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I have a friend who's so embarrassed about her nail fungus that no one is allowed to see her feet. Her feet are always covered with socks, slippers, shoes or water shoes (if she's at the beach or pool).
Nail fungal infections affect about 12 percent of people living in the United States, and toenail fungus is common in people who have diabetes. Toenail fungus has an inherited tendency and commonly runs in families. Besides being cosmetically unattractive, nail fungal infections can cause nail deformity, pain or discomfort while wearing shoes and odor. And it can lead to more serious foot complications if a secondary infection develops.
If treatment is prescribed, it's important to know that due to the thickness of toenail beds topical medications aren't absorbed easily. You must be persistent with topical medications, applying them daily for up to one year, and even this may not be effective in clearing up the infection.
Oral antifungal drugs can be effective, but they may cause side effects ranging from skin rashes to liver failure. And they aren't recommended for those with liver disease, heart failure or who are taking certain medications.
Recurrent infections are possible if feet are exposed to warm and moist conditions. Remember, keep nails trimmed, free of snags, clean and dry.
How do others deal with toenail fungus?
Have a great week.
Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
Selecting "Submit" signifies that you have read and agree to our posting guidelines.
Oh, how did I do it? Well I don't want to make someone else rich so here's the short version. First you have to remove the infected nail. Not by surgery or you may never have a nail again. It has to be ripped off. And yes it hurt. Really hurt. But that spurs the regrowth of a new nail. Let your ugly yellow brown distorted nail grow out past the end of your toe. Give a solid object covered by a piece of carpet a swift kick. The nail will bend backwards and become loose.... don't remove it. It will really hurt for a day or two and may bleed a little. I took 3 advil it hurt so bad. Soak your toes twice a week in 9% vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes. It will take a whole year to completely regrow a nail. The vinegar will change the Ph of the nail bed. After a month a new nail will appear under the loose old nail. After about two months gently wiggle the old nail until it you can pull it off your toe. You will now see your brand new nail about 1/4 of an inch long peaking out. Continue to vinegar soak. The trick now is to get this nail to look pretty again. Yes it will grow back and look okay but you got to clear it up. I use 1/4 teaspoon of Aveeno healing hand lotion mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of vitamin E oil. Aveeno alone dries too quickly and the vitamin E keeps it liquid so it will soak into the nail. Gently buff the nail to remove the shine and apply your mixture liberally on nails and toes and between toes for over nite application. Buffing the shine off your new nail will allow your mixture to penetrate the nail. It will take another whole year to get the nail to grow out pretty. Mine actually took 3 full years to look good. Five full years to look like they did when I was 21.... worked on all nails, both feet. Soak in vinegar once a week or once every two weeks for maintenance. The fungus will come back if you stop the vinegar soak. The fungus will reside forever so you can't stop the vinegar soak for good. I've also used Tree Tea oil to vary my treatments and keep the fungus guessing. I've also use coconut oil instead of vitamin E to vary the moisturizer treatment. Yes this is the short version. Understand that even if the fungus is knocked down, as you age, me 58, your nails don't get the moisture they need and won't look pretty, that's why you have to use the Aveeno with Vitamin E mixture. There's more.... but this will get you started.
Talk to anyone with toenail fungus and they'll tell you nothing works. And they are mostly right. I had it for 25 years, the worse of the worse. And I cured mine, but not with any prescription or so called cure-all. All over the counter. But nothing works to re-attach an existing nail and you can't kill the fungus unless you change the Ph of the nail bed. I'm 58 and my nails look like those of a 21 year old. Oh, and once cured, you have to continue to treat forever as the fungus really never leaves; it only gets knocked down.
PLEASE NOTE: AND I APOLOGIZE, I DO NOT HAVE DIABETES, THAT I KNOW OF, BUT REALIZED AFTER I POSTED THE BLOG ALSO INCLUDED THIS AILMENT.
I'm am a Vietnam Veteran and was exposed to Agent Orange. As a result, I have been diagnosed with Diabetes 2 and periphal neuropathy. I also have foot fungus on my right foot. Is foot fungus secondary to either Diabetes or periphal neuropathy? I would appreciate a response. Thank you.
