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Old 04-17-2004, 11:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Orlando(ish)
Posts: 21,294
I'm so embarrassed. I think I have toenail fungus.

Normally my ten little piggies are painted a lovely shade of red or pink. My two toe rings peek out demurely from my sandals. In other words, my feet don't look half bad.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed one of my toenails seemed a bit yellow and was raised a bit from the nail bed. Now, I always put on a coat of clear nail polish before polishing them with a color, so I didn't think it was stained. Ah well, I thought, I shall take a couple of weeks off from the toenail polish.

It hasn't gotten better. The whole nail is now a yellowish-white. My other toenails look normal, with the strip of white at the top and the nail bed a healthy pink. The bad nail also noticeably raised from the nail bed. Last night I tried to scrape under it and got bits of a white powdery substance.

I feel rather silly making a doctor's appointment...after all, it's one frigging toe nail. Is this something I should worry about? Do the OTC fungus treatments work, or do I have to get a prescription for Lamisil (Somehow, an infection sounds better than fungus. E..I have tiny mushrooms growing under my toenail.) How do you get a fungus/infection? How do you prevent it from occuring again? And can I just forget about it and cover up the discoloration with nail polish, or is my toe going to fall off?
Old 04-17-2004, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: peninsular enigma, or FL
Posts: 679
Yes, your toe will fall completely off. Careful, or it will spread throughout your body and parts will fall off at random! (I'm kidding, obviously...but could you imagine? )

I would try an OTC remedy first. It sounds as if you may have noticed it somewhat early on, so it's worth a shot. I found this site, which may be informative to you. It's got a few kooky remedy ideas, FYI. Check this site out too, it seems to be a little more straightforward. And there's nothing to be embarrassed about - they're quite common.

Here's wishing your fungus a speedy departure!
What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
Old 04-17-2004, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,821
Personally, I'd see a doctor now before it has a chance to spread. It'll go away faster that way. Gotta keep those pretty piggies pretty for sandal season!
Good luck!
Old 04-17-2004, 12:37 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Charlottesville, Va.
Posts: 10,139
Like the commercial says, "I'm a dermatophyte ... I just want to get under your nail bed!"
Old 04-17-2004, 12:40 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 17,683
I assumed from the posters/advertisements that I see in chemists (pharmacies/drug stores???) that it is a very common condition that is quickly healed by proprietary medicines.

On that basis I would just go to a chemist (see above) and ask her.
Old 04-17-2004, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 2,062
If it is a nail fungus, over-the-counter nail remedies won't work. You need a fairly lengthy course of meds.

There is another possibility (and perhaps others that I am not aware of) what you describe also resembles psoriasis when it attacks a nail. If you suffer from psoriasis, this might be the most likely cause. BTW, the next time you scrape stuff from under the nail, keep it in a little vial or container and take it to your dermatologist appointment. It'll save you time as most dermatologists can check on the spot whether this is caused by a fungus or not.

I am not a doctor, but have experience what you describe, so my advice is to see a dermatologist as soon as you can.
Fighting ignorance can be a noble pursuit, but fighting stupidity is a waste of time. [J.-L. A.]
Old 04-17-2004, 12:43 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Somewhere near Boston
Posts: 9,905
I asked a dermatologist about this once. He strongly recommended against any of the prescription treatments, reasoning that the fungus is largely a cosmetic problem, and the prescription drug treatment takes months, is expensive, and is potentially quite toxic to the liver. Basically, the risk/reward doesn't add up (unless you have a really advanced case where your foot looks like a harpy's claw).

The home remedies have the disadvantage that the fungus grows under the nail, so there's no good way to get the treatment to the source of the problem. (Although the DMSO technique might work -- provided you want to fool around with non-FDA approved usage of a powerful solvent.) Then again, most of the topical treatments don't look like they'd hurt unless you have an objection to smelling like vinegar, Vick's, or tea tree oil. So maybe give them a try and report back.
Old 04-17-2004, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Orlando(ish)
Posts: 21,294
Well, I don't have psoriasis, so I can eliminate that option.

This seems more complicated than I thought. Either the OTC work, or they don't. Either the prescription drugs work, or they're very expensive and toxic to the liver.

The first site bittersweet suggested has a bunch of home remedies. I think I'll try the Hydrogen Peroxide and maybe the Vick's too. I feel silly calling up the doctor and making an appointment, "My middle right toenail is yellow. 4pm tomorrow? Great!" It seems so trivial. I'm someone who has to be actually vomiting blood before I would even consider calling and telling the boss I might not make it in until noon.

And yet, the H2O2 and the Vick's may be delaying the inevitable. Yeeessh. Any more advice?
Old 04-17-2004, 02:08 PM
Mostly harmless
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: The VunderLair
Posts: 15,370
Ivylass, every year around August, I get the world's worst case of jock rot. It laughs when I whip out the can of Cruex... The doctor usually sets me up with a round of Lamisil, and it not only kills the jock rot, but it cleans up my piggies, too. Never had a problem with it regarding toxicity/side effects.

I've tried every home remedy in the book, and they don't work. What you see is dead fungus, because the action is back at the nail root.

Don't let people scare you away from the prescriptions. They work.
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Old 04-17-2004, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 21,505
My mother's had it for years. Tried the perscription stuff. Tried tea oil. Tried vicks. Tried bleach. Tried peroxide.

She's having luck with this

Its expensive, but my salon guarentees it will work or they'll give you your money back.
One day, in Teletubbie land, it was Tinkie Winkie's turn to wear the skirt.
Old 04-17-2004, 03:33 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 25,755
does it look like this yet? If not, you've got time.
Old 04-17-2004, 09:18 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Pinellobamas Park, FL
Posts: 2,488
When will I learn not to click on your links in medthreads, QtM?
Todo aquel que piense que la vida es desigual tiene que saber que no es así.
La vida es una hermosura; hay que vivirla.
Todo aquel que piense que está sólo y que está mal tiene que saber que no es así.
En la vida no hay nadie sólo; siempre hay alguien.
Old 04-17-2004, 09:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 227
I have this problem on a few toes (started from just one) and a few years ago my doctor tried some paint-on stuff like nail polish. I tried it for about 6 months with no change (admittedly he did say it could take a year or more) and then stopped.

I'm hesitant to try Lamisil because of the liver risks but Tanookie keeps telling me my toes are nasty (not as bad as that picture) so I'll probably see what my new doctor says at some point.

I see what Ivylass is getting at about calling the doctor - I'd feel like I was wasting his time just to have ugly toes looked at. Now when the toenail was ingrown and infected that was another matter - that hurt something nasty.
Old 04-17-2004, 09:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Puget Sound basin
Posts: 2,640
I had good luck with peroxide last year. I had a huge pocket under the big toenail, which had thickened up too. Every day for about two weeks I used a Q-Tip to really push the peroxide as deep as I could without making the area hurt too much. I took the time to make sure the area was really saturated. The pocket stopped growing and started shrinking as the toenail grew out. I clipped the last of the thickened toenail off about 5 or 6 months ago and haven't had a sign of fungus since. Of course, you may have a different type but as cheap as poeroxide is, it's worth a try.
Old 04-17-2004, 10:00 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Puget Sound basin
Posts: 2,640
Qadgop, that's mean of you to show a nasty picture like that and not tell how to fix it before it gets that bad. Naughty, naughty!

Old 04-17-2004, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Remulak, a small town in
Posts: 1,569
I used the Vicks thing and it worked (it was slow but the prescription stuff is slow AND expensive), the secret is to NOT STOP! until the fungus is gone, use the Vicks until you see a black line grow out fron the base of the nail and you trim it off (I assume it's spores, yuk!) then continue for a few weeks.

It worked for me.

Straight DOH-per
Old 04-18-2004, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Orlando(ish)
Posts: 21,294
Dayum, QtM! And before breakfast too!
Old 04-18-2004, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: RedondObama Beach, CA
Posts: 9,801
I started getting the same thing last year and was reluctant to take the prescription meds because of the possible liver damage associated with them. I did some web searches and found a site that sells a product that's supposed to be some secret home remedy, yadda, yadda. It was only $20, so I figured what the heck, I'll try it out. There are (for obvious reasons) no ingredients listed on the bottle, but my husband and I were convinced that it was nothing more than vinegar (though what specific kind, we couldn't tell you, but probably just plain old white vinegar). Well obviously it wasn't going to hurt me and on the chance that it really could help, I used it. Lo and behold, it actually worked!

So I just did a quick google search to see if I could find the site again, and the first linked page is all about home remedies, so I clicked it just to see what they suggest. And guess what the first thing on the list was... distilled vinegar! More info on it here, too:

I used it twice a day, every day without fail, pushing the cuticle back and making sure it went under the nail, as well, and I now have normal, healthy nails. It's sure cheap and easy enough to give it a try. Good luck!
Old 04-18-2004, 04:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Back in LA
Posts: 1,641
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
does it look like this yet? If not, you've got time.
I think I speak for us all when I say ...

I think I'll go take a shower and wash my feet extra extra carefully.
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Old 04-18-2004, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Funkytown
Posts: 4,395
Not only do the OTC remedies not work, they can also cause damage to the surrounding skin. I used one product for a year and now 3 of my toes have a wrinkly texture around the nail. I call them my Grandma Toeses.

My mom had success with a diluted solution of liquid Lysol, the kind in the little brown bottle. But I haven't seen that stuff in years.
Old 04-18-2004, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,748
My wife got a prescription for Lamisil - enough pills to successfully complete the therapy.

The Lamisil over-the-counter, USofA price was $700. Not a typo. $700. But our medical insurance covered it.

Which might make the vinegar/peroxide therapies for some, rather attractive.
Old 04-18-2004, 10:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,480
I have personally been in the toenail fungus situation. I got toenail fungus on my right big toe when I was a teen. I'm now thirty. I occasionally tried some remedies to get rid of it, but never anything too serious. About a year ago, I got down and dirty with that toe fungus. One night I got so furious with it that I chipped away at that toenail, chipped it all off. (keep in mind that by that time it was yellow, brittle, thick, so it wasn't painful to take it off. It did, however, take a couple of hours).

Every day, twice a day, for about 6-8 months I put tea tree oil and Vicks on it. When it started to grow back, I kept it filed really really thin so the nail wouldn't get so thick that the medicine couldn't come in contact with the nailbed, and continued with the tea tree oil and Vicks. EVERY DAY TWICE A DAY.

Now i have a completely normal toenail. It's nice, thin, and pink.

For me it took patience and persistence. And researching on the internet about over the counter hippie hill-billy remedies (because I happen to like my liver, thank you.)
This is a magic cliff here, like in The Highlander. So you will become the Highlander, and you'll roam the earth forever trying to kill yourself, but you won't be able to, because you'll be immortal! Won't that suck, little man?
Old 04-23-2013, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Nekkid Pueblo
Posts: 19,285
If she still has it after nine years, it must suck, indeed. Damn those zombie fungi!
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