Are you hiding your toes instead of breaking out one of the beautiful summer polishes and slipping into a pair of sandals? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Over three million Canadian’s suffer from toenail fungus. I started looking for solutions and that is when I found out many of my friends were suffering too. I am closer to having perfect toes for the summer.
If you want the same you will need to get working on it with a multi-pronged approach.
So first of all, what is a nail fungus? Simply, it is an overgrowth of fungi onychomycosis. Your nail will be discolored, and then thicken and crumble at the edge. In the advanced stage the nail may be misshapen and actually lift from the nail bed. Often a fungus can be started after trauma to the toe or exacerbated by an underlying health issue such as having diabetes, being overweight, suffering from poor circulation or having an overgrowth of Candida yeast infection. Your physician may recommend some medical solutions such as an oral drug therapies or nail lacquer therapies. Both can combat the problem, however there are side effects. For certain there isn’t any fast cure.
What gave me hope and got me started on the road to recovery was a Groupon for nail fungus laser treatment. I went for three rounds of treatments over 8 weeks. The laser travels through the nail to the nail bed with enough heat to kill the bacteria. I could see a difference in the new growth but this treatment is not pain free. I am suck when it comes to pain and the fact is, it hurt. They zap all over your nail(s) with the laser and it feels like pinpricks of burn. However the esthetician was wonderful and made it as comfortable as possible. The treatment can be expensive as you will need to repeat the process until the nail has grown out. I had to look for other alternatives once my Groupon was over. I did pick up some tips for reducing the issue.
- Do not go barefoot in shoes. Always wear sockets or clean socks and hose. I always ran around in bare feet and slip on shoes and that is a no-no. No socks contributes to the reinfection as the fungus then resides in your shoe and it becomes a vicious circle. (Wash all socks and hose in hot water to make sure to kill the fungus. Warm water will not do it.)
- Use a tincture spray every day. Spray it on your feet when getting out of the shower or before you put on socks. Spray inside your shoes at the beginning of the day. This helps keep the infection at bay by reducing the reinfection.
- Do not wear polish, even clear while you are treating the problem. Your nail needs to breath and the treatment needs to get through the nail.
- Soaking your feet in a vinegar bath (1 cup vinegar to 4 gallons of water) often will also help combat the infection and helps keep your feet soft especially keeping those heels smooth. They recommend every day, but I just couldn’t fit it into my daily schedule however I did do it a couple times a week.
So what long term treatment did I settle on? Well, the secret agent is Vicks Vapor! This was a remedy I found online. At first I thought it might be just an old wife’s tale, however, it was affordable and easy to try. Faithfully I applied it in the morning and before going to bed. After a month I could see healthier pink nail on the bed. Note that your nail gets really soft and if you have a serious infection, the nail turns dark brown as the fungus dies. Then I got sidetracked for a couple of months and I could see that it was getting darker yellow again. I jumped back on the plan and have been faithfully applying it at least once a day for the last two months.
My daughter who was my pedicure partner, was quite amazed at the change as well as my pedicure esthetician.
It will still take the same amount of time as every other proposed remedy. You need to be consistent and persevere with the treatment until the new toe nail has grown out. That will take up to six months or more, however, be encouraged because as the better growth is grown out, the worst looking part of the nail is cut off.
I am looking forward to sandals this season and brightly polished toes. By the way, the one last piece of advice I learned. Change up your toenail polish regularly and do not leave it on for long periods of time. Waiting for weeks between pedicure appointments is not recommended as it can trap the bacteria and you will be dealing with the problem again. Consider going polish free often.
Share this story with your friends. You may be surprised at who is looking for solutions. Are you working through a health issue? Tell us about it.