Many people have black toenail fungus, millions actually. Not-so-fun fact: The same fungus that causes jock itch and athlete's foot can also cause toenail fungus, which can infect your nails and the skin underneath, says Gary Goldenberg, MD , assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Although half of all nail disorders can be categorized as onychomycosis, it is not always possible to identify the disease accurately by just looking at the symptoms, according to a treatment guideline commissioned for the British Association of Dermatologists.

Knowing the cause of your infection helps determine the best course of treatment. Antifungal creams, gels, and nail polish may be used for mild-to-moderate infections and to help prevent an infection from returning. Keratin is a main component of skin and nails.

One of the most effective methods I tried that cured my toenail fungus was a combination treatment. Toenail fungus can affect men and women of any age, but your risk increases if you're older and have poor blood circulation. Fluconazole (Diflucan) is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of fungal nail infection, but it may be used by some clinicians as an alternative to itraconazole and terbinafine.

Research has shown that the oil might stop and kill fungal infections by breaking down the outer layer of fungal cells and interfering with the way they work. Symptoms of onychomycosis can include white, green, or yellow nail discoloration, thickening of the nail, brittle nails and the separation of the nail from the Fight Nail Fungus bed.

Despite what you may hear, covering your infection with nail polish or artificial nails will not get rid of toenail fungus, says the AAD. Talk to your doctor before treating toenail fungus at home. Whether you have chronic toenail fungus or you are just starting to notice it on you feet, know that seeking treatment is never too late.

Either of these drugs can harm the liver, so your doctor will check your liver function at the beginning of treatment and again after six weeks. There medical answer to nail fungus is topical creams and oral medication. There are a few conditions, like psoriasis, that can make the nails get thickened and brittle, but the vast majority of the time it is caused by fungus.