7 Must-Read Facts About Black Toenail Fungus

Black Toenail Fungus

So your toe looks like you dropped a cinder block on it, and you’ve decided to search the internet for solutions and save yourself the co-pay at the doctor’s office. Well, get your wallet back out, it’s nearly unavoidable, and below are 7 facts you need to know about your black toenail fungus.

1. Mistaken Identity? Are you sure that you have black toenail fungus? Rarely is toenail fungus black. Normally it is white, yellowish or greenish, or brown in color. Dark black is usually an indicator of a hematoma, or blood under the nail, as with trauma or injury (cinder block…….)

2. You’re not a dirty person: Fungus is everywhere! Do you go where other people go? Have you ever swum in a pool? Taken in the guilty pleasure of a pedicure? Then you’re in luck! You have all you need to be susceptible to getting fungus under toenails. Contrary to popular belief, black toenail fungus (along with its other-colored family members) can strike anyone.

3. Infection, it can mean so many things: Sure, you might have an infection on your toe, but that doesn’t necessarily mean its black toenail fungus. If you have any doubts about your toenail fungus symptoms, see a doctor. Whether infection via some other means, or a full blown fungal pool, your doctor is best prepared to make the diagnosis, not you and all the googling you can squeeze into a Tuesday night.

4. It’s treatable: Relax. It’s ugly, but it is treatable. After a consultation with your health care provider, you and he or she will be able to find a toenail fungus cure that is tailored to your specific condition. There are no grades of fungus grossness; it’s all treatable, even if it means surgical removal.

5. If it smells……. Wondering if you have toenail fungus? If it smells worse than your feet normally do after a long day in work boots or pointy heels, you just might. An odor is a more serious sign of fungal infection, and you should seek out infected toenail treatment immediately.

6. Don’t believe everything you read: The internet is alternative medicine’s playground, and while vinegar and Vicks Vapor Rub are most likely harmless, (and most likely equally ineffective) bleach, urine, and concentrated Lysol (also internet-suggested remedies) can be extremely dangerous and leave you much worse off than just being the bearer of a couple of ugly toes. You should NEVER attempt home remedies without speaking to your health care provider about same.

7. Don’t cover it and don’t polish it: Where does fungi’s big familiar cousin, the mushroom, live? In a damp, dark cave. Well, what is your sock? Exactly. Unless required, wear socks as infrequently as possible, and change them often, especially if your feet are sweaty. Additionally, unsightly as toe fungus is, don’t cover it up with your most spectacular nail polish. It will only inhibit the effectiveness of your treatments and create an even happier fungal breeding ground.

Toenail fungus, although normally not a serious condition, still needs to be treated by a medical professional. If your symptoms worsen, even during treatment, it is important to discuss the changes with your doctor. With proper care, your toenail fungus will clear up, and in the time it takes for a new nail to grow in, you will have beautiful feet and nails.