Advice about Nail Fungus
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Advice about Nail Fungus
Hi. I am wondering if I can get a recommendation for doctors
that do laser nail fungus treatment. If you had it, did you
find it successful? Did your insurance cover it? Was it
painful? I would appreciate any information about your
experience with your treatment. Thanks
I got my toe done at the Berkeley office of the Bay Area Foot &
Laser Podiatry Group run by Dr. Mark Wolpa. Insurance doesn't cover
it (I have Anthem) but I could pay for it with my flexible spending
account. It's quick and painless and it worked. I'm happy to talk
more about it if you'd like.
I went to Dr. Elizabeth Lee (artfulsurgery.com). She is amazing. Since
she is a plastic surgeon her laser is very advanced. The treatment did
not hurt and was very effective for my nail fungus. The treatment is not
covered by insurance, but she charged a very fare price. No more nail
Has anyone done laser treatment for toenail fungus? If so
I'd love to know if it was successful, how long it took and
if the price was worth it. Also, if you have somewhere to
A couple of years ago I went to Barefoot Laser in Hayward (I
live in Berkeley - this was the closest one at that time).
I dropped $1,000. for this procedure. I had severely
discolored/disfigured toenails. I just looked at their
website again and see this (same thing it said before I
signed up): ''Board-licensed medical professionals.'' Please
note that this DOES NOT SAY nor MEAN ''podiatrist'', although
a wishful thinker like myself might read ''podiatrist'' into
That Barefoot Laser office, including the room where the
procedure was done, had a CARPET on the floor. The doctor,
A RETIRED EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR (I'm sorry to be yelling,
but I guess I have a lot of unexpressed anger about this
whole scene) was not enjoying himself. He filed my toenails
down with a grinder - the dust was flying everywhere,
including onto the carpet, onto myself, onto him. He then
applied the laser and overheated a couple of spots (not
quite burned but really HOT). I then was told to apply a
particular anti-fungal cream for a specified amount of time,
which I did. I also was to go back for a follow-up at an
extra charge, which I did not do, because I felt like such a
It did not work one iota!!! My toenails have gotten
progressively worse. I feel like I was taken in by snake
oil salesmanship. I hope someone at some point files a
class action suit, if this has not worked for others. I
would love all of my money back.
I would say don't do it, but maybe my case was an anamoly.
I've had fungal toenails since 1997. I first noticed my pinky toe on my right
looking weird. Asked my MD about it at the time, and he said it was fungus,
and that it would eventually spread to ALL of my toes. At the time, I was
recovering from Hepatitis A, and so he wouldn't treat me with Lamisil.
I had horrible Athlete's Foot, which is what brought on the Fungus in the
toenails, I believe. I should have treated the AF more seriously.
Fast forward 8-9 years, it had spread to 8 out of 10 toes. I read all the home
remedies I could find. I soaked my toes in white vinegar every night for a
year. No difference. I painted my toenails with grapefruit extract for another
year. No difference. I went to a podiatrist and had my toenails ground down,
and applied the provided ''fungoid tincture'' for a year. NO difference.
So last year I went to another podiatrist who touts this ''laser therapy'' as the
be-all end-all for toenail fungus. I spent about $1500 for two laser
treatments six months apart, and a ''Steri Shoe'' shoe sanitizer that's
supposed to kill the fungus that lives in your shoes and re-infects your feet
every time you put them on (!) .
The results of two laser treatments and the steri-shoe? ONE toenail was
mildly improved. ONE. It was a total waste of my money.
Finally after 13 summers without going barefoot in the sand or at the pool, I
decided to give the lamisil a try. It's been 5 weeks and guess what? Clear
nails are already growing in.
I hope my experience helps you.
going sandal shopping in the spring!
I'm only posting this because the email said no one has
answered at all. I have not tried laser toenail
treatment. But I did have the fungus and my doctor's
nurse told me to buy Tea Tree Oil. She said use a nail
file to rough up the surface of the nail every morning and
evening. Then put a few drops of Tea Tree oil on the
nail. It took several months but it worked.
hope this helps
My dad had really bad toenails infected with that fungus.
His feet looked terrible. He went in to have the
treatment done and this is what he said about it:
''Bottom line, I've seen definite improvement, but no cure
yet on the worst nails. It does feel like I'm making
progress though. When I started I had six toes badly
infected, two partly infected, and two ok. The two partly
infected are clear now. The others have clearer margins
and I think the area of infection is smaller. So I'm glad
I asked my mom about it too and she was very enthusiastic
saying she was annoyed he had let his feet get that bad
and that they look much better. I think my dad must be
one of the more extreme cases because I have never seen
toes like that before.
My 20 year old son had the toe-nail fungus laser treatment
done in September, so it is too soon to know if it will be
effective (though he says his toenails look better). He had
tried so many alternative treatments over the past few
years, everything but internal medication, so we finally
splurged. The treatment is expensive........$1000.
I will post more about our results in another few months
when we see progress (or not). He had it done with Jennifer
Barlow, DPM who works with Mark Wolpa, DPM. They have
offices in several locations, but we did the procedure at
the Berkeley office. #849-3800. I was with him during the
procedure. The office is clean, staff is professional and
friendly, and there was a ''vacuum'' attached to the
grinder/file so dust was not flying everywhere, as one of
the recent poster wrote about her experience elsewhere.
They gave him slippers to wear when walking in the office,
so his feet did not touch the carpet. I did research
beforehand and the only valid laser for toenail fungus is
the pinpoint laser....it is a warm/hot laser. I also called
the Better Business Bureau to see what they had to say about
this treatment (very little). Stay posted!
I went to a podiatrist about my toenail fungus, which is bad and
getting worse. He prescribed terbinafine/Lamasil and stressed that it
was a lot safer than people think it is. Most of what I'd read had to
do with the impact it can have on the liver -- and I actually do
believe that I'm not considered in a high-risk category for that.
However, I've been looking more closely at the other possible side
effects, and they're disconcerting to say the least.
