Black Toenail Fungus

Although somewhat disconcerting, a black toenail fungus is very treatable. It may be that you have had some issues with your feet in the past, or that you had some sort of fungal infection previously. Whatever the case, a black toenail fungus can be very difficult to ignore because of its appearance and the associated pain and discomfort.

How do you determine if you have an actually black toenail fungus infection and that it is not simply an injury? Thinking about what has taken place in the last few months can help. First, did you smash your foot somehow? If you take a closer look at your feet, you can determine if this is an injury or an infection. If it is simply an injury and not black toenail fungus, there will be no changes to the nail or surrounding skin that are noticeable. While the nail itself may be tender or sore, there will be no thickening of the nail. The nail will not be crumbly or streaky.

If; however, you have a black toenail fungus, the nail itself will have some noticeable changes. You may have some pain associated with the infection or not. The appearance of the nail will change, noticeably. It may be that you have some debris under and around the nail. This is caused by changes in the texture of the nail which are brought on by the infection. Such an infection will cause the nail to crumble, soften and thicken. If the infection is quite severe, the nail might actually separate from the nail bed and you may notice streaking or other changes in color.

If there is any pain associated with your nail, you may have a very severe infection. If you have a fever or pus coming from the affected area, you should immediately see a medical professional, because these are signs of severe infection. Most people will not let their black toenail fungus get to this point; however, it is not uncommon for elderly people or people who have other underlying conditions to suffer from a very serious infection.

Although prevention is the best option for a black toenail fungus infection, it is not always possible. Certain underlying conditions can make people susceptible to recurring infections or very severe ones. The most important thing to do is identify the infection and seek treatment as quickly as possible to prevent a more severe infection or the spread of it.

When To Worry About Toenail Discoloration

Do you know when to worry about toenail discoloration? Knowing the signs of a serious fungal infection is very important, because if it is left untreated, it may become infected and cause you some very serious health problems.

If your overall health is pretty good, then in most cases you have very little to worry about. If; however, you are over 60 or have a chronic disease such as diabetes, you may be more prone to these types of infections.

Injuring your foot, and subsequently, your toenail can leave the nail bed open to an infection. You also increase your risk of infection if you walk around barefoot often or at public places, such as the swimming pool, with no shoes or sandals.

Looking at your toenails often and making a note of the condition that they are in should be a part of your weekly grooming routine. If you notice that your nails are discolored, look at them more closely. If you see any of these signs, then it is a good idea to investigate your treatment options:

*If they are thickening or crumbling, splitting or peeling or separating from the nail bed or from the skin surrounding the nails.

*You notice yellow streaks in the bed of the nail or under the nail.

*Large buildup of debris under the nail or around it.

*White spots or streaks on top of your nails.

*Any pain or redness around the toes, nail bed or surrounding skin.

When to worry about toenail discoloration? When it becomes painful to carry on with your daily life, you have problems walking, your feet hurt all of the time. If you leave an infection such as this too long, it can spread and take over every toenail on an entire foot. Next, it will move to the other foot. After that, if you leave it untreated, you can be looking at surgery to remove all of your toenails.

It is very important to keep an eye on your toenails and keep them clean and dry. This is the best way to prevent any infection and to decrease the chances that you will get an infection. To summarize, it is time to worry about discoloration when:

*You have severe pain.

*You notice pus or redness.

*You have a fever.

If you have any of these symptoms, you may need to attend a medical clinic immediately.

Toe Infection Symptoms

There are many toe infection symptoms which can be an indicator of a fungal infection or a bacterial infection. The most important thing is to identify the symptoms and then to treat them as soon as possible in order to prevent the spread of the infection.

Many people suffer from fungal infections, although they may be very mild and not a big cause for concerns, so they do not seek treatment. The main symptoms are:

  1. The nail becomes much thicker, may split or crumble and it can even separate from the skin surrounding the nail;
  2. The nail changes color and this could be any number of colors, depending upon the severity of the infection, including yellow, white, grey, brown or black.
  3. A build up of fragments of nail and skin under the nail and around the nail;
  4. The nails becomes powdery on the surface.

These toe infection symptoms are disconcerting enough; however, if you notice any pus or redness, puffiness, swelling or pain, you have a very serious infection and you should go to the nearest medical clinic immediately.

There are a few common types of fungal nail infections, including Distal subungual onychomycosis which is caused by dermatophytes which affects both the nail as well as the underlying skin. This type of fungus is responsible for about 90% of the toe nail infections.

The next most common infection is white superficial onychomychosis which affects the surface of the nail. It can create white spots or streaking on the surface of the nail, a powdery nail surface with discoloration. The nail does not separate from the skin below the nail.

Certain people are much more susceptible to these kinds of infections, including people who suffer from diabetes, HIV, people with poor circulation, cancer, males, people over 60 years of age and those who take immunosuppressive drugs.

There are some risk factors that you can control and/or eliminate, including:

  • Wearing tight or badly fitting shoes;
  • Wearing shoes that make your feet sweat;
  • Sharing items that you use on your feet, including shoes, socks, clippers, etc.;
  • Living in a hot or humid climate;
  • Not wearing sandals or flip flops when you use shared showers in a locker room or public pool;
  • Having athlete s foot;
  • Being in a job where your hands and feet are constantly wet.
  • Wearing artificial nails or nail polish which do not allow air movement beneath your nails.

