Although fingernail fungus infections are fairly common, black fungus is rare. Black fungus infection is particularly bothersome, because (as the name implies) it manifests itself in a very unattractive way.
Black fungus, like all nail fungus infections, thrives in the warm moist environment that exists under the nail. As the fungus multiplies under the fingernail it takes a substantial toll on the nail bed.
A nail fungus in its early stages often causes some yellowish discoloration of the fingernail. If the infection is left untreated the fungus grows and produces spores which lead to dark brown or black discoloration on the nail.
Black fungus occurs at an advanced stage of a nail infection. In addition to the discoloration the sufferer may notice that the nail is thicker, deformed or flaky. In severe cases there may be peeling of the skin that is near the finger nail and possible severe pain at the fingertip. If black fungus is left untreated it can cause permanent damage to the nail, leaving it ragged and distorted. The fungus can spread to the skin and cause a surface infection of the skin around the nails. This infection is called paronychia and it can result in painful lesions, redness, swelling and pus-filled blisters on the fingers and hands. Medical treatment is often required when a nail infection reaches this advanced stage.
Black fungus is commonly seen in people who frequently work in the garden. Wearing gloves while gardening and washing your hands thoroughly after working in the garden will help prevent an infection from occurring. If you receive a cut or nick on your finger while gardening, be sure to immediately apply first aid so that the fungus will not gain entry through the cut. The failure to apply first aid immediately can give the fungus a chance to grow and thrive.
People can get black fungus infection from other person through contact. Public places like swimming pools and public bath stalls can are places where the infection can survive and thrive. Pedicure and manicure centers can also spread the black fungus infection if they use improperly sterilized equipment. If you have professional manicures performed on your feet you should bring your own pedicure tools so that you will know they are sterile in order to protect yourself from black nail fungus.