Tips On Tuesday
As shoe stores begin their early herald of spring by adorning their windows with fresh sandals you may find yourself appraising your toe-readiness for the toe-baring, tempting strappiness of all things sandal. You may discover that you have, of all things, a bout of onychomycosis.
Hopefully, you will only see the chipped polish left over from the holidays but if you suspicion fungus—this post's for you.
The Mayo Clinic describes “Nail fungus as a fungal infection in one or more of your nails. An infection with nail fungus may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the nail fungus spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges — an unsightly and potentially painful problem. An infection with nail fungus may be difficult to treat, and it may recur. But medications are available to help clear up nail fungus.”
Treating nail fungus has these requirements: Persistence and/or Money and/or Both.
Home Remedy: This is by far the least expensive, least invasive way to treat fungus. Rub each toenail daily with Apple Cider Vinegar or Listerine then dry completely or soak daily in 1 part vinegar—2 parts warm water then dry completely. Then apply Vick's VapoRub or Tea Tree Oil to each nail—EVERYDAY for at least 3-12 months. Remember, I did say persistence is required.
Topical Polish-Like Treatments: You can get this type of treatment over-the-counter, online and/or through a doctor's prescription for stronger dosages. This topical looks like clear nail polish and should be applied every two-three days. It is best to remove the previous application each time before applying a new coat. This treatment plan should be followed for 3-12 months. Persistence and a medium amount of cash will suffice for this type of treatment.
Oral Medications: Lamisil is one of the best known oral medications for treating nail fungus. This medication is usually prescribed for a minimum period of 3 months with a likelihood of continuing for a year. Oral medication must be prescribed by a doctor/podiatrist and comes with a whole host of side effects that makes me inclined to try other solutions even though many find success with ridding themselves of the fungus. Beware of this medication if you have liver problems or are fixing to become or are pregnant. This treatment is expensive and also requires persistence.
Nail Removal: Most folks will not have to take this route and since this is the most invasive, most doctors rarely recommend this treatment. This treatment obviously requires less persistence but more cash and recovery time/care.
Laser Treatment: This treatment requires 1 to four sessions with your doctor/podiatrist where lasers are used to “zap” away nail fungus. There is not currently strong evidence/data as to the whether this type of treatment really does the trick and you should know that it still takes up to a year for the fungus to completely clear up. Also, this is the most expensive treatment available ranging from$700-$1500 per session and is not covered by insurance.
No matter which path you take, be sure you are willing to persist and follow directions to the T!
Preventing nail fungus is much easier than treating it and below are some basic things you can do to avoid contracting that stubborn fungus:
Clean and completely dry your feet and nails daily. Using talcum powder will help insure that any excess moisture is absorbed.
Wear shoes/sandals at public pools, showers, etc. Fungus is catchy and loves damp places.
Wear clean moisture-wicking socks and clean shoes as fungus also loves dark, damp places.
Keep your nail trimmed and filed.
If you wear nail polish be sure to always remove all old polish before applying new polish...Not doing so, increases your risk of nail fungus.
Wear shoes that are roomy in the toe box and for optimum airflow wear sandals...
...Which puts us back to admiring and getting some new Spring sandals. Just think of your new sandals as a great way to keep onychomycosis at bay:)
P.S. Onychomycosis is also genetically hereditary so feel free to blame your parents for the entire year it usually takes to get rid of it.