Nail fungus is easy to get and difficult to get rid of. Some people live with permanent black spots on their toenails because they don’t know how, or haven’t been successful, at killing the fungus that grows there. Fungus thrives in damp, dark environments, so it’s no surprise that our feet are prime real estate for fungi to settle in and raise their families. Closedtoe shoes and damp, sweaty socks only make matters worse.
But we can combat the fungus that lives and grows under our toenails—and evict it forever.
What Causes Nail Fungus?
Fungus is just about everywhere—or at least the potential for it is. Most often, conditions allow fungus to grow and spread. Sometimes,however, fungus such as Trichophyton (the fungus that causes athletes foot) infects the nails (especially toenails), making them brittle and discolored. Tight or poorly ventilated shoes can be a breeding ground for fungus, as are moist or wet socks.Nail fungi can be difficult to cure fully, so prevention is preferable to treatment.
- Exposure to cold
- Overexertion of the muscle
- Inadequate oxygenation of muscles or inadequate stretching after exercise
- Low body sodium
- Mineral deficiencies
- Poor conditioning
Treatments for Nail Fungus
If you do get a nail fungus, you can treat it in many ways. Before listing your choices, however, let’s cover a few important procedures you should do no matter which treatment you choose.
- Fungus thrives in moist environments, so it is extremely important always to wear clean, dry socks and to keep your feet clean and dry. Add drying agents to your shoes before putting them on in the morning.
- Avoid wearing tight shoes. Instead choose open or at least wellventilated shoes.
- If you do develop a nail fungus, file or sand the infected nail down—both at the end and top of the nail.
- Rub anti-fungal oils or other substances on and under your nail every day until the dark part of the nail is gone. Treatments include pure pine oil, oregano oil, or tea tree oil. You can also get positive results from vinegar.