Why Is There Yellow Skin on the Bottom of My Foot?

Yellow skin on the bottom of your feet is quite common and isn’t anything to worry about in most cases. Your feet endure a lot throughout the day, especially if you’re active. However, in rare cases, yellow feet may signify an underlying condition. Whether you’re experiencing this skin change on your toes, sole, or entire foot, seeking medical treatment is recommended.

Dr. Schoene at Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine is an expert in treating various conditions, including issues that may cause yellowing skin on your feet. If you’re experiencing this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office to schedule a consultation today. Read on the discover more about the causes of yellow feet.

Could the Yellow Skin Be Calluses?

Image via Flickr by thisisbossi

A callus is a thick layer of skin that has hardened. Calluses develop on the bottom of your feet, especially in places where you apply a lot of pressure or friction. Calluses will make the bottom of your feet hard and even cause the skin to appear yellow. They may appear waxy-looking or even be dry and cause flaking skin. A callus is typically painless and only requires treatment if they’re uncomfortable. If you are experiencing a painful callus, you can try the following at home:

  • Wear well-fitted, comfortable shoes
  • Use protective pads or shoe inserts
  • File the callus down with a pumice stone
  • Apply a callus removing medication

If you’ve tried these DIY solutions and you’re still experiencing yellow skin on your feet, then other health issues may be the reason. The only way to be sure is to schedule and consult with a medical professional like Dr. Schoene and the Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine team. We can treat your calluses and rule out other causes.

What Is Jaundice?

Jaundice is a condition that causes your skin or the whites of your eyes to appear yellow. This yellowing of the skin and eyes happens because of an overabundance of bilirubin. That is a byproduct of red blood cells that can’t break down or be removed from your body. If you have this condition and have noticed yellowing of your feet, you likely have other areas of skin that are yellow as well. Jaundice can be caused by:

  • Certain herbal supplements
  • Medication used to destroy red blood cells
  • Inflammation or blockage in bile ducts
  • Liver diseases such as cirrhosis or hepatitis
  • Liver failure

If you have symptoms of jaundice, your medical provider can order a blood test to diagnose and determine the cause.

Is Your Diet Causing Yellow Skin?

Your diet can cause yellowing of the skin by overeating food with yellow substances such as:

  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • Peppers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Green vegetables
  • Certain nutritional supplements

If this condition causes your yellowing skin, it should resume normal color shortly after reducing your intake of these foods.

What Are Other Causes of Yellowing Skin?

Several other medical conditions may cause yellowing of the skin from carotenemia. Common conditions include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Kidney conditions
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes

These conditions can cause a buildup of carotenoids in your bloodstream, which may eventually begin to affect the color of your skin. A visit with a doctor is the best way to determine what is causing your yellow skin and get appropriate treatment. Testing may include:

  • Liver function tests
  • Blood glucose tests
  • Cholesterol tests
  • Bilirubin tests
  • A complete blood count (CBC)
  • Beta carotene level test
  • And potentially imaging such as an MRI or CT scan

Your doctor should evaluate the yellowing of the skin as soon as possible to get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.

What About Yellow Toenails?

A normal-appearing toenail is usually transparent and doesn’t have any abnormal shapes, cracks, ridges, or indentations. If your toenails are yellow, it may be because of something as simple as staining from nail polish, or it may be a more severe issue such as:

  • Aging: A natural cause of yellowing toenails occurs from the normal aging process.
  • Yellow nail syndrome: This medical condition causes curved, thick, yellow toenails and may even cause respiratory problems. It may also cause ridges or indentations. If you’re experiencing these symptoms plus changes in the thickness or shape of your nails, bleeding, pain, swelling, or discharge from the nail, you should seek medical attention.
  • Infection: Onychomycosis is a common condition caused by a fungal infection of the nail and can cause nails to turn yellow, have white patches, or even turn black. This type of infection is due to dermatophytes, which eat the keratin needed to grow nails. People with blood circulation issues, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and other autoimmune disorders tend to be more prone to this condition.

If you have yellow toenails or have noticed a change in the appearance of your nails, you may need to see a doctor. A medical professional will be able to diagnose and treat the cause of your yellowing nails properly.

When Should I See a Foot Specialist?

If you’re experiencing yellowing of the feet and are unsure of the cause, it’s a good idea to seek help from a medical professional, such as Dr. Schoene and her team at Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine. An evaluation will help determine the cause of your yellowing feet and develop an appropriate treatment plan. The yellowing skin will return to normal in most cases after treating the underlying condition. You should contact a doctor immediately if you have yellow feet plus any of the following symptoms:

  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Bloody vomit
  • Fever
  • Black stools
  • Problems with cognition, such as drowsiness or confusion

Reach Out to Us Today

If you’re experiencing yellowing skin on the bottom of your feet, Dr. Scheone and the team of experts at Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine can help. You can send us a message or chat with us online, or contact our office by phone at 847-263-6073 to schedule your appointment today. With over 30 years of experience, we can get you back on your feet in no time.