My GP has always urged me not to take the medicine. And, in a perfect
world, I wouldn't. But, in a perfect world, I wouldn't have toes that
gross me out. To add to the horror of it, I now have a terrible case
of athlete's foot! So, taking a medicine that would take care of both
these issues IS pretty appealing. But the fact that I have both these
conditions makes me wonder if my immune system is not at its
Ack -- I don't know what to do.
If anyone's been in a similar boat, I would love to hear what you
decided to do, and how it turned out.
I also suffer from toenail fungus and athlete's foot. The two are
related and make me so embarrassed to show my feet. I tried all
the topical stuff to no avail. I considered the lamisil but my
mom did two rounds of it and had no improvement. For the past 4
weeks I've been applying a 50/50 mixture of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
and Bragg's Apple Cider VInegar. I am seeing a noticeable
improvement. It is not cured but I think it is being beaten back
significantly. I would rather live with a slight discoloration
than put that poison in my bod!
You can try to get a second opinion. My husband and I went to see
Dr. Ana Sorkin for athlete's foot and toe fungus. She said that
the fungus for the foot and the nails is the same. She prescribed
a cream for the foot and fungoid tincture for the nails and we
went in regularly where she trimmed and filed the toes. Mine went
away in a month and my husband's, which was worse, was gone in
under 12 months. I'd try that first. She's in Oakland.
I have the worst toe nail fungus ever. I could have written your post.
describe my fungus (on 4 toes) as Shrek-like.
I have been going to a chinese doctor, Dr. Ou, on Grand Street in
Oakland, as of 10
days ago. He has me on a strict regimen of some kinds of chinese herbs,
boiled in a
gallon of vinegar for a week's supply, soaking for 30 minutes 2x a day
with hair dryer), and a tea 2x a day. Also, recommended that I boil my
socks once a
week --don't know if bleach could help...and washing shoes once a week
completely drying them in sun. Sun kills spores but heat like a dryer
need to remove spores which can lay dorment for a long time and come to
moisture. He urged a complete cleaning of towels, mats, etc. after
every use. I'm
going to use paper towels for feet soon. I am starting to use a half
cup of bleach in
all my laundry------and I sun dry my clothes anyway. Bleach spray or
spray on shower regularly (that's mine and not doctors) Don't know where
I got the
energy for this plan, but I usually soak my feet while at the computer,
and it's my
last chance before considering the pills. I'll let you know my progress
if you want,
still a little early, but he has given me the most comprehensive plan
and info about
this condition...and I am believing him for now!! Contact me if you
I took Lamisil for toenail fungus many years ago. At the time, I
really wasn't aware of the risks because the doctor didn't really
fill me in on those details. Anyway, I had that fungus for a long
time on every toe. I hated it! So I took the pills. I took them
for about 3 months. That's how long it took. Once the fungus was
gone, I stopped taking the pills (there were about 3 more months
left in the bottle). There were side effects. Basically I felt
really weird for the entire time I took them. Light headedness,
and lots of shortness of breath. That was about 20 yrs ago (was
in my 20's) and the fungus hasn't come back. Would I do it again?
Maybe-if I was being monitored properly by a doctor. Am I glad I
took them? Yes. My advice is to talk to your doc. and get all the
details. My feet and toenails are healthy now!
Since no one actually responded as a user of Lamasil, I thought
I would give some feedback. I think the effectiveness is about
70% - 7 out of 10 will be treated effectively. I had horrible
toe fungus for years and was one of those 7. If you take the
liver function tests and all is well mid-way through and having
success you are golden. I am post-treatment x 7 years or so
and it's great.
I'm hoping someone will have a suggestion or at least share their
experience in dealing with toenail fungus. I have two badly
infected toes on one foot (a problem of several years) and two
more are growing in with fungus. I'm aware that there is a
prescription medication I can take for this, but I have the
impression that it takes several months to work and can cause
liver damage. At any rate, I'm only 3 weeks away from giving
birth (yikes!), and wouldn't want to take it until I have
finished breastfeeding, which could be quite a while. Has anyone
successfully treated toenail fungus with any treatment, whether
it's medication or alternative therapy? I am so tired of covering
up the fungus with polish (not a polish kind of person) and you
can imagine how hard it's been to reach my toes lately!
Signed, I hate my toenails
My wife has had toenail fungus for years. All the remedies
listed she has tried without sucess.
Right now she's been trying Tea Tree Oil for the past 8
months. She lost her toenail (which is good.) And now that
its growing back and it's looking much better.
I have known two people who successfully treated toenail fungus
by dropping hydrogen peroxide on it every day. it took months to
clear up and they both started when the fungus was in it's early
stages. if I were you I'd do that at least to keep it from
spreading and I figure you may as well treat the other toenails
while you're at it. It couldn't hurt.
what I have heard about the oral meds are that they may or may
not be effective in the long term (the fungus tends to come
back). The meds are expensive and bad for your liver and I'm not
sure if they get into breast milk.
In any case, if you do treat your toes successfully, you will
need to replace all your shoes - they will reseed the toenails
since they are contaminated.
Welcome to the lovely world of toenail fungus! Actually, you can
swim without spreading the fungus. The chlorine in the pool takes
care of that. Wearing flip-flops in the showers/changing room
also protects other swimmers. That's not what seems to be the
biggest problem for most sufferers, though. It's the
embarrassment about how their feet look.
Have you tried any kayak/canoe/wind-surfing shops to see if they
carry some thin, Neoprene, slip-on foot covers? I believe they
make them for these sports to help keep feet from slipping on wet
surfaces, but they're also thin enough to not feel encumbering,
so you can swim.
My husband and I are having great success with treating our
dual fungus issues. We went to a great podiatrists, Dr. Anna
Sorkin. She assured us if we follow her treatment, we'd see
results and she was right. I recommend seeing her. She trimmed
the nails and filed them down and prescribed both athletes foot
cream (prescription) and an over-the-counter treatment called
Fungoid Tincture. We put the tincture on all our toes and use
the cream on our feet. She says the two organisms in athlete's
foot and fungus are the same. We disinfect the tub/shower
whenever we showers with Lysol bath cleaner with bleach.