Dark Toenails

If you have noticed that you have dark toenails, it could be a sign of a fungal infection.   Nail fungus can cause a noticeable discoloration of your toenails and if you notice this type of discoloration, you should look into treatment options.

How did I get nail fungus?

First, you should know that this infection and resultant dark toenails are not caused by poor hygiene.   It is relatively simple to pick up a nail fungus infection, you just need to think about what activities you have been doing.   Have you been to a pool lately?   Walking around with bare feet in a location, such as a pool, can be the catalyst.   Soon you notice that you have dark toenails, and realize you need to treat this infection.

If you do not treat your dark toenails caused by infection, it is very possible that it will spread to all of the toes on your foot and soon to the other foot.   Your risk is increased if you already have a history of such infections, an impaired immune system or poor blood circulation.   As we age, we also tend to be at risk for these types of infections.

How can I prevent infection?

There are some simple steps you can take to prevent a fungal infection and the resulting dark toenails:

*Do not wear shoes that are too tight.
*Avoid shoes that cause your feet to become hot and sweaty.
*Allow shoes to dry out before wearing them again if they have become wet.
*Do not share items such as socks, nail clippers or nail files.
*Avoid injuring your toe nails.
*Don t smoke.
*Do not use nail polish.

Should I see my doctor?

Dark toenails in themselves are not a reason to call your doctor; however, if you have a lot of pain, heat or tenderness, discharge of pus, a fever or red streaks in the area of your feet, these are signs of serious bacterial infection.

Can I treat this infection myself?

There are many very reliable products on the market that you can use to treat your dark toenails at home, without the need to visit a doctor.   The main thing to keep in mind with these treatments is to follow the directions carefully and do not discontinue use, even if you see an improvement, before you have used the product for the recommended amount of time.   If you discontinue use of a product, you may have another occurrence of infection.

Toenail Fungus Needs the Right Treatment

As tenacious as toenail fungus is, it is also a very common condition. Both men and women can be infected with toenail fungus. A stubborn, obstinate, relentless, nasty disease if not treated properly can keep coming back. Managing the fungus can be a burdensome problem for the one who suffers. Not only that, the very visual aspect of it is not a sight to behold. Ugly doesn’t begin to describe it, but it’s a start. Irritating and painful are among the conditions that come with a fungal toenail infection. You should not wait to treat it. It should be dealt with at first sight.

If left untreated, toenail fungus becomes super tough to contend with in the long run. You want to visit a doctor if you notice any change in your toenail, like discoloration. He can give you choices for medication but remember that some prescription medicines can have serious side effects and can be rather pricey.   Some herbal remedies are not effective if used alone. Also home remedies such as using vinegar or Listerine may work to get rid of toenail fungus, but not good enough to keep it away. In other words, they just don’t work.

A lot of people have sampled home remedies when trying to cure toenail fungus. I have heard of using Listerine or vinegar and even beer as options. Truthfully, they just present false hope of playing a part to get rid of the fungus. Nevertheless, if the fungus has gone deep in the nail bed it may recall and you’re back at where you started with all that time and exertion squandered. The safest technique that I know of and is a growing favorite, is a product that comprises natural ingredients that will get deep in the nail bed and do away with that nail fungus for good.

You need a topical product that contains natural ingredients that will get deep in the nail bed.

Toenail Fungus Treatments-Look for Natural Ingredients

Treating toenail fungus can be challenging because it is usually a repeating event. There are quite a few over-the-counter fungicide creams accessible, however, what you must know is that many of these can be excessively unkind and leave yourself deficient of the ˜good bacteria that’s essential for your body’s system. Therefore increasing exposure to fungal infections in the long run.

An anti-fungal medication prescribed by your doctor maybe able to stop the infection, but a treatment of this kind might come through only temporarily. These medications also have a history of depleting your system of harmless micro-organisms that inhabit the intestinal tract and are essential for its normal functioning and are healthful to the body, bringing in additional problems.

Although traditional anti-fungal medication for toenail fungus are fine, but work only if your concerned with treating the symptoms, but by choosing a product the contains natural ingredients your not only eliminating toenail fungus but you produce a holistic balance overall, bring effective aid that assures a safeguard against any future aggressors.

Different from prescribed medication, a product that contains natural ingredients for toenail fungus treatments support general health and functioning, instead of merely treating the symptoms.

People react to medications that include natural ingredients in various ways, some people meet with results right away though others have noted desirable rewards taking effect within 1 or 2 months. To see to it that you experience favorable results it is essential that you use a product with natural ingredients as called for and continue regular treatments.

With consistent treatments for toenail fungus that include natural ingredients, you’ll be able to notice improvement probably within 3 weeks of starting. Then, in the not too distant future, following a few weeks of regular treatment you’ll notice a new flourishing nail development. Don’t forget that any discoloration of the nail that was on your nail will need to ‘grow out’, while the new nail grows in healthy.