What Causes Orange Toenails?

Orange toenails may be caused by stains from nail polish, fungal infection, lymphedema, diabetes or yellow nail syndrome, as stated by FootVitals. A visit to the doctor can help patients discover the exact cause of this particular symptom.

The most benign potential cause of toenails turning orange is staining from nail polish. Sometimes, bright red, orange or yellow polish can leave an orange hue behind when taken off with nail polish remover.

Sometimes, a fungal infection can cause unattractive yellowing or orange/brown streaks. People should also check for other signs of an infection, such as thickening of the nails, brittle nails or warping of the nail, FootVitals notes.

A more serious cause of this discoloration of nails is poor blood flow as a result of lymphedema, diabetes or circulatory or immune system problems. People should bring up this symptom with their doctors, especially if it has recently developed and the patient is already diagnosed with one of these conditions. It may be a sign of worsening health.

Yellow nail syndrome may also be the cause of discoloration. However, those with this syndrome tend to have yellow to yellow-green nails. Other symptoms include, very thick nails that did not develop properly, pleural effusions and lymphedema.