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Do You Have Nail Fungus? How to Tell and What to Do!

Updated on March 28, 2017
Nail Fungus
Nail Fungus

Each year more than 30 Million people suffer from nail fungus and there is no easy way to keep it hidden. The fungus can not only be seen and felt, but can get to the point to were others can smell it. Considered the ’most hated’ fungus, nail fungus occurs when the immune system slows down or becomes weak and numerous microorganisms begin to eat the nails, focusing on the keratin. Keratins are the non-dissolvable, hard, protein fibers that make up the larger, transparent portion of a nail.

How do you tell if you have nail fungus? Simple, here are some signs and symptoms to look for ;

  • Nails may look greenish, yellowish and possibly black. Occasionally, small white patches can be seen as well.
  • Nail can become weak and brittle, chipping and cracking but thicker than the others.
  • Occasionally the fungus may even get so bad the nail splits.
  • Dirt and tiny matter can collect under the nail, trapping fungus and causing nails to have a bad odor.
  • If the toenails are allowed to go untreated and they get to thick, walking or wearing shoes may become painful.
  • Pain and swelling around the fingernail may occur in cases left untreated.

If you notice any of these symptoms there is a pretty good chances you have a nail fungus

I have nail fungus, Now What?

If you think you have nail fungus, there are a couple of things you can do. You can go see a doctor (recommended), get an over the counter medication or use a home remedy. The choice is up to you.

At a doctors office, a test will be performed to make sure that a nail fungus is what you have , and then a course of treatment will be discussed. If needed a medication may be prescribed to treat the fungus.

If a natural or home remedy is more the way you want to go, there are plenty of options. Hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, bleach, Tea Tree oil, Vick’s Vapor Rub, apple cider vinegar, Futspa, decolorized iodine, oil of Oregano and Listerine Mouthwash. Something to remember with using a home remedy is that treatment can often take weeks or even month.

Preventing nail fungus does not take much.

Nail fungus affecting the toe nails, can be prevented by changing your socks whenever they become damp, be sure to let your feet air out before putting on the clean socks.  Wearing shoes that fit properly if very important, not only will you be comfortable, but you will prevent your toes from injuries and damage.  The same goes or finger nails.  If you wear gloves make sure they are the right size and when they become sweaty, wash your hands off and let them dry.  

Much too popular belief, nail fungus does not occur because one is “dirty,” although good hygiene always helps.  A main cause nail fungus is a low immune system; those with diseases, HIV and cancer are at a greater risk.  Getting your immune system up will help greatly, in preventing nail fungus. 


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    • profile image

      lenny 4 years ago

      i have very thick and almost black toe nails what can i do please ??

    • profile image

      Tex 5 years ago

      Couldn't I just pull my nail out?

    • profile image

      Mariana 5 years ago

      Okay, so if i want to do a home remedy how would i use the listerine mouthwash ? How would i apply it ?

    • profile image

      ghfhf fghhhh  7 years ago

      this is very useful i meanmy nails a perfect but for other its great!!!!!!!

    • cowgirljess profile image

      cowgirljess 8 years ago from Nor Cal

      Thankyou annvans

    • profile image

      annvans 8 years ago

      This is a great hub with good information on nail fungus.