"Toenail fungus” is a common condition...and sometimes associated with fungal "athletes' foot" and usually
difficult to cure. You know that you might have nail fungus if you have (1) one or more
thick toenails (a "dystrophic nail...scientifically representing the category,
"onychodystrophy") and/or (2) spots where nail is detaching (coming loose) at the free end.
But, aside from (1) fungus, there are many reasons/causes for thick
("pachyonychia", "onychogryphosis", or "onychauxis") toenails, and (2) poor arterial circulation is a very
important one (an extremity with poor circulation may indicate poor heart & brain
circulation). All nails on an extremity are usually thickened in the face of poor circulation (but all cases of such thickening are not cases of poor circulation...it is simple a clue to be considered). If a toenail other than the big toe toenail is clearly thickened, check very carefully to see if your physical activities or fit of your shoe could be causing that particular toe nail to be (3) repeatedly banged into the interior front aspect of your shoe (if so, this may be traumatic thickening). Therefore, I advise that you get a diagnosis by a qualified doctor who can be
sure it is fungus and not something worse. Dermatologists and podiatrists are the experts. Or, you could self-treat FIRST (cheap) and see a professional (expensive) if self-treatment does not work. [Near the bottom of
[this page] is a listing of scientific terms for some types of nail
abnormalities, one of which is onychomycosis.]
COST: Treatment by prescription medicine will include
the expenses of doctor’s fees to diagnose & then manage the treatment, pathology lab
& pathologist fees if they are needed to make the diagnosis with the microscope, lab test
costs to check your liver condition prior to taking the medicine, and lab costs to
periodically check & be sure the medicine is not injuring your liver. [my home remedies page] Self treatment is CHEAP!
Below is either (1) another way to attempt
treatment after getting a doctor’s diagnosis, or (2) a set of additional efforts you can make
to add to what the professionally prescribed medicine does to rid you of the fungus. [for more, (a) see Health Central's page about abnormal nails & (b) drop any of the above
three medical terms into Google images search (search term = nail fungus) and see many photos of what it looks like]
Here is the key fungus prevention rule...(1) the fungus needs MOISTURE and (2) fungus needs an alkaline (non acid) environment:
- make some stock
"fungus killer solution" of either (1) Lysol concentrate (the "concentrate" is the only ordinary
consumer-type Lysol product that contains the phenol that kills coexisting bacteria and fungus) or
(2) hypochlorite-containing Clorox: to each one quart of clean & clear tap water, add an eighth
of a teaspoon or less of either...but not both. If you use Lysol concentrate, the water should
not turn any more than faintly "milky" colored.
- use some of the
killer solution to wet any clippers or files after you use them = this kills fungus stuck to
- debulk the
thickened-nail growth by trimming toenails (this action discards huge amounts of fungus); some
even have podiatrists pull the bad nails out. Put clippings into killer solution & do not
let clippings drop or fly into carpet or on floor where they might stick around &
- debulk debris
underneath nails & kill the removed debris with killer solution...don't just flick it onto
the floor where it may re-infect.
- Use a nail file,
emory board, or sandpaper to file the abnormal nails (let debris fall on newspaper which you
carefully wrap & discard so debris won't re-infect) as thin as you can without making them
too sensitive or bleed (shortens the distance for the Lysol or Clorox to penetrate to kill the
deepest fungi); be sure to soak the file afterward in killer
- soak the prepared foot in
warm/comfortable killer solution for 15 minutes 1-3 times per day until nails are well and then
- keep toes &
- keep nails dry by
keeping nails cut short & clear/clean underneath.
- if you bathe/shower
just before dressing to go to work, get toes & the area under nails excellently dry before
putting on socks and shoes.
- have shoes large
enough & loose enough to help air circulation & help the feet & nails to stay dry
- keep feet & socks CLEAN:
gently clear out under nails…remove dead debris; use Lysol or Clorox to disinfect shower or tub
- keep feet ACIDIC: splash a little bit of a stock mixture of dilute vinegar & water (or dilute lemon juice and water) on toenail areas daily…especially after
bath/shower. Fungus (1) hates acid environment & (2) hates
"dry" and will far less likely to even start a problem.!
- keep shoes &
socks clean & fungus free: you may have to get rid of old shoes or treat the interior insoles (especially if removable) with
one of the 3 potential surface (topical) KILLERS of fungus & bacteria killers (not because they are acidic): (1) extremely carefully
use DILUTE Lysol or (2) Clorox; or (3) drug store 3% peroxide. If you can, you can dry these things in bright sunlight which also kills "germs". Another supposedly very effective
anti-germ agent on more chronic sores but not nail fungus is raw honey! If anything on the feet needs
bandaging, consider masking
socks: change socks daily and use killer-solution on any
stuck-on fungus contamination by putting them in killer solution.
shoes: put some killer solution into shoes & quickly
slosh all around and dump out about once per week. Then put in freezer overnight. After
thawing, dry shoes quickly & thoroughly. If you can afford it, have enough shoes that you
never wear a pair more than a week at a time…rotate the shoes to enhance drying. (1) Fungus hates “dry”. (2) Fungus hates acid (dilute vinegar; dilute lemon juice).
- keep patient &
persistent: toenails grow about 1/32nd of an inch per week; all of the old fungus-infected nail
must grow out & be trimmed off as you treat (& this takes
- SKIN PROTECTION WARNING: Then skin of the feet needs post-treatment protection. Rinse any Lysol or chlorox treated feet off good & then be sure a little acid solution is placed on; pat or towel dry AND THEN coat any dry-skin spots with a grease (Vasoline or other greasy stuff) that retards the drying out of the skin (dry skin can develope its own compounding problems of crakc s & sores).
***give me your comments about this
check out the Highest
(posted about 2006; addition 24 June
2012; latest addition 14 January 2018)