Within a month, nearly all my fungus was gone. After three
months, I just have a wee bit on the two toes that were the
worst. I thought I just had it on two toes, but turns out, it
was on all of them. The sooner you treat it, the less time it
takes to go away. My husbands will take longer. I am so happy
wtih my results. Have the baby and then go see Dr. Sorkin.
Also, I loved getting pedicures but haven't put any polish on
my nails since beginnign treatment and if I get a pedicure,
it's only at places that confirm they disinfect.
Good luck with the baby and the fungus-be-gone!
pretty pink toes
Yes - yes - I had the dreaded fungus for many years. I worked
with just about every over the counter ad holistic solution
available. I kept them trimmed, I kept them clean, I washed my
feet every day and every night, and diligently applied every
solution known to man. Nothing worked. Very embarrassing having
yellow nails, especially for a clean freak like me.
Finally I bit the bullet and gave Lamisil a try. My doctor was
more concerned about liver damage than I was --- I wanted the
fungus dead and gone. I took the pills in three courses over
several months with a liver test in between each course. I'm
free and clear now, and actually thankful to the pharmaceutical
companies if you can believe that!
The only caveat is that the meds are expensive. I think $250 per
course, with no generic available. For some insurance plans like
mine, your copay doesn't apply, so I had to fork out the full
amount. And as the doctors will say, there's no guarantee that
it will work for you. If you decide to go for it, make sure you
get the testing in between courses. Good luck!
Toes of Death
There's an herbalist at the Berkeley Farmer's Market named Joshua Muskat
a topical toenail fungus formula. He sells it at the Saturday market and
at his clinic in
I've had this problem and have sort of cured it without taking
the prescription Lamisil tablets (which do have liver risks).
One nail infection progressed to the point where the nail
detached. My doctor said that they don't pull the nail anymore,
but rather wait until it falls off on it's own. Mine didn't, so
I took the opportunity to use daily Lamisil spray (it's over the
counter) under the nail. My doctor said she didn't think this
would do anything, but I tried anyway.
Well, after a few months I noticed the nail continued to grow
and the new growth looked clear. It's been a year and a half and
the old, infected part is only 1/3 of the total nail. Now that I
am pregnant and my nails are growing fast, I think I'll have a
totally clear nail in a couple more months.
The Lamisil spray label says that it should not be used on
nails, but I think that is just because they want to sell the
more expensive (and dangerous) systemic prescription tablets.
While they may work faster, I'm comfortable with the slow
progress that comes with using the topical Lamisil.
One important thing to keep in mind is that your nails can
become infected from a skin infection with athletes foot. I
neglected one small skin infection on one toe for a couple of
weeks and the nail got infected pretty quickly. It's much easier
and effective to treat a skin infection with Lamisil cream or
spray before a nail gets infected, so be sure you do that! My
skin infection wasn't noticeable and didn't itch until the nail
got infected, so be vigilant.
I seem to have a long-term mild case of toenail fungus. I have
tried lots of the over-the-counter stuff, none of which seemed to
work. I have, however, had a significant improvement doing this:
I soak my feet in straight vinegar. I learned about this from a
posting on this listserv, I think, and it has really worked. I
buy a big bottle of the cheap white vinegar. I heat it, and then
I soak my feet for a good half an hour or so. You can reuse the
vinegar until it gets gross. I do it about once a week, but I
think it would work even better if I did more often. It seems to
have changed the whole chemical environment of my feet. I also
had mild athletes foot for years, which is now completely gone.
And it makes my feet soft too. And you can do when you are
pregnant, and it will feel nice. Have your partner give your feet
a good towel rub at the end of the soak.
Regarding toe fungus, try soaking your feet every day for 10-15
minutes in Listerine, the mouth wash. My husband tried it and
found it be successful. I hope it works for you! Congratulations
on your baby too!
There are alternative treatments, but you have to be pretty good
about keeping at it. The best thing I've found is apple cider
vinegar. I'm serious. I've had toenail fungus for years, and
had just sort of resigned myself to it. But then I read some
crazy testamonial on the web about ACV, and thought, why not try
it? Well, in three days--three days!--of applying it topically,
the white fungus was gone. That still left the other, yellower
fungus, but I've kept at it. I try to drink about a tablespoon
of ACV in a cup of water every day and that helps. Also, about
once a week I buff the top of the nail then apply a cotton pad
soaked in AVC for about ten minutes. Slowly this is helping.
I've also heard about using cinnamon oil, but have not used that
as often. My dermatologist recommends Funginail, and I apply
that sometimes too. I've been at this for over a year, but I
have seen results in that time. It just plain takes a lot of
time for the nail to grow out. As a side note, since you're
about to have a baby, the first time I heard about the usefulness
of AVC was from my Ob/Gyn as a treatment for thrush. I had a
terrible time with recurring yeast in my breast milk and also
several bouts of plugged ducts. My Ob/Gyn recommended that I
swab my nipples with a diluted solution of ACV and water before
and after nursing. My baby didn't mind the taste (in fact, maybe
it's one of the reasons he's become an adventurous eater). The
AVC really helped to keep the thrush under control. Anyway, good
luck with it all.
I saw this remedy and tried it myself:
Simply soak your infected nails in ordinary mint-flavored mouth
wash (e.g Scope) every day. If you only have one that is
infected or don't want to soak them, you can take a cotton swab
and put the liquid directly on the nail. It will take awhile,
but you'll notice small results in about a week. This may sound
weird but it really works and does not involve any harsh
I feel your pain. My big toenail was terrible for quite a while,
but I think I cured it. At least, it's been several years since
it looked fungus-y. Here's what I did:
* Cut off much of the nail as possible while it is crumbly,
flaky, cracking, discolored, etc. This was easy for me because
the nail fell off on its own. If the condition persisted when it
grew back, I cut it off again. The theory is to expose the flesh
to the air, so there's nowhere for the fungus to grow.
