Black toenails occur because of a fungal infection. According to the Mayo Clinic, fungal infections are more common in the toes than the hands because the area is exposed to dark, moist areas, such as shoes, more often, which causes the fungal infection to form and spread. There are several ways to help treat the black toenails that occur from a fungal infection, both at home and with the help of your doctor.
Things You'll Need
- White vinegar
- Tea tree oil or cream
- Prescription anti-fungal medication
- Prescription anti-fungal polish
Fill a basin with one part vinegar and two parts warm water. Soak the infected toe nails in the basin for 20-30 minutes, two to three times a week. According to the Mayo Clinic, this soak may help promote healthy toenails and prevent the growth of bacterias that may make the black toenails worse.
Cover the infected toenails with tea tree oil or cream once a day for one week. According to WebMD, this can help heal the fungal toe infection.
Speak to your doctor about a prescription anti-fungal medication. These medications, such as Lamisil and Sporanox, can be taken orally and will slowly heal the infection over a period of six to eight weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Speak to your doctor about a prescription for anti-fungal toenail polish. These medicated polishes, such as Penlac, are placed on the affected area for up to seven days at a time,and according to the Mayo Clinic, daily use of the polish can help clear up a fungal infection of the toenails.
Tips & Warnings
- Avoid obtaining a fungal infection by wearing sandals in public showers, changing your socks everyday and by washing your hands after touching an infected toenail.
- Mouthwash can be used in place of the vinegar and water mixture to soak the feet for 20 to 30 minutes, two to three times a week.
- Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images
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