Too Many Manicures Can Cause Yellow Nails. Here's How To Reverse It

There's nothing quite as soothing for the soul as getting a manicure. Besides the time it provides for you to focus solely on yourself, unlike a hot body massage or an acupuncture session, a manicure leaves you with a fresh new look. A new set of nails or color on your own nails can put a spring in your step and be a great pick-me-up.

Manicures last long enough that you can go a couple of weeks between salon visits, especially if you get a gel or dip powder manicure. By the time you go back, you'll likely pick a new color or design, and the rejuvenation process begins again.

While many people look forward to their manicures and the beauty boost they supply, getting too many of them can turn your nails yellow. That's something no one wants to deal with, but it's preventable, and if you find your nails turning yellow, there are ways to correct it.

How do manicures cause yellow nails?

There are many health benefits that manicures provide, like keeping your cuticles trimmed and your nail beds clean, moisturized, and hydrated. However, consecutive and ongoing manicures can sometimes leave nails looking yellow, and it's not about the actual manicure but rather the nail polish. "Unlike the conventional thinking that healthy nails are firm and hard, the reality is that nails are in fact quite porous," dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss tells Women's Health.

That means that nail polish tint can seep into the nail bed and change the natural color of your nails. The darker the nail polish, the worse it can be. "The iron oxides in those polishes become oxidized and result in the temporary yellow-rust-like color that will eventually resolve," says Idriss.

An easy way to prevent this from happening is to simply let your nails breathe. Instead of always having polish on your nails, allow some time in between manicures. Idriss advises, "Take your nail polish off after a week or so, and dare to go bare every once in a while."

Try this if your nails are already yellow

If you notice that your nails have already turned yellow, don't fret. By simply leaving nail polish off your nails, you can likely fix the problem. If the yellow still persists, Dr. Ian Smith says to try brushing your nails with a soft brush and whitening toothpaste (via Rachael Ray Show).

For stubborn cases, mix 3-4 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and a half-cup of warm water into a bowl and soak your nails, which will give you some of the feel-good sensations of getting a manicure while deep cleaning your nail bed. You can also substitute the peroxide with tea tree oil or baking soda.

However, if you try these measures and take an extended break from nail polish but your nails are still yellow, it may be time to see your doctor. Yellow nails can sometimes signal medical issues like thyroid, liver, or respiratory problems, diabetes, and even nail fungus or a vitamin deficiency. Once the yellow is gone, use a clear base coat each time before you apply color, particularly if it's a dark shade.