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My Baby’s Toes Are Yellow

    As a responsible parent, any abnormal feature on your child’s body is scary. This includes a possible malfunction on the body or an unusual color on the body. Yellow toes are one of these features that can scare you. There are several reasons why your baby may have yellow toes and feet. Some of these reasons are harmless, while others are a sign of any existing problem. The condition that the child is suffering from determines the treatment administered. Read on to understand some of the reasons why your child may have yellow toes and how you can treat this condition.

    Why Are Your Baby’s Toes Yellow?

    There are two significant reasons why your child may have yellow feet. On one side, your child will have yellow feet if they are suffering from child jaundice. This condition is common in a baby for the first days of their life. On the other hand, your baby will have yellow toes due to a condition called carotenemia. The two conditions have different signs and symptoms and thus possible for you to tell between them.


    Jaundice is a condition common to newborn babies and affects almost 50% of all newborn babies. This condition appears within the first week of the baby’s life. Jaundice can go away on its own even without treatment. However, treatment is necessary as soon as you realize the symptoms of jaundice in your baby. In extreme cases, it can lead to brain damage and even death.

    What Causes Jaundice?

    Newborn babies are the most likely to have jaundice. This is especially if they are born prematurely; that is before 37 weeks of gestation. Additionally, if the baby is not breastfeeding enough or is not compatible with the mother’s blood type, this may result in jaundice.

    Symptoms of Jaundice

    The most common jaundice sign is the yellowing of various parts of the body, such as the stomach, chest, fingers, and toes. The condition comes along with other symptoms such as drowsiness, poor feeding, and dark urine. In severe cases, you will have signs such as not gaining weight and drowsiness.

    Treatment for Jaundice

    Ideally, jaundice disappears on its own in about two weeks. However, in some cases, treatment for jaundice is necessary. The treatment administered for jaundice is such as phototherapy, where the baby is put under special bright blue light. The time the baby stays under this light varies depending on the baby’s condition. In case this does not solve the problem, doctors advise blood exchange transfusion though this is a rare solution.

    When to Seek Treatment

    Treatment for jaundice is only needed in severe conditions. However, be on the lookout and realize some conditions that will need medical attention. For instance, call your doctor if you realize that more parts of the skin are turning yellow. Other alarming signs are dehydration, sleepier than usual, weight loss, constant crying, and strange eye movements. If treated on time, the condition heals, and everything becomes normal.


    Carotenemia is the other condition that may cause the yellow color on your baby’s toes. This condition makes various parts of the body, such as the toes, appear yellow after eating foods rich in carotene. These foods rich in carotene include corn, yams, pumpkins, spinach, and beans, among others. Carotene is also found in other fruits or vegetables that have deep yellow or green color. Babies who are breastfeeding exclusively may also get the condition if the mother is eating a lot of food rich in carotene.    

    Diagnosis and Treatment for Carotenemia

    There are no specific tests done to diagnose carotenemia. However, the pediatrician will look for other signs such as yellow eyes or paleness to rule out jaundice. Additionally, since carotenemia is a harmless condition, there is no treatment for it. Your baby will grow out of it as they get used to other foods. Some dietary changes, such as reducing foods containing carotene, will also help. However, you do not have to stop feeding the baby these foods since they still have their health benefits in the body. If you are highly concerned, you can stop feeding these foods for a while and see whether the yellowness disappears.


    If your baby has yellow toes, they may be suffering from either jaundice or carotenemia. Luckily, both of these conditions are manageable and treatable. Help your baby get back their normal color on the toes and other parts of the body with the information above.

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