* Painted the entire toe, especially the exposed under-nail area,
with a liquid over-the-counter anti-fungal. Some brands worked,
some didn't, and I could tell right away because they lessened
the itchy tight feeling.
* Gave away EVERY pair of problematic shoes, meaning those that
were even slightly tight around the toes. I wore only
well-fitting sandals around the house, or I went barefoot. I
kept my feet cool and ventilated. This was a stylistic bummer.
(Now that I'm ''cured,'' I sometimes wear heels to a special event,
but I still change into sandals when I get home.)
* Kept my shower floor scrupulously clean.
I wish you luck!
I now have nails
I went to a nail salon last year and the owner noticed a fungus
on my big toe nail. They recommended a product which she said
works better than prescription drugs. It is liquid, called
''Varisi'' which they sold me for $10. The active ingredient is
''citrus extractives.'' Applied a couple times a day for a couple
of months. it worked very well.
I don't recall the name of the salon, but it was on San Pablo
Avenue in Albany, one or two doors down the street from Mangia
Mangia Restaurant. (two blocks east of Solano Avenue).
My daughter had this problem under her two toenails, and it
made them grow funny. We used the over-the-counter ''antifungal
liquid'' ( recommended by her dermatologist)that we bought at
Longs and applied externally each day. It took a few months,
like the doctor said it would. Nothing fancy. No tricky
holistic remedies. It definitely worked.
-Hope this helps
I second the recommendation for Dr. Anna Sorkin -- after decades
of unsuccessful treatment, she finally got it right!
Footloose and Fungus Free
This is not directly about toenail fungus, but I had recurring
athletes foot fungus and I cured it. I used the usual over the
counter creams. After going through the whole treatment the
medicine would get rid of the athlete's foot for about a week or
two and then it would come back. This went on for about a
year. I remembered that I had heard that certain vitamins could
be helpful. I looked it up and yes B complex vitamins were
supposed to be effective. They were. I no longer get athletes
foot at all. I used a b-complex with a higher than average dose.
My big toe has had toenail fungus for many years now. Most of
the nail looks black and is basically pretty ugly. I wear nail
polish in the summer which hides it pretty well, so that I can
But here comes my problem. I am 6 months pregnant and would
just die for a pedicure. I love having my feet massaged and
worked on, but I don't dare to get a pedicure. I would consider
it such a treat if I could go and get one, but I don't dare to
expose that nail. I just wanted to know if anyone else ever ran
into a problem like this and what they did. Thanks!
Girl, get a pedicure! You deserve it. And make an appointment
with a podiatrist to get medication for your toe. Run it by
your ob/gyn first before filling the Rx, though. If possible,
wait 'til you are finished nursing. This includes topical
treatments as they are absorbed & can be passed on in your
milk. I get pedicures no matter what! We deserve this little
pleasure, especially when pregnant. At least if we can't see
our feet, we can know they are pretty & feel better!
I know how much you must be craving a pedicure, after all with
your pregnancy it must be getting harder and harder to reach your
feet! Unfortunately, it is against health and saftey regulations
for you to get a salon pedicure when you have a toenail fungus.
I have a cosmetology license, and in school they used to tell us
that whenever a client had a condition that might be communicable
we were to tell them, ''I'm sorry, but I cannot perform your
service today. You have a condition that requires a doctor's
care.'' These were the exact words and they are still drilled in
I'm sorry, but a toenail fungus spreads very easily by sharing
pedicure implements and soaking tubs, and even when sanitary
procedures are followed to the letter, the risk of spreading the
condition among your clientele, or getting it yourself is too
great for a manicurist to risk it. You may have gotten a toe
nail fungus at a salon in the first place. But if a manicurist
can see a communicable nail disease, she will decline to work on
you. I'm so sorry. My advice- buy a vibrating foot bath! I
loved mine when I was pregnant!
Polish on Piedmont disinfects their tubs very carefully after
each service. I had TNF and I was upfront with them and the
pedicurist wore gloves and thanked me for telling her. I would
recommend NOT putting polish on and calling Dr. Anna Sorkin for
treatment. My hubby and I both had it and followed her
procedure. Mine is nearly gone and his, which was worse, is
showing great progress and he'll probably have it cleared up in
a few months.
If you have kids, you want to take care of this because you
could give it to them. Also, you need to disinfect your
shower/tub after each bath or you'll give it to your other
Greetings! Please, helpful suggestions only and no judgements
appreciated. My entire life since childhood I was a swimmer,
swimming laps for many years through my pregnancy. This
stopped with the birth of my son. He's out of the nest now and
I'd like to resume swimming laps at a pool close by again - I'm
actually physically craving it. The problem is that, in the
interim, I've developed terrible obvious toe nail fungus, so I
can't see how I can fulfill by swimming craving. I don't want
to show my toenails, I don't want to gross out other folks, and
I don't want to infect anyone. Is there a solution to swimming
at a public pool with toenail fungus? Once again, no judgement
please as I judge myself enough for this as it is.
Craving to Swim Again
Most people I know have toenail fungus. It seems like an epidemic!! I would just
splash on a little polish and go swimming. My toenails are horrible but I still go to
the beach and pool. I refuse to take the oral meds necessary to eradicate the
fungus. I am doing a topical wash and anti fungal but it isn't really helping. I find
that I don't notice other people's toes very often.
Hopefully you've checked out the replies to the question about
alternative treatments for nail fungus. But for a while, you'll
have to deal with your toes. So, having been there myself,
here's some thoughts. They put chlorine in pools for a reason,
one of which is to deal with the multitude of microbes that
inhabit everyone's bodies, not just yours. You are not the only
one with nail fungus. Wear flip-flops in the dressing room,
shower, and right up to the pool, but don't let it stop you from
jumping in and doing what you enjoy! if you are really really
embarrassed, wear toenail polish. But try hard to accept
yourself, and this situation, and go for a swim! I bet after you
do, with all those nice endorphins floating around, those toes
will not seem quite so bad.
