Black Fungus Under Fingernails

Black fungus under fingernails is about the last thing that anyone would want, yet fungal nail infection is not at all uncommon. Fungal fingernail infection happens when fungal spores get in under the fingernails and start to grow there. Before long fungal hyphae (slender branching stalks of fungal growth) are wending their way back from the tip of the nail toward the cuticle, flourishing in the warm moist environment of the nail bed and deriving nourishment from the finger nail itself. Not all fungi produce a black color however: a yellow or brown color is even more typical.

A subtle yellowish tinge to the nail is often the first sign of fungal nail infection and it usually starts on one or more toenails. Stronger colors, such as dark brown or black, develop over time as the fungus matures and begins producing spores. Furthermore, there is great variation in what nail fungus looks like, and some infections simply have a white or cream color. Black fungus under fingernails is not really a typical fingernail infection.

What nail fungus looks like depends on a variety of factors: what type of fungus is growing in the nail, how far advanced the infection is, which parts of the nail are affected, and whether there have been any attempts at treatment. Black fungus under fingernails would usually be a fairly advanced infection. Other symptoms in advanced infection include nails that are thick and deformed, crumbling or flaking nails that wear away quickly, painful toes and fingertips, peeling skin around the affected nails.

If you have black fungus under fingernails, and your toenails are not infected, you may have caught it when your hands came in contact with fungal elements in the soil, or in decaying vegetation. It is always a good idea to wear gardening gloves when you are working in the garden, and to clean your nails thoroughly if dirt lodges under them. Be wary, too, of any little cuts and scratches you get on your hands while you are working outside: these make it easier for any harmful organism, including fungi to invade your nails and skin. Places to pick up a nail fungus include contact with someone else’s nail infection, and damp public places such as pools and public showers stalls. Manicures and pedicures in nail spas have also been known to spread fungus infections. Take care of your nails and keep in mind what nail fungus looks like, so you can recognize it quickly and get treatment before it gets too bad.

Comments 4
  1. Title of the article gives the reader the idea that there are some treatments named… all you do is tell the reader what they've already found out. Name some solutions!

  2. I totally agree with the other reader. I knew this much when I googled to this page. I came looking for solutions… found no direction at all.

  3. My fingernail turned totally black. Nothing the doctor prescribed worked whether it was oral drugs or topical. So, I started soaking my finger in peroxide for a couple of minutes in the AM and then soaked it a few minutes in a few ounces of warm water with 1/2 tsp. of baking soda mixed in at night and then before bedtime just dipped my wet finger into baking soda. It began growing out clear within a couple of weeks and grew out altogether in the time it takes for a nail to grow. It never came back.

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