My nail beds are smooth and pink, but the tips are yellow. What causes this and how can I fix it?
It sounds like your nail beds are healthy but the tips are stained, says New Orleans dermatologist Deirdre O'Boyle Hooper, MD. The nicotine in cigarettes can turn your nails yellow, but I hope that's not the root of your problem. (Smoking also causes wrinkles and an unlovely smoker's pallor, not to mention a host of ugly health issues.) Instead, I'm going to assume that you're dealing with the most common cause of yellowing: wearing nail polish. To eliminate the stains, Hooper recommends lightly buffing your (unpolished) nails and soaking them for five to ten minutes in lemon juice or, if you're more ambitious, a slushy mixture of two parts peroxide and one part baking soda. Do the soak every other day until you see an improvement. To prevent restaining, use a protective base coat under your polish, and give your nails a polish-free week every once in a while. But what if you're a nonsmoker and a nonpolisher? Then the staining may be due to aging. For that (inevitable) condition, run a whitening pencil under the tips.
Keep in mind:
If the remedies above don't work, consult a dermatologist; rarely, yellowing can be caused by an underlying medical condition.
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