My husband has horrible toenail fungus and happily swims laps in the pool at the gym
without a care. I know I'm not looking at anyone's toes when I swim and I doubt that
too many other people are. Maybe someone IS looking at your toenails but you might
be looking at their cellulite or a pronounced scar from a long ago car accident. Swim
happily and don't worry.
not thinking about toes . . .
Help! We're going to Hawaii in May and 7 out of 10 of my
toenails are infected with fungus. I am so embarassed. I
haven't pursued any medical remedies because I have been
pregnant or breastfeeding for the past 4 years. (prior to my
first pregnancy, only two little pinky toes were infected).
What can I do to minimize the gross visual? Is there any salon
I could go in who would file them down to almost nothing? I'm
hesitant to go in to one, for fear the pedicurist would run
screaming from me. Do I get them removed altogether? I'd love
to be able to go barefoot in the sand.
And, once I stop breastfeeding, I'm considering taking the
medication (don't remember what it's called). It's supposed to
be safer now that it's given in ''pulses'', and not day after
day. If anyone has experience with the medication, I'd love to
hear it. In the meantime, short term solutions are what I'm
after. And yes, I've tried soaking them in white vinegar.
That seemed to slow the process, but didn't alleviate the
infections that had already taken hold.
Love the Feet, Hate the Fungus
I don't think there's any fast fix, but there are a few things to try.
My dermatologist says Fungi Nail is the best over the counter product.
I use that and alternate it with Apple Cider Vinegar (which I have heard
is much better than simple white vinegar). Okay, and I'll admit I also
drink a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in a cup of water every day.
THis has made a huge difference for me. You can buy nail smoothers at
the drug store and buff off the top layer of the nail yourself. Then
soak in vinegar, then apply Fungi Nail. All this will help to get your
nails in shape. But they will take months if not a year or more to grow
out clean. So try nail polish while you are on the beach. There are
non-toxic kinds at Elephant that are really pretty. If you don't think
of yourself as a painted toe nail kind of person, just choose a light
buff color. It looks really good. Oh, and have a great time at the
beach. Remember to look up at the scenery, not at your toes ;-).
Hi, I am adding a post because I did not see this remedy in the
archives. I have been going to a podiatrist named Dr. Anna Sorkin near
Summit Hosp in Oakland. Here is what I have learned from her. There is
no quick fix, because the healthy toenail must grow out for it to heal.
She had me apply fungoind tincture, which you can buy over the counter
for about $30, twice a day for several months. In the meantime, no nail
polish. In fact, polish can trap moisture inside the nail and make
fungus worse. I would have a podiatrist rather than a pedicurist do any
filing down of the nail surface, but smoothing out that surface can help
the appearance. I have tried Lamisil in the past, and it did work, but
eventually the fungus returned. If you have to show your toes, you can
wear polish for a few days, but then remove it and resume the treatment.
There are other more expensive topical treatments, but they have about
the same success rate of 60%. The first time I tried fungoid tincture, I
gave up too soon. So stick it out for a few months and find a good
podiatrist to tell you if it is working. Sometimes there is
discoloration after the fungus is gone -- it is really hard to tell
sometimes if you are not a toenail expert! BTW, she has kids and will
know what is safe for nursing, pregnancy, etc.
Fellow Funky Foot
I used Vicks vaporub on my bad toenail every night. It healed it! I
cannot assure you that this will work before May, but honestly, I
thought I would be stuck with this nail fungus for life, but it is now
gone. I think that it actually took almost a year to take hold. I did
keep nail polish (still do, but it was essential with the fungus) on at
all times to hide the ugliness. I am afraid that you will have to put
up with that for some time, but really and truly, the Vicks did the job!
I've been prescribed Lamisil for nail fungus, but had a bad
reaction to the medication and am looking for effective
alternatives. (I've had the fungus on my toenails for years,
but it recently spread to my thumbnail, which is a lot harder to
ignore.) Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
I can relate. After my first child I started getting fungus in
Toe nails. I didn't want to use lamisil for a variety of
reasons 1) Not good for nursing moms 2) Any drug that requires
periodic bloodwork seems suspect 3) takes a year anyway 4)the
expense 5) Their mascot ''digger'' freaked me out. So, I tried
tea tree oil- and much to my surprise, it seems to work quite
well. I purchased the oil and then applied it liberally after
each shower to each affected toe using a cotton swab. I took
care not to share the swab between toes as I didn't want
to ''spread'' the infection back and forth. I found there was a
dramatic improvement w/in about 2 weeks in terms of my nail
appearance, and the itchiness went away almost immediately. I
also 1) took time to really dry my feet after each shower 2)
kept my toenails very trim (be careful how you cut b/c you
don't want to get an ingrown nail) 3) I also wear my Tevas w/
cotton socks whenever possible (a major fashion crime, but I'm
a sysadmin so I can get away with bigtime nerdiness) so that my
feet can ''breathe''. Short answer: try tea tree oil for the
feet. I might check in w/ a doc about it spreading to your
hands... just because that seems a bit unusual (fungus usually
grows on the toes because it's warm and dark and moist down
there), but do give Tea Tree Oil a try
Down with Digger
Way back when, I too had the fungus and my doctor put me on
Lamisil. (The topical stuff just doesn't work). It was terrible
because there were so many side effects. Worst drug I've ever
been on. BUT I managed to stay on it until the fungus went away
(it was prescribed for 6 months, but I managed to only take it
for 3..that's how long it took for the fungus to disappear). It
was worth the 3 month suffering. I was cured and it never came
back. So if you can hang on and just deal with the wierd side
effects until it goes away, I suggest you keep taking it. It will
most likely never come back. Best of luck to you!
I am so sorry to hear about your nail fungus. I got toenail
fungus and was too cheap to pay for the prescription medication.