I get the impression that physicians aren't too concerned about my toenail fungus as I am. I have a mild case thus far on the same toe as previously. I was given this awful drug with many side effects, that could cause liver problems. This time I want a different treatment. Unless the fungus is treated successfully and made to disappear, it could become a serious matter in time. Don't know who to turn to for this. I am on Medicare, not sure what they would pay for a laser treatment. It's in the early stages. I want to prevent its progression. Any ideas here? My PCP recommended a topical anti-fungal agent. The pharmacist said that none of those would cure the fungus. I need some sound advice please. Because it can become a serious matter. After all, this is my life, and I want to take care of it. I only have one life.
If I use my hot tub and I have toe nail fungus can someone else be infected my using the hot tub as well ?
my podiatrist technician suggests strongly to use Vaporub and it works!
MY doctor clips my toenails back as far as possible, then tells me to us Vicks Vaporub.
Semms to work better than what I've tried in the past
I dab hydrogen peroxide on my toenails with a cotton ball and let it dry. It does get rid of toenail fungus if you use it every day and then once all gone, use once a week.
THANKS ALOT...YOU WERE ABSOLUTELY NO HELP...TELL US SOMETHING WE DON'T KNOW.
this article sounds the alarm but does not contribute much to the conversation. One would expect some treatment options from this article.
I had nail fungus and athletes foot for 15 years. I got diagnosis of type 2 diabetes 6 years ago, till I accepted the fact that I need to take my diabetes seriously and got healthy with diet, exercise and meds, my nail fungus went away.
I have had a problem with nail fungus on one foot for years. My previous podiatrist had me use the external treatment for a year. All it did was delay the fungus spreading to my other nails.
Now I see a podiatrist every 3 months. He trims the nails and uses a machine to reduce the thickness a little. We talked about treatment but he recommended not doing anything. He said the oral medication is too dangerous. What he cannot figure out is why I only have nail fungus and athletes foot on one foot. I have no problem with the other foot.
Other than seeing the podiatrist the only thing I do is try to keep my feet clean and dry. I do use an anti-fungal cream to control the athletes foot.
Try bathing your feet in warm water solution with Epsom Salt. Works for me.
Frankly your email really didn't address the issue. Tell us what we don't normally know. What actually causes it. Is it candicais? Would a strong probiotic be in order. This info was totally lacking in information. BOO BOO
Nail Fungus is always difficult to have and to
treat. I went to my podiatrist. There are both
oral and topical treatments. There is no guar-
entee with either. The Dr. said the big issue
was that you had to continue you with the
medicine. forever how long it takes.
I had heard coconut oil does the trick.
I purchased the coconut oil, for five dollars,
Went home. You apply the oil three times a day
to the nail, and underneath top of nail also
along sides.It has been 5 weeks, and the new
clear nail has grown one third up.
You have to wait till the entire clear nail
grows in. It is so-o worth it. I am type 1
diabetic, for 40 years. I am tired of putting
different medicines in my body.
This is also very cost effective
I have Type 2 diabetes and suffer with finger nail fungus on 4 nails. What do you suggest for remedies?
Tea tree essential oil applied directly to the nail.
After cleaning your pinkie andtaking a blood
drop sample use the same alcohol swab to clean your toenails. Once I had these problems-not anymore.
After reading your article, I searched another similar
article called "Treat White Nail Fungus". In there they are comparing among 4 different remedy products and rated them #1 to #4. The #1 is NailRenew, Funginix is #2, Actaclear, #3 and Nail Rx, #4.
NailRenew gives 60 days money back guarantee. Please tell me what's your opinion if you have one. Thanks.
Good question because I think I have fungus at the edge of my big toe's nail, deformed, bumpy nail in one area. Sound right? Haven't done anything because it is not painful or infected.
I have a problem with recurring fungal infections of my fingernails. Talk about embarrassing! I have gotten secondary bacterial infections and have had to have some fingernails removed. I now use rubber gloves when washing dishes or doing any cleaning where I might get dirty water under my nails, and that has helped.
A very nice advice specially for those us who live as diabetic. By the way, is it a must that we should visit a doctor to get oral antifungus drug. Thank you.
I got this from a Podiatrist for $ 120. per bottle . I had to use a few bottles with 2 applications daily . Over one year later my toe nail fungus was gone after having it for 5 + years . This works by going through the nail plus sealing all edges of the nail so no air can get to the nail . So Happy I actually found something that got rid of my tor nail fungus . I checked with my Pharmacist and he said it would cost him $ 140 - $ 160 per bottle to make it . So the Podiatrist was making up the difference from extra Billing .
Laser treatment for toe fungus really does work. My wife had it done 18 months ago.She has had the problem for 20 years.
Our Medicare Advantage did not cover the procedure,
but it looked like the best choice. No side effects.
Ryan, why say laser treatment more logical than Vicks Vapo-Rub, vinegar, or vinegar and alcohol? Do what works, and save our nation's healthcare dollars for ills that actually require high tech. As an elder care nurse, I've seen exercise, open shoes and clean socks, and these exact home remedies work many, many times. There is nothing illogical about leaning over and taking care of our bodies.
OMG...aside from the fact that the authors badly need an editor, they also paint a fairly depressing picture for those afflicted. Nail fungus runs in my family; both my sister and I got it. And we both successfully beat it with oral drugs. The risks are negligible. The authors make it sound like a heart attack or liver failure is certainly on the horizon for those who use these prescription drugs. Yes, those at risk should keep their nails clean and short; and see a doctor as soon as fungus appears. The longer you wait, the harder it is to eradicate.
Thanks for the advice I am diabetic and I thinks that I did not try for a year I stopped after two or three months
To Kathy, save the $40, skip buying the "health" store product. The vinegar soaking is what cured your fungus.
To Betty, fungus spores are, literally, everywhere! Really. Everywhere. It's not that they exist, it's just that they grow on you when you provide a damp, poorly circulated area for growth. The key is not in cleaning one's shower in any unusual way, the key is changing the suitability of your toes for fungus. Clean your shower normally. What you CAN do: Wear open sandals as often as possible and wool socks in sandals when open toes are too cold ( reduces moisture in nail, use a soft (!) brush to scrub feet with anti-dandruff shampoo whenever you shower (reduces habitat for fungal growth) with avoid putting lotion on toes and nails ( again, to prevent moisture), taking a vigorous walk twice a day ( improves foot circulation), never wear pointed or tight shoes ( again, improves circulation), never put a damp foot in a shoe ( dry with a hair drier!), and regularly soak toes in vinegar (a too acidic environment for fungi).
If you do these things, you will prevent future infections!
Toenail fungus runs in my family, which is an athletic one. I use tea tree oil everyday and keep my toenails clean. It will clear up the fungus as the nail grows out, which takes months and months. Keep at it - everyday...
What about laser treatments for toenail fungus? -Does Iit work? Is it potentially dangerous for a diabetic?
The easiest and best way to cure toenail fungus is to soak your foot in pure vinegar until the nail softens(about an hour).
Do this once a week for four weeks and the fungus will be gone completely.
All it costs is two bucks for a jug of vinegar and an hour of your time.
I am concerned about how to clean the shower, etc to keep fungus from being transmitted and your articles do not deal with this issue. It seems that treating the area of exposure is important too.
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I think my presence in a room, where nail fungus on the toes was being sanded down and cleaned up for dr. to see, has caused me to experience smelling a foul odor coming from myself. Others can smell it too........Is this from the fungus in the air setting up residence in my sinuses? If not, why is this happening to me?
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I had a nail fungus on one of my finger nails. I soaked my finger in finger at least once a day (sometimes two) for 15 minutes or longer. I then applied a product that I got at the health food store called Onypen. I made the store manager promise it would work and if it didn't she agreed to give me my $40.00 back. I was very diligent about the procedure and I was shocked that it actually worked! It took about four months for the nail to grow out. I think it was the combination soaking in vinegar and applying the product every single night. I'm so happy!!
Myra, you should look into laser treatment for your nail fungus.
You make a good point Wayne. Topical treatments for toenail fungus are not as reliable. Laser treatment is about 71% effective and has a greater chance of killing toenail fungus permanently.
I have heard some strange remedies for toenail fungus; anywhere from soaking your feet in vinegar to cutting the nail way back and applying mineral oils. But the most logical treatment I have read about is the laser treatment for toenail fungus. A great resource is http://www.mynycpodiatrist.com/services/toenail-fungus-surgery that talks about the laser treatment. Hope this is helpful...
Tea Tree Essential Oil works like a charm and is easy to apply, non-greasy and has a clean/astringent smell. It is a Paul Mitchell product that can be obtained from a beauty salon. My hairdresser picked up nail fungus when she had a pedicure,used tea tree oil and within a short amount of time, it was completely gone.
My podiatrist recommended a wonder drug called Vicks Vapo-Rub! the down side is that it is effective only abut 20% of the time and as with other topicals, it needs to be applied daily for a year.
I chose the store brand of Vick's VapoRub from all the treatments offered by my podiatrist with her blessings. It worked. I used it daily for over 6 or 7 months, then less so till the year is up, next month.
I had read about this tip here. I,too, started using Vicks VapoRub on my 2 affected toes about a week ago. I have been putting off going back to the Dr because the RX is so expensive and doesn't have a very good track record. I decided to buy a jar of the Vicks VapoRub and see if it might help me. I am simply amazed at the improvement!! I put it on the top of the toes, rubbing it in well and also around the edge of the nail and work it under the nail as much as possible at the end. I then put on an old white cotton sock and wear it to bed. I have been doing this faithfully every single night and plan to continue on a nightly basis. I do believe I will be able to wear my sandals next summer if the improvement continues at the current rate!!
Thank you to the person who first mentioned this treatment here!
I use Vicks on my big toe nails daily. Within a year, I hove no fungus!
I've just been diagosed with diabetes, and started seeing a podiatrist for toe nail care which has become difficult due to major leg damage from an auto accident.
The doctor didn't seem too concerned with my nail fungus, which I've had for many years, but his assistant gave me an Old Wives cure when I mentioned it to her.
I now rub my toes with a 30% apple cider vinegar, 70% rubbing alcohol mixture every day. I do this in the morning, then cover with socks.
The fungus was gone withing about 6 weeks, and continual application has kept it away. Plus, the vinegar had a more pleasant odor than foot sweat.
I use Tea Tree essential oil to treat toe fungus. I put a drop on affect toe at night. It doesn't cure over night, but it will work over time
My problem is that I have recurrent FINGERNAIL fungus. I get secondary bacterial infections, and many times end up losing a fingernail or having to have one removed. Talk about embarrassing! I have been on Lamasil tablets, and I am hoping that with better blood sugar control, this problem will stop happening. I recently started on Victoza, in addition to my 1000 mg. of Metformin daily.
I also have used Vicks Vapor-Rub now for around a year. I rub it on my big toe nails every morning before I put on my socks. Both nails are clear with no fungus showing at all. Prior to using Vicks I has lost the complete nail on my right toe. Now I have two great nails with no fungus.
I brought toenail fungus home from Okinawa in 1954 and have unhappily given it a home ever since. Tried every cure and usually was able to make it disappear....for two or three days. Then my neighborhood podiatrist suggested PND. Since I no longer need the nails to hang from trees, he removed them, yes all ten, in a relatively painless procedure that only took ten minutes for two. After recovery, all I need do is recover. Bye-Bye nail fungus......................Neil
A friend told me her dad did this. Then my aunt's podiatrist recommended this for her. Then my husband's podiatrist recommended this for him. And it worked for all - in one month they were clear. Put Vapor-Rub on and around the toenail at night and cover it with a sock. Repeat nightly for one month.
Here in Charlottesville VA we have a podiatrist who has supposedly discovered a very good cure for fungus. It's not yet covered by Medicare but he hopes it will be soon. Have you heard anything about Dr. Christopher Stewart's methods?
The Treatment section of our Nail fungus article discusses lasers briefly, along with surgery and other topical applications: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nail-fungus/DS00084/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
I have heard some strange remedies for toenail fungus; anywhere from soaking your feet in vinegar to cutting the nail way back and applying mineral oils.
But the most logical treatment I have read about is the laser treatment for toenail fungus.
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