What Questions Do You Have?
- Why Do My Feet or Ankles Hurt?
- My Feet Are Numb or Tingling
- Tell Me About My Diabetes
- I Want To Keep Playing Sports
- What About My Child's Feet?
- Do I Have An Ingrown Toenail?
- Do I Have An Infection?
- Do I Have A Bunion?
- Why Do My Heels Hurt?
- Why Are My Toes Curling?
- Am I Walking/Running Correctly?
- What Is This On My Skin?
- Do I Need Orthotics?
- What Shoes Should I Buy?
- Should I See/Call The Doctor?
- Do I Need Surgery?
- Tell Me About My Foot
- What Is Podiatry?
- Who Do You Treat?
- Where Can I Get Registration Forms?
- How Do I Request An Appointment?
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How do I get my fungus filled toenail healthy again?
Although there will be numerous answers passed around by your friends and neighbors, here is what we know can work:
- If you want to go the "natural" route, melaleuca (or tea tree) oil is a strong antifungal and antibiotic as is oregano. Both work really well for athlete's foot in 2-4 weeks if applied twice a day. They are notoriously less effective on toenails because of the thickness of the keratin (ie it usually doesn't penetrate the nail and get to the root of the problem because nail fungus usually lives under the nail). This may be an option for you because you have no nail. Note: Lavender will work really well for an injured nail bed, but has no proven anti-bacterial or anti-fungal effectiveness.
- Oral medications are also valuable. Most nail fungus are the form Trichophytum Rubrum and Diflucan is often not a good option for this. Terbenifine (or Lamisil) has a longstanding track record against most fungi that can infect nails, even yeast. This medication is taken once a day for three (3) months, with the biggest concerning side effect being it injuring the liver. This is so uncommon now that a liver function test is not required anymore (I still recommend the lab test before starting and six weeks in). A nail biopsy can be utilized to show exactly what bug (if any) infects the nail.
- The one piece of the story not discussed is the possibility of no infection. A thick nail can also be traumatic. If the nailbed is injured, it will grow thick and medications don't fix it. Nail biopsy will prove infection or not.
Please note that when you have diabetes, yeast infections and bacterial infections can become more common because of the inability of the body to fight of infections as well.
Do You Offer Any Treatments to Make Fungal Nails Look Better?
We see a lot of patients in our office for fungal nails. We offer several treatments in our office to manage and resolve fungal nails. We usually send a sample of the affected toenail to a lab so we know exactly what antifungals will work best in your particular case. However, even if fungal nails are getting treated, many patients have two concerns:
1) Will it spread to my other toenails/family's toenails?
2) How long will they look so bad?
For most people with fungal nails, yes, it can be spread, and they will look bad for about a year. These are major concerns for patients. So, we've introduced the Keryflex system into our office. These are prosthetic nails. We will grind down the affected toenail(s) and apply the prostetic nail for immediate toe protection and increased aesthetic appeal. They aren't the same as acrylic nails. They are flexible, so they won't hurt or break off when wearing them in shoes. They aren't affected by acetone so patients can paint them like regular nails and apply nail polish remover with no weakening of the nail. And we can apply them with either a shiny or matt finish depending on your preference. If you have fungal nails, nail salons are supposed to refuse you service. However, we use a new set and new application tools for each patient, that way there is no fear of cross infecting patients with different types of fungus. Call our office to find out more about our Karyflex prosthetic nail options.