I made up a remedy that worked for me. The downside was that it
took almost two years and is kind of messy. The upside was that
it was fairly non-toxic and it worked. Here's what I did:
1. Kept a separate pair of nail clippers for infected nails.
Washed the clippers thoroughly after each use.
2. Kept infected and other nails as short as I possibly could.
3. Applied Gentian Violet to infected nails once or twice a week
(you can buy it at Longs). This stuff is PURPLE and will turn
your nails PURPLE. Also, it will crystallize if it spills on
anything and if it gets on anything else, it will turn it PURPLE
too. Keep the container in a ziplock baggy well away from
anything else. If you are a woman, consider buying a nail polish
that matches the color.
4. I applied Nonyx (also available at Longs) once a day to the
5. I went barefoot or wore open toe shoes wherever possible. I
also dried my feet thoroughly after bathing, swimming, etc.
May You Obtain Healthy Nails!
Gentian Violet is excellent for combatting fungus. I used it
when my baby and I had thrush (also a fungus), and it was the
only thing that worked (after 3 rounds of medication from the
doctor). The only downside is that it is intensely purple and
temporarily stains your skin/nail. The upside is that is works
wonderfully well. You can google ''gential violet, nail fungus''
and see some matches on its effectiveness, how to use it, etc.
You can buy it at Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley.
Mom with great gentian violet experience
Try full-strength applications a few times daily of Tea Tree Oil
(available at Trader Joe's among other places), for a week or
three. Worked for me. Good luck!
Yes! Try Vick's Vaporub on the nail. A pedicurist at a really
fancy spa told me about this remedy, and it really worked for
me. Cut back as much of the nail as you can (with sterile
tools) and goop the Vaporub on it. I did this on a toe at night.
Within about 3 months a persistant nail infection disappeared
completely. Never to be heard from again. Knock on wood.
It takes a long time (about 6-8 weeks) but I swear it works! Try
taking flax seed oil pills and borage oil pills every day. They
have lots of omega 3's, 6's and 9's - all good for nails and
hair (among other things). I saw this recommendation on Dr
Andrew Weil's website for hair loss in men - well it didn't help
my husband's hair - but his toe fungus (which he had for 8
years!!) went away in about 6 weeks! We take 3 flax seed oil
pills and 2 borage oil pills a day with food or after a meal.
Hope it helps :-)
Healthy hair and Nails
You can try to apply white vinegar on the infected nails, at
least twice a day, for a couple of months you'll see the
change. Since it is all natural, there woouldn't be any side
effect even if it didn't work for you.
I've known two people who successfully treated nail fungus by
dropping hydrogen perioxide on it daily or twice a day. it took a
few months and both these people had just beginning stages of it.
It will only kill the surface fungus that it can reach but I
imagine if you do it long enough and are consistentthe new nail
will stay clean and eventually the infectd nail material will
grow out and be gone, it might work for you
This may sound strange, but I have been using Vick's Vapor Rub
successfully on my toenails. The key is constant vigilence! The
method goes like this: First, keep your nails as short as
possible. Twice a day, file down the entire surface of the
afflicted nail. Rub on a generous amount of Vick's, getting under
the nail as much as possible. Do this in the morning and in the
evening, and try to wear open toed shoes as much as possible.
It took 4 months (literally) to see results, and I still have to
do it occasionally, but not as often (maybe once every 2 days).
Don't know if this will also work for fingernails, but I don't
see why not.
Google ''vicks vapor rub nail fungus'' and see what you get.
A long hard road but worth it
I have a pretty gross and unsightly problem. Basically my
toenails don't seem to grow and the skin around my nails are
hard and calloused and often peel. After the shower or even a
quick dip in a pool, I notice that the skin around my toenails
looks whitish and peely, like I have been submerged in water for
hours! What is this? I believe it is the reason my toenails
don't seem to grow at all. I definitely do not have athlete's
foot because it doesn't itch and I have tried treating the area
with fungal topical creams and sprays to no avail. Should I go
see a podiatrist? I wear the correct size of shoes and have
started wearing flip flops and open toed shoes (much to my
chagrin and probably other peoples as well) to help let the area
breathe. I would really love input if anyone has some helpful
tips for me
Not twinkly toes!
Sounds to me like toenail fungus that may be able to be treated
topically. My sister told me Vick's Vapor Rub works. Sounds
crazy, doesn't it? For three months I've been cleaning my toes
with hydrogen peroxide in the morning and at night, and coating
them with Vick's religiously. For one month it did nothing, but
now they are really almost cleared up. Try googling ''vick's
vapor rub toenail fungus'' and see what you come up with.
Apparently it's a common home remedy.
If this does not work, I read on a thread that a podiatrist can
take a sample of your toenails and test them to identify the
fungus and treatment. This may be a faster way to go.
Clear toenails after ten years
Yes, you should see a podiatrist. What this has to do with parenting, I don't know, but
your feet definitely sound problematic and a podiatrist can best evaluate the situation.
Why go on suffering? Make the call today
it's probably a fungus not treatable topically. A friend has
this condition, and her doc told her she needs to take a
systemic fungicide (i.e. orally). She didn't want to so just
paints her toenails and won't wear sandals
I've noticed that one of my toenails is yellowish, and I
remember my mother had this discoloration of her toenails.
Does anyone know what this could be and what can be done about
it? Thanks for any info.
You may have onicomycosis, a fungal infection of the toenail.
Its very very common and doesn't usually become a problem except
its ugly (sometimes the toenail becomes very think and hard to
take care of). the drugs sold for this infection are topical or
oral. the topical ones aren't usually very effective. the oral
ones are expensive, hard on your liver and the infection can
come back especially if you haven't bought all new shoes!
I've known two people who used a daily or twice daily
application of hydrogen peroxide on the affected toenail with
good results. it takes weeks or months and you can't go
protecting the fungus with nail polish and such. just drip the
H2O2 on there enough to cover the yellow and let it bubble a few
I had a yellow streak on my toenail that was toenail fungus.
