Fingernails and toenails can be overcome by an overgrowth of bacteria and fungi. The affected nail may become discolored, break easily and may look like it's covered with mold. Lengthy regimens of anti-fungal medications and topical solutions can help get rid of the moldy substance on the fingernails and make your hands look healthy again.
Soak your hand in a solution of 2 parts white vinegar and 1 part warm water. The Mayo Clinic states that this home remedy may slow the growth of bacteria in some people, but it's not a hard and fast cure. Reduce the amount of vinegar in your soaking liquid if the pungent liquid irritates the skin on your fingers.
Use a medication cream or ointment. Prescription creams necessitate a trip to the doctor but are more effective than over-the-counter anti-fungal creams and powders. If you bite your nails, put on lightweight cotton gloves after applying the medication to avoid temptation.
Get a prescription for an oral drug such as terbinafine that fights fungus. Oral medications for fungal infections of the nails are usually used in conjunction with topical treatments and are recommended for people who have painful fingernail infections. Treatment can take as long as 12 weeks to be fully effective.
Have your infected nail removed by a doctor. If the mold has spread to the nail bed, you'll be prescribed medications to treat the affected area. A fresh nail will grow, but it may take as long as a year to fully form.