Yellow Nail Syndrome: Yellow Nails, Lymphedema, Bronchiectasis, Pleural Effusions and Sinusitis…

Yellow Nail Syndrome (YNS) was first described by London physicians Peter Samman and William White in 1964.  The nail changes are characterized by marked thickening and yellow to yellowish green nail discoloration which is often associated with systemic disease, most commonly lymphedema (80%) and lung disease.  The nails are typically over curved in both transverse and longitudinal directions and grow very slowly.  There is often onycholysis.  There is loss of the lunulae and cuticles.

Lymphedema, bronchiectasis, pleural effusions, chronic pulmmonary infections and chronic sinusitis may occur and precede the nail changes.  Other less frequently associated conditions include autoimmune disorders, immunodeficiencies and rheumatoid arthritis.  YNS has been associated with certain drugs, such as D-penicillamine, bucillamine and gold sodium thiomalate.

The cause of YNS is unknown.

TREATMENT:  Clinical responses in the nail disease have been reported with oral zinc or 800 IU/day of D-alpha-tocopherol alone or in combination with itraconazole.  Nail improvement has been reported with use of fluconazole and vitamin E.  To read more about YNS click HERE and HERE.