This is very hard to get rid of. I got rid of it by cutting away
as much of the yellow as I could (quite a bit because the nail
had gotten soft) and swabbing vinegar on it twice a day
religiously for three months (until it grew out completely).
Vic's vapor rub (its the eucaliptus) works too, but it is goopy
and I found that dirt would stick to my toenails when I used
open toed shoes (which is from May to October).
Start as soon as possible, it can spread quickly and then it is
even harder to get rid of.
no fungus among us
You probaby have a fungus in your toenail which is pretty
common and seems to be hereditary. I had it too and the only
way I know to get rid of it is a prescription drug called
Lamisil, which I took for an entire year. It worked, but I had
headaches almost daily that year and never made the connection
until I finally looked at the side effects and
saw 'headaches.' It takes that long to work because the
medicine has to work its way down to your toes. In my opinion,
in the end, it was not worth taking that amount of drugs,
although it did work.
I have ugly toe nail fungus since almost 3 years now. I am
just 31 years old and I heard that mostly old people get it. I
can't wear sandales because it just looks so ugly and I am
so jealous of people with nice clear nails. I already went to
the doctor but she just said that there is nothing she can do
since it's heredetery ( my father has it too ). The pharmacist
at Walgreens told me that they have tablets (lamasil) which
has to be taken at least 6 months. They cost 200 dollars a
months ( insurance doesn't pay since it's ''just'' a cosmetic
thing) and on top of it it can even harm the liver. He also
said that it doesn't always help. Well I can't afford 200
dollars a months and I also don't want liver damage in
exchange for clear nails. I also used a topical treatment but
it also didn't help. It seem to stop the growing fungus a little
bit but it never went away. Are there any other victims out
there with toe nail fungus? Did anybody find a good
treatment ? I would love to wear sandales again !!!! I am
thankful for any advice.
Janet Zand, LAc, OMD suggests undiluted tea tree oil on the nails, adding some olive oil if the nails are dry.
Some folk attribute nail fungus to internal overgrowth of yeast. Yeast, while a minority in the gut, can become problematic when
the gut pH is altered from stress, antibiotics, hormones (HRT/ERT, birth control pills, latter part of menstrual cycle), climate
and/or diet. The diet seems to be a key variable, from my own experience. Reducing refined carbs, esp. sugar, any mold-
producing foods (melon, tea, mushrooms, dried fruits, berries), dairy, vinegar, and others, if done consistently for several
weeks, can help. Taking protease followed 15 minutes later by acidophilus, both before breakfast and before bedtime, is useful.
Some find olive leaf extract an excellent internal anti-fungal agent.
Hopefully this will be helpful to you.
Unfortunately toenail fungus is difficult to treat because your
feet are warm, in a dark environment and moist. I have tried
those pills and they are not completely effective unless it is a
new formula in the last few years. I have had my toenails
removed along with the nail bed to prevent them growing back.
Only by removing them was I able to get rid of the
fungus infection. When the nails are removed the toes look like
they have a nail at a distance - you can't polish them - it won't
stay on. I might add that not only did I have the fungus
infection but I had ingrown toenails which were very painful. My
surgeon was Dr. Roger Mann in Oakland.
I can sympathize with your situation. My suggestion would be to
go to a nail salon and have them put acrylic over your own
toenails, or they can put a fake nail on whatever toenail needs
it depending on how bad the fungus has ate away at the nail. I
have seen it done many a time. The women I saw getting it done
had very bad case of nail fungus. After the pedicurist was done
you could not even tell that the lady had the fungus. No the
fungus will not go away but at least you will be able to wear
sandals. Another suggestion would be to cut the nail down as far
as you can to the cuticle, it is painful. Then use a fungus
spray. I know it sounds terrible but my friend's nail did grow
back and it was a lot healthier looking than the old one. At the
nail shops they will probably charge you around $25.00 per appt.
But you will be able to have those pretty feet you always see.
I took the Lamasil orally for the time recommended (although I
think it was only 3 months with liver function tests (LFTs) at 6
weeks) and it worked beautifully. The dermatologist at Kaiser
said that there is only a 30% (I think) success rate but I had 3
toenails infected with worries that all toenails would be
infected eventually (it took several years for all 3). I pushed
him for it because it was truly gross and my insurance covered
it. If your LFTs come out OK at 6 weeks you don't have to worry
about liver damage.
I empathize with you. I have had toenail fungus, and I was
successfully treated for it. It was with a drug named
Sporanox. I think I only had to take it for 3 months. My
insurance paid for it. I think that's bunk that your insurance
won't pay for it. It is, however, hard on the liver. Your
doctor should do a liver panel to make sure your liver can
handle it before prescribing it. I was advised not to drink a
drop of alcohol, and I didn't. It does take a long time to see
the results. I can't remember exactly, but I think it was 9
months to a year. Good luck!
After 2 years of battling a fingernail fungus with a dr.
prescibed cream that didn't work someone suggested treating it
with Tea Tree oil, (available from health food and GNC vitamin
stores), which I did several times a day for 2-3 months. It took
a while but it cleared it up.
The Guardian of Lovely Nails (Once More)
I have the same problem! To work around it, I wear nail polish on my toes. I treat myself a pedicure. Not
only its cheaper and heather, it makes me feel far more attractive and looks nice with sandals. I use a
relatively neutral colors (vs. bright red) that do a good job of covering the yellow color.
Not sure I have great advice, but wanted to let you know I'm a
woman in my 30's who also had toenail fungus. I too decided the
drugs were too nasty and too expensive and didn't take them. You
didn't mention if yours is growing out, but my best advice would
be patience. Mine took about two years to grow out and go away --
but ultimately did. I have also heard that tea tree oil is
helpful, though I didn't try it. Perhaps you can wear polish when
you want to have sandals on. Good luck.
