What is Black Toenail Fungus?

Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 June 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Residents of the Norwegian island of Sommar√ły are petitioning to make their town the world's first time-free zone.  more...

June 24 ,  1997 :  The US Air Force insisted that the alien bodies that people saw near Roswell were dummies.  more...

Black toenail fungus, although called onychomycosis, is a type of fungus which commonly infects the toes and nails, although it can sometimes affect the fingers as well. It is highly contagious and is often spread by those who use public showers or walk around public places without shoes. Injury to the toe or nail may also make one more prone to getting a fungal infection.

Symptoms of toenail fungus can begin as a small dark spot beneath one or more nails, brittleness, a foul odor, and flaking or chipping of the nails. The discoloration often spreads and sometimes shows up as a combination of yellow and black colors. Because of the contagious nature of toenail fungal infections, these symptoms should be investigated by a medical professional as soon as they are detected.

Many who experience black toenail fungus experience intense pain beneath the nail. Discoloration can also be an issue for those who like to wear sandals during warm weather. Treatments may vary based on the severity of the condition. Natural remedies are often attempted first since medicinal options can cause serious side effects in some patients.


There are foot soaks which have been shown to alleviate toenail fungus in some individuals. Vinegar, antiseptic mouthwash, and other natural remedies can be combined with water. Feet may have to be soaked several times before results become apparent. There are also specially prepared natural foot soaks which can be purchased from some health food stores and online. These may not work permanently for all individuals.

Severe cases of black toenail fungus may have to be treated by a doctor using prescription medications. These have been known to cause negative reactions in some individuals. Side effects will vary, but sometimes serious complications can arise. Kidney and liver damage may occur in rare instances.

The best way to combat black toenail fungus is to prevent it from the beginning. It is important to wear shoes in public areas, to wash feet thoroughly, and to avoid toenail injury by wearing protective footwear when playing sports or lifting heavy items. Treatment should begin at the first sign of infection and a doctor should be notified to ensure that symptoms are being caused by fungus and not something else. Over the counter treatments are available, but these are often ineffective at getting rid of fungus.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 4

This fungus loves moisture so the black toenail fungus cure is preventing moisture. I only use 100% cotton socks. I change socks frequently and use foot powder to keep my toes dry.

Post 3

@anamur-- Tea tree oil is great for black toenail fungus (for all toenail fungi actually). You can apply a drop or two of tea tree oil on that toenail throughout the day for as many weeks as it takes to treat it. Or you can try vinegar soaks like the article suggested.

Unfortunately, most home remedies take a long time to work. I think they are much better than prescription drugs but you have to be patient. You can't get rid of onychomycosis in a day, it takes work.

Post 2

@anon337564-- I think I have black toenail fungus too. I spent a lot of time at the pool recently and yesterday, I noticed a black spot on my toe.

How did you use the balsam tree pitch and where did you get it?

Are there any other black toenail fungus remedies with more easily found ingredients? I want to treat it before it spreads and gets worse.

Post 1

Half my toe nail was black. One treatment with balsam tree pitch and the black is almost gone (three days ago). I did one more treatment today and I'll bet in a week it will be completely cured.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?