Have you noticed a black spot under your toe nail that shouldn’t be there? If you have, there is a good chance that you have black toe nail fungus. While this generally isn’t a health issue, it can look very unsightly and cause embarrassment when your feet are showing.
This has actually become quite a problem for people who like to walk around in public places without footwear. Especially places where your feet may be exposed to water, such as around public pools, beach showers, gyms and amusement parks. But generally, you could get it from any where even your own home. The answer to what causes black toe nail fungus is microscopic fungi spores that thrive in damp areas. Walking barefoot greatly increases your chances of being exposed to this fungus.
Nail fungus symptoms include flaking of the nail itself, as well as a general thickening of the nail. The discoloration is caused by the fungus growing underneath the nail which cannot be washed out or killed with anti-bacterial soap. This fungal toenail infection will wear away the keratin which makes up your toenail, eventually turning your entire toenail black if left unchecked. Although it is not usually considered dangerous to your overall health, you will notice other symptoms other than just the physical presence of the fungus itself. There is usually an odor associated with the fungus that is pretty foul smelling which doesn’t go away with showering. Some people who suffer with this disease will feel pain walking or running since the fungus can become very widespread under the toe nail after awhile.
Nail Fungus can be caused from many different things, and can strike pretty much everyone, from the very young to very old, as well as healthy and unhealthy people. The spores which cause this fungus are fairly widespread, but the majority of people who are exposed to the spores in one way or another don’t end up getting a fungal infection. When you play sports, there is a chance of having your toe stepped on which can increase the chances of fungal spores getting under your toenail. In some cases, running a lot in brand new shoes that have not been worn in can cause a black toe nail fungus to appear. Walking a lot or running without socks can also give you a heightened chance of getting fungus underneath your toenails.
People who sweat a lot, in general, have a higher chance of getting a fungal infection underneath their toe nails. This is because sweat acts as a natural source of moisture for fungus, and there is a good chance that when the sweat came off of your body, it also carried along either dirt or dead skin with it, allowing the spores an opportunity to feed off of it and take root in a place where it cannot be washed out.
Cutting your toe nail very short can sometimes lead to a fungal infection. When you get very close to the skin with nail clippers, especially on the sides of your toenails, there is a chance that you might make a tiny cut which can help a fungal infection take root, especially if you walk around barefoot a lot, or sweat often. This can be avoided by making sure when you cut your toenails you do so very carefully to make sure you don’t accidentally get a small piece of skin.
Walking around barefoot in public areas greatly increases your chances of getting it, since you are exposed to fungal spores spread by other people both from any fungus they might have, or spores that are just carried by their body or clothing. Public showers, like those on beaches, gyms, or locker rooms, are usually pretty prime breeding ground for toe nail fungus since it combines dirt, sweat, and bare feet, all while not being sterilized, such as inside a chlorinated swimming pool.
Toe Nail Fungus Treatments –
While there are many different treatments available, it is best to choose something that you know will work. Over the counter treatments exist but many of them are not particularly effective and the misuse of them can cause lasting negative health effects.
Some professionals recommend that you use a natural method to try to clean up your condition. One of the more popular home remedies is to soak your feet for a couple of hours in Listerine mouth wash. But there is no real proof the Listerine or Vicks Vapor run actually work. You can also try rubbing certain oils on your toes to help clear up the fungus. These include lavender oil, olive oil, tea tree oil, and jojoba oil. These all have antiseptic and antifungal properties which could help with the infection. Your best though would be to try one of the more better known treatments below.
There are a few popular medications available which can drastically help with an infection, and probably take it away as well. These include Zetaclear, Funginix and Claripro. These medications are powerful anti-fungal solutions that have been tested thoroughly on people with a wide range of different fungal symptoms and the results indicate that these treatments work every well. Medicines such as these are well worth their relatively low price, especially if you have had to deal with a fungal infection for more than a month. The time it takes to clear up completely depends on which specific medicine you take, as well as how advanced the infection has become, as well as personal factors such as body size and fluid intake.
Preventing Infection –
The best way to prevent yourself from getting toenail fungus is to wear breathable shoes with socks. This keeps moisture away from your feet and allows any sweat to be absorbed by the sock. Try to keep your feet and toes fairly clean, especially if you have just gotten done walking somewhere that might be known as a fungus hotspot. Even wearing sandals can help since it keeps your feet up off of the ground, and, in most cases, will keep them well-ventilated and dry.