I also had fungus on several toenails and tried several over-the-
counter treatments with no luck. Finally, I managed to clear
them all with tea tree oil (available at any health food
store). I just swabbed it under the top edge of the toenail
with a Q-tip once a day for several weeks. You should know that
tea tree oil is extremely strong stuff and will make the top
layer of your skin peel off after several weeks of use. Use
sparingly! But it also made my fungus go away when nothing else
did, so it's worth a try.
I have a friend who is going through the samething, fortunately
someone told her about Tea Tree Oil. She has been applying it
faithfully for about 3 months with much success, she wears light
color polish and sandals again. It doesn't hurt to try. Also I
know she gets the oil at Walgreens. Good luck and bye-bye fungus.
Foot fungus - If you have terrible fungus that threatens
toenails, SPORONOX is the pill you take. My husband got rid of
intractable skin fungus that way. However, we have HealthNet, so
the Primary care physician referred him to a PODIATRIST (not a
dermatologist), and that dr. gave him a prescription that
insurance did cover. The liver stress is not so bad, I think
primarily it's a problem IF YOU HAVE HEPATITIS or other liver
disease or dysfunction. The liver can be monitored by occasional
Tea tree oil has worked for me. You can buy bottles of it at
various places such as health food stores. I think Whole Foods
has it. Put several drops of tea tree oil on a Q-tip until it's
wet and drippy, then rub it all over your toe nails --
especially the ends trying to drip some underneath. If you do
this twice a day (before putting socks on in the morning and
before going to bed at night) you should see an improvement. It
takes a long time for the new healthier toe nails to grow in,
but it really does work. Much cheaper and better than risking
liver damage. Egads! Good luck!
- Been there, done that
Lamisil works great if your health is good. Ask your Dr. to run
a lab test for the trace of fungus and if the test comes out
positive,(which, of course, will be) the insurance will pay for
it. It is not just a cosmetic, but it is a medical treatment.
You only take it for 3 month, not 6mos, and in about a year,
you will have perfectly healthy toenails. Early this year, I
went and bought 5 pairs of beartiful sandals to make up for the
4 years I couldn't wear them. The only thing, you need to
throw away all the old shoes with the funglus still in them in
order to avoid reinfection. Good luck.
confident sandal wearer
I just read in Andrew Weil, M.D.'s newsletter that tea tree oil,
or grapefruit seed extract can be used successfully on toenail
fungus. He notes, however, that it can take up to a year of daily
treatment (and comments that it is much cheaper than the
recommended pharmaceuticals). I just saw a sprizter of the
grapefruit seed extract at Whole Foods today, and it lists fungi
as a use. I believe his article said to apply it twice daily, but
check the bottle. Good luck.
My dad had something like that. Tried several medicines, nothing
worked. Then my mom read about some herbal remedy, I think it was
tea tree oil, and it worked wonders. Worth a try!
I sympathize with the ugly tonail fungus dilemna. I'm in the
same boat. I've heard that tea trea oil (1-3 x/day) is
effective for most folks. For me the tea trea oil keeps it from
getting worse. In fact it seems like it gets a bit better, but
never does completely go away. When I stop using it, however,
it definitely gets worse. Thought I'd pass this on in case you
haven't tried it yet. I think you have to use it consistently
for at least 3 months to see if it will work. I recently read
that Vick's vapo rub has done the trick for some people! I'm
giving it a try, but the people for whom it worked used it for
two months and I just started so I can't attest to its
effectiveness. Best wishes for clear nails.
I am not a doctor but I had fungus in 6 toenails at age 30. I
have gotten rid of all except on my smallest toenail. It
doesn't stand out. This is what I did.
My Doctors suggested I live with the condition but I made my own
therapy instead. I trimmed and file my nails nightly with an
emery board until they were quit thin. Then I apply anti-
fungicide topically. They immediately looked better and the
daily filing seemed to help the topical penetrate. I also
started wearing sandals. After two months of this the nails
looked much better. I could have stopped here I decided to keep
up the regiment and take the internal medicine (gruffavin?). I
drank tons of water and no alcohol to help the body out. I'm
very content with the outcome.
I have also heard of adding water to making a paste out of Ajax
or Comet and putting it on the filed nail. The theory is that
the bleach penetrates and kills the fungus.
Good luck and please talk to doctor before experimenting.
For the person with the toenail problem, do not have someone put
an acrylic nail over the fungus, it will just cause more
problems. My manucurist has found a product that works on
removing the fungus. I think the cost is like $40. I believe
its some kind of nail polish so it won't cause any medical
problems to the liver...
You can contact her to get more info, she is located in Oakland.
Delane's Natural Nail Care, 510-644-4261 or email:
naturalnails AT netscape DOT net.
I'm writing to tell you what not to do to treat toenail fungus. I
had a relatively mild case on one toe. I had laser done
(holes made to ''ventilate'' the nail); later nail removal; and
then told to scrub with Comet and a toothbrush (Podiatrist
said, ''It's the same organism that grows between the
bathroom tiles''.) Some months later, a black spot was
seen on my nail bed. A biopsy found a rare thing called
acrilintiginous melanoma. It was malignant and I had to
have my toe amputated right away. My podiatrist never
confirmed it, but my guess is that it was the treatment, rather
than the fungus, that caused the cancer.
You could try applying tea tree oil - just pour some of the pure
oil all over the toenail, letting it soak in (after a bath is
This has worked for many foot problems in our family, including
ingrowing toenail, toe infections and athletes foot.
Hope that helps,
The best method I've encountered is using Tineacide Anti Fungal
Cream, over-the counter. I takes a while, 2-6 months but you can
already see results in a few weeks. It was subscribed by a
doctor and it seems to be the safest method. You can get it
cheapest (done a lot of research) at dermstore.com.
I contracted a fungal infection in my thumbnail several years ago
at the age of about 15 years. Like a previous person who
responded, my doctor said to live with it. At that tender age of
hyper-self consciousness, I couldn't accept that answer, so I
also devised my own cure. This sounds gross, but the nail became
detