Generally when you nails become a yellowish color it means that this is an underlying medical problem such as problems with your liver, infections of the blood, jaundice or more often than not a nail fungus infection. This infection is contagious and can not only spread between your nails; you can also pass it along to others who you come in contact with you.
A nail fungus infection makes your nails look ugly and at times they can hurt, swell, bleed and become infected. The skin that surrounds your nail can also be affected by the infection making the skin weaker and look unattractive. If you have a job where people see your finger and toenails often, this condition can be extremely embarrassing.
If you work in a place that keeps you hands or feet damp a lot, go to public swimming pools or showers or walk barefoot in public restrooms you are at a much higher risk of becoming infected with nail fungus. You can also spread the condition by sharing an emery board or even nail clippers. It is wise not to share either of those and if your nail salon does not sterilize its utensils between clients, you should find another one. You will eventually become infected also. If you have to be in these areas you should get some swimming shoes, flip flops or something else to protect your feet to lower your chances of getting the infection.
The condition normally will start out as just a small spot on your nail but as it begins to grow more of the nail will be affected and eventually become discolored. The bed of skin underneath the nail has become infected by this time and it will begin to spread between the nails if it is not treated promptly.
If you suspect a fungal infection or any other type of underlying medical condition you should call your physician and have them run some tests on it. They can take a portion of the nail and run various tests so that they can rule out some of the underlying conditions and find out exactly what it is.
Once you have been diagnosed with a nail fungus infection it is important that you begin some type of treatment immediately. If you do not you still run the risk of the condition continuing to spread between your nails and passing it along to other people around you. There are medications that you can purchase in any drugstore but if you choose this option, make sure that you know what active ingredients are found in the product because a lot of the products you find will only treat the exterior symptoms and not fix the interior condition. This will only temporarily help the fungus and it will return or even continue to get worse.
You can also get a prescription medication from your doctor. Again, make sure you know the active ingredients and pay attention to the side effects that can come from taking the medication. In some cases the side effects can be tougher on you than the actual condition. Take care of your nails by keeping them clean and dry and avoiding situations that might make you more prone to getting a nail infection.