What Causes My Fingers to Turn Yellow?

Smoking cigarettes can cause fingers and teeth to stain a yellow-brown color, explains Johnson & Johnson. It is the tar rather than the nicotine that is responsible for the discoloration. Liver problems can also result in a yellowing of the skin called jaundice, notes HealthTap.

Although issues with the liver can cause the skin to become jaundiced, it is rare for only the fingers to turn yellow if a liver problem is the cause, according to HealthTap. Usually, the tissue under the tongue or the eyes turns yellow first, or the patient presents with a generalized yellow skin appearance.

Jaundice is common in infants, especially those who are born prematurely because their livers are not yet developed enough to rid the bloodstream of bilirubin, a yellow-pigmented component of red blood cells, explains Mayo Clinic. In the majority of infant jaundice cases, no treatment is required, although severe complications, such as brain damage, can occur without treatment in extreme cases.

Yellowing of the fingernails can signal severe health problems, notes BootsWebMD. Slow-growing yellowish nails that are thicker than usual may indicate emphysema or other lung diseases. Yellowed nails with a blushed appearance at the base may be indicative of diabetes. Meanwhile, white nails can be a sign of hepatitis or other liver diseases, and nails that are half-white and half-pink may be seen in individuals with kidney disease.