Review Board
Mood Music
Health Tracker
Healthy Eating
Social Service
Health News
Podcast E-book

Why Are My Nails Turning Orange : Scientific Reason

Listen to this article

Nail discoloration, in which the nails appear white, orange or green, can occur as a result of various skin infections and conditions. In about 50% of the cases, the faded nail is the result of infection of common fungi found in air, dust and soil. There are many species of fungi that may affect nails. However, by far the most common is called the trichophyton rubrum. This type of fungus has a tendency to infect the skin and is therefore known as dermatophyte. Pseudomonas is a type of bacteria that infects the nail bed and as a result the color of the nails becomes green. Red or black (which can sometimes occur due to injury) can result from a hematoma (blood clot) under the nail nail (including ingrown toenails). It is normal to have stress after seeing your nails turning orange. But you have to find out the reasons behind such issue. Otherwise, you will be too late to treat the nails. So, lets find out the exact cause.

Why Are My Nails Turning Orange?

At first, orange nails may appear due to fungal infections. Eating too much beta-carotene can also cause this problem. At the same time, applying nail polish without a base coat can also do this. In the end, orange-colored nails can be a sign of a serious health problem. Not only that, there can be a lot more.

Now, to be honest, there are a few more reasons. And we have provided them with treatment as well. So, to help you, don’t forget to read!

Are Your Nails Really Turning Orange?

As it sounds, orange nail syndrome is a condition in which your nails become orange in color. This can indicate a number of underlying issues – from staining of nail polish to more serious health conditions.

We will outline some of the main causes and treatments for orange nail syndrome in this article. Of course, it would be best if we never got orange nails before, so we’d go through some prevention tips too.

Bacterial Infection or Fungus.

Orange nails is usually caused by a nail infection or fungus. Bad, we know, but it happens! Other symptoms of a fungal infection may include nail twitching and an unpleasant smell. If left untreated, the nail bed can retreat, making it thicker and crumblier.

Treating Orange Nails Infection or Fungus.

The best idea is to take yourself to a dermatologist – not immediately, but if you don’t see any improvement even after 10-14 days of home treatment, make an appointment. They will not only diagnose you properly and better treat your needs, but the prescriptions are far more effective than OTC treatments for orange nails.

Keep in mind that prescriptions can take weeks to months to make your nails fully healthy. Your healthy nails need time to grow and replace old orange nails.

Read Now: 6 Effective Yoga Asanas For Skin Disease or Skin Problems

Home Remedies To Treat Orange Nails.

Before you run to a dermatologist, try some of these home remedies:

1. Thyme oil.

It has been found to have antimicrobial properties. If you’re not sure if the orange is from bacteria or fungi, then oregano oil is ideal because it treats both. Mix it with carrier oil like olive, coconut or jojoba oil and apply it on the affected nails.

2. Tea Tree Oil.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil

Another easy treatment that you can try, and also effective – studies show that tea tree oil can prevent normal strains of nail fungus from growing.(1) Mix 1-2 drops of tea tree oil with carrier oil and swab on the faded nail.

3. Baking soda.

Another common household product & anti-fungal treatment.(2) Since the fungus grows only in acidic environments, the alkaline pH of baking soda prevents the fungus from spreading. Soak your feet or toes in hot water with baking soda, it will work. After some soaking, you will notice that your nails have been cleaned.

Preventing Bacterial or Fungal Infections on The Nails.

To prevent nail infections you can take a few steps of nail hygiene. Those are as follows:

  • Be sure to trim your nails repeatedly and take out the dirt from under the nails.
  • Wear fresh socks, and let your feet be free to avoid infections of toenails such as athlete’s feet.
  • Do not use nail polish remover on your nails more than once a week.
  • Nail salons can also spread infections by the use of unclean devices. However, make sure that your nail technician are using a clean or new fresh kit.

Nail Polished.

Removing the polish in a weeks or months can often cause a crappy orange spot on your nails. Darker polish does the most damage, causing stains on the nails from the remaining colors. But not the end of the world!

Read Now: Effective Body Wrap Treatment to Weight Loss and Glowing Skin

Treating Stained Nails.

Perhaps the best home remedy is lemon juice. Soak your nails daily in lemon juice for 10-15 minutes until the blemishes disappear. Or, if you think that your polish stains are immediate, for example you have just removed the orange polish and superficial stains are visible, try to whitening it with the toothpaste. Scrub your nails with toothpaste with a nail brush. It should work.

Another home hack is baking soda and peroxide. Just mix 2.5 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl. It will come in a pasty fixture. Using a cotton ball, cover your entire nail with a paste. Wash it off after applying it for about 3 minutes. Repeat this treatment every 6-8 weeks. And be sure to rinse well and re-hydrate your hands and nails with lotions and cuticle oils later.

In most cases of staining, discoloration occurs only on the upper layer of the nail bed. The solution can be as simple as a few rounds of buffing. Sometimes, orange can also reach your cuticles. At this point, it’s probably best to get only a professional manicure – they’ll know how to get your nails back into tip-top shape.

Vitamin E To Heal And Prevent Orange Nails.

Taking a healthy dose of vitamin E will help the cells retain moisture and look healthy. It affects not only your nails but also your skin and hair. More importantly, vitamin E has been clinically proven to be an effective treatment for orange nails.

Another tip – vitamin E stimulates nail growth. Speed up healthy nail growth with topical or oral application of vitamin E – so you can grow your nails in a healthy way.

Bottom Line.

Overall, turning your nails into orange are always an unwanted visitor and, for the most part, they are caused by bacteria or fungal infections, or are only stained with nail polish. Rest assured that our nail technicians always use sanitized tools using barbicide.

+2 Sources

Freaktofit has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, educational research institutes, and medical organizations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Antifungal Activity of Nanocapsule Suspensions Containing Tea Tree Oil on the Growth of Trichophyton rubrum;
  2. Antifungal activity of sodium bicarbonate against fungal agents causing superficial infections;




We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Expert Q&A
Ask a Question
Share Now:

Was this article helpful?



The best of health & fitness platform

We do the research so you don't have to. Stay up-to-date with the latest health and fitness information.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Evidence Based

This content is based on scientific research and written by experts.

Our team of licensed health professionals, nutritionists and fitness experts endeavor to be unbiased, objective, honest and to present each sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1,2,3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific researches.

The best of health & fitness platform

We do the research so you don't have to. Stay up-to-date with the latest health and fitness information.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.