To heal cracked, yellow toenails, patients should apply an oral antifungal medicine to toenails as prescribed by a physician, such as griseofulvin or itraconazole, according to WebMD. Over-the-counter antifungal cream or ointment may also help to minimize the yellow, cracked appearance of toenails. Surgery to remove the infected nail is also an option.
Toenails plagued by fungal nail infections typically appear yellow and cracked and may even require surgical removal of an infected toenail if antifungal medicines or ointments do not offer healing. When people contract a fungal nail infection, treatment is necessary as the infection may travel to the nail bed. Permanent nail damage can occur if the infection is left untreated, according to WebMD.
The cause of yellow and cracked toenails is typically attributed to fungal nail infections, explains WebMD. Fungal nail infections can change the color of the nail and produce spots as a result of athlete's foot spreading to the toenails; walking barefoot in public places; and trapped moisture on the toenail. The toenail, when infected, appears yellow and cracked and may also thicken and develop discolored streaks. Proper cleaning with soap and regular filing and cutting of the nail can help reduce the risk of infections..