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Thursday, April 27. 2017
Out of consideration for the delicate sensibilities of Maggie's readers, I have refrained from including a photo of advanced Toenail Fungus
These unpleasant, common, but generally not-dangerous fungal infections (except, for example, in diabetics or the immunosuppressed) are caused by several species of fungi which thrive in the moist, confined area of shoes. Those fungi are basically everywhere. You do not need to be a barefoot gym rat to pick them up, but most people probably pick them up around pools, gyms, locker rooms, and the like. If you never go anywhere, you probably won't pick these things up.
Put plainly, these are examples of your body trying to rot while still alive - but that applies to any bacterial infection too. Both are associated with the same several fungi, often with Athlete's Foot progressing to Toenail Fungus (aka Onchymycosis).
Athlete's Foot can be just a little itching, but it can get nasty sometimes. It is manageable or even curable with anti-fungal creams used diligently.
The Toenail Fungus infection is more of a problem, because topical treatments have trouble penetrating the nails to attack the infection in them and beneath them. They are not just cosmetically problematic but can be painful because of the distortion of the nails. Toenail infections are the bread and butter of Podiatric practices, partly because of their chronicity. People sometimes think they just have one or two toenails affected, but usually all of the nails have some of it.
Some people just decide to live with it and let a Podiatrist attack it when wanted, but what you want to do for treatment is to treat any Athlete's Foot and then decide to go for a topical nail treatment (sometimes effective, like Jublia Topical), Toenail removal (ouch but most effective) with oral treatment with Jublia, oral Jublia alone, or Laser treatment (of uncertain effectiveness, unfortunately). Jublia is very expensive.
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I have had fair results with topical application of Vick's Vaporub. Of course, it takes about a year for the nail to grow out. There will never be a study on the efficacy of Vick's for onychomycosis, as there is no money in it.
Finally a topic I can comment on. ...Unfortunately.
Now for the last 5 or so years I've been spraying white vinegar on my feet. I do it right after showering before I put my socks on. Yes. my feet are a little damp when I put the sock on. I used to have problems with cracked feet and this has made the problem completely go away. My nails are much much better. Takes care of foot odor too. Stings a little sometimes.
Vinegar. You got it! My father contracted planters warts in the Navy while serving in the South Pacific, and for eight months the idiot Navy docs couldn't figure out a way to cure them. His mother finally sent him vinegar in a "Care Package" when Dad wrote her that he might have to undergo surgery for the problem. The warts were gone after two months of soaking his feet for 15 minutes in the morning and evening.
My brother picked up every conceivable problem in the locker room when he was a life guard and a football player. Dad fixed the problem with vinegar and Bro has never suffered the problems again.
Picture like this?
Well what do you know. I was shopping yesterday for a fungal cream, the pharmacist helped me find one similar to my old brand. During the conversation I mentioned that this was not for my feet. Back when I was born, during the Dr. Spock years, it was fashionable to not circumcise baby boys. Count your blessing boys that your trouble is on your feet.
I had persistent struggles with athlete's foot all through high school, due largely to being on the football team and thus (1) in and out of the men's locker room (and shower) a lot more than most of my peers and (2) having sweaty feet through hours of practice.
As a result, I developed an aversion to wearing shoes at all. To this day (I'm 64) go barefoot as much as I can, and when I can't, I'll often wear sandals (tire-tread huaraches when I was younger, Birks since about age 35).
During the nine years we lived in Colorado (2005-14) in a semi-rural setting, our UPS and FedEx delivery-persons were always amazed that I would walk out the front door and into the snow barefoot to get a package from them.
Iodine. Provodone iodine. Using a small paintbrush, brush it on the nail every day until the nail grows out.
The problem is that most people lack the discipline required to do this.
Worked for me. Pictures to prove it, but it is a cheap fix, which means it will never be 'clinically tested'. Instead the cries of IODINE POISONING ring out from the medicos. Not likely with the very small amounts used. It may not penetrate nailpolish, but it definitely gets through the nail.
Most people probably don't get near enough iodine.
Tea tree oil worked for me. Selling of medical cures is exactly that, selling.
Hey, how about jock itch? Is it a different fungus? I've noticed the same ingredients in the sprays.
my toenail fungus persisted despite various topical treatments, including all those home remedy ones like Vicks and vinegar. finally ridded myself of the problem with a one-year course of oral doses of Lamisil. had to have regular liver function testing done, though, as apparently Lamisil can be hard on your liver. I thought it worth the risk.
Good treatment for ringworm, too. which is also a fungus.
and cheap, if you can find the strong 1%, not .05% it works better.
My husband is having good success with tea tree oil applied daily, along with rotating through three pairs of tennis shoes. The new nail is growing out sans fungus.
On a related note, I'm having good luck with that "second skin" stuff like fingernail polish that you paint onto small cuts--not for toenail fungus but for persistent hangnails that progress to little cracks near the corner of the fingernail and don't want to close up and stay closed up.
I am a retired Physician who worked the last years of my
career in the VA. I found a way to treat the toenail fungus
problem that seemed safe, effective and low cost (now).
Pulse therapy with the antifungal agent Diflucan. This ment
giving a single tablet of 200 mg ONCE A WEEK. The chemical
would apparently deposit into the area where new toenail
tissue was formed, making this resistant to the fungus in the
distal nail. The new, resistant nail tissue would grow out and
push the old infected nail distally where it could be trimmed
away. It was very effective but took time. For a cure to occur
the patient had to grow a new nail! This could take a year.
The new uninfected nail could be seen coming out at the
cuticle in several weeks. This method avoids drug-drug
interactions that would occur with daily use of the medicaiton. And I did not find it necessary to do pre-treatment cultures or blood monitoring. This reduced
the cost too. And now that the agent is available as a
generic, it is very cost effective. Althought the condition
could be very unsightly and make foot wear uncomfortable,
no one dies of it! So taking one's time to clear it and avoid
the harm that would likely occur taking the medication
on a daily basis makes this approach worthwhile.
bleach. one cup of bleach in a gallon of water and soak your feet every day. it works but burns if you have athletes foot.
For me, it's any post with more than one comment from The Gang of Z. Your mileage may differ.