Brown lines on nails, whether fingernails or toenails, can indicate any number of serious underlying health conditions, with which only a licensed medical practitioner can diagnose you. If you see lines on your nails, call your doctor right away.
The most common cause of lines on toenails is actually not that serious, but it is common. In fact, nearly half of all men over the age of 40 will contend with foot fungus in some form or another. Only a doctor can diagnose you with foot fungus. Once a definitive diagnosis has been made, he will likely send you on your way with a packet full of information regarding foot fungus, and ways to get rid of it from the comfort of your own home. Here are some of the steps that you may find on that list.
Fill a basin with a mix of warm water and vinegar. The vinegar softens both the nails and the water to allow for complete saturation. The pH in the vinegar makes it impossible for nail fungus to thrive. If the water is warm enough, the soak shouldn’t take long. Generally, you will be able to manipulate the nail without going over your pain threshold within fifteen minutes. If you notice white strings floating to the surface, call your doctor. You may be dealing with a bacterial infection in addition to everything else.
Dry the affected areas completely. Towel off, then finish the job with a hair dryer.Only an air dry can remove trace amounts of moisture, with which fungus can breed. Once dry, file down the nail or nails as thin as they can go without filing through to the nailbed. This will not hurt, though it may feel a bit strange. Your nail should be as soft as the surrounding skin when you’re finished.
Apply a generous coat of antifungal ointment to the affected areas as directed. Soak before each application, but you only need to file once. Many antifungal ointments recommended application only once a day, which makes it easy. After you’ve applied the ointment, let it dry naturally. Do not expose your toenails to the sun while the application is still moist to the touch. Stay indoors in a cool, dry environment until dry for the best results. Before committing to any over-the-counter antifungal ointment, have a look at our Treatment Guide for user ratings and consumer reviews about the best antifungal ointments currently on the market.