’ shaped have become somewhat distorted (which can be a big problem especially when wearing shoes).
  • Your toenails may have become darkened because of the dirt and debris building up under them.
  • Your toenails may have acquired a slightly foul odor.

In more severe cases of fungus infection, the nail may come off loose from the nail bed or fall off completely. The infection can also spread to the other parts of the foot, which leads to an uncomfortable itchiness called athlete’s foot.


What causes orange toenails?

Healthy toenails are usually clear in color and do not present any other problems such as cracking, jagged edges or distorted shapes. But in case you have noticed that your toenails have become discolored, it could be an indication of a more serious underlying condition.

  • Aging – as people age, their toenails tend to thicken, become misshapen and will have a yellow-ish or brown-ish hue to them.
  • Nail polish – people who frequently paint their nails with red, yellow or orange nail polish are more likely to have discolored nails.
  • An underlying condition – the color and condition of your toenails can be an indication of an underlying medical condition such as fungus, infection or a serious illness such as psoriasis, jaundice, diabetes or a weakened immune system.

In addition, men are more prone to acquire toenail fungus than women.  

Can orange toenails be prevented?

Yes, orange toenails can be prevented and here are some tips for prevention of this condition:

  • Always wear clean socks.
  • Always wear shoes that are made of breathable materials.
  • If your shoes become wet, be sure to dry them properly before wearing.
  • Wash your feet often, especially during hot or humid days when sweat can build up easily.
  • During treatment, follow your doctor’s instructions completely.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in damp public areas (such as a shower room).
  • Avoid coming into contact with anyone with a fungal infection.
  • Avoid sharing towels, bathmats, and clothes while having or healing from a fungal infection or if someone else has a fungal infection.
  • Clean and dry your feet and toes thoroughly and daily.
  • Talk with your doctor about all possible treatments methods before using the product.
  • Talk with your doctor at the first sign of discoloration.
  • Maintain proper foot and toenail hygiene. Keep toenails well-trimmed and cleaned.
  • Never cut your nails too short and always cut them straight across.
  • Exercise regularly to promote good blood circulation.

When to see a doctor?

Unless the sure cause of discolored toenails is aging or excessive use of nail polish, you should see your doctor if you suspect that your it can be an indication of something that’s far more serious. Especially when the discoloration is accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • Persistent pain and discomfort;
  • Bleeding;
  • Swelling;
  • Noticeable changes in the shape or thickness in the nail plate;

Treatments for Orange Toenails

The success of the treatment depends on what type of fungus your foot has acquired, and how severe the infection is. You may have to try any of these treatments:

  • Home remedies – You can try a variety of home remedies. Tea tree oil is known to have anti-fungal and antiseptic properties and can be an effective cure for toenail fungus. You can mix tea tree oil and any carrier oil, then apply the mixture to the affected nail. Vinegar is also known as an antiseptic; apply it, undiluted, to the affected nail. Including vitamin E to your diet will also do wonders to your toenails.
  • Prescription drugs – They include anti-fungal prescription pills or anti-fungal oral medications.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) non-prescription medications – They include creams, ointments, polishes and powders.
  • Nail lacquers – Nail lacquers can be effective in combating toenail fungus. Popular names such as Penlac and Jublia are known to have anti-fungal properties to treat toenail fungus such as onychomycosis.
  • Laser treatments – A laser treatment removes that damaged area of your nail and/or skin. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized some types of laser treatments to alleviate the symptoms.
  • Surgery – this is usually seen as a last-resort option if conventional treatments do not work and you are experiencing extreme pain and discomfort. The surgeon removes the affected nail to examine and treat the infection.

If you have orange toenails, here are the products available over the counter in the market today which could help you treat your toenails.

Where to Buy
Purely Northwest Toenail Fungus System
Fungix - Nail Treatment for Toenails & Fingernails


1. Purely Northwest Toenail Fungus System

This is one of the best treatments on the market for getting rid of orange toenails. Its an effective 3 in 1 foot and nail system that harnesses the power of Tea Tree Oil, Oregano Oil, Camphor Oil and various other types of essential oil. The ingredients of this product are 100% natural so you won’t have to worry about any side effects.

2. EmuaidMax

This is another incredible antifungal and antibacterial treatment for treating orange toenails, plus it is one of the best-selling treatment in the world today and treats over 75 types of severe skin condition such as toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, acne, hemorrhoids and more. This is also made from high-quality ingredients such as Tea Tree Oil, Castor Oil, Vitamin E, etc. These ingredients are very effective in fighting against your orange toenails helping you to live a fungus-free life.

3. Fungix – Nail Treatment for Toenails & Fingernails

This is one of the best-selling toenail fungus treatments on the market today. It’s made of essential oils, including tea tree oil, plus Undecylenic Acid proven to kill fungus. This product decreases the severity of toenail problems by naturally re-hydrating the skin. It also has Manuka oil and Bee Propolis that guarantees restoration of healthy nails in just a matter of two weeks. 

All the ingredients listed in this treatment are FDA approved and are very effective in treating toenail fungus. Also, this nail treatment is 100% vegan-friendly. It is proudly made in the USA inside a GMP-certified laboratory. 

Practicing good foot hygiene, keeping the toes clean, and treating any underlying conditions may help to prevent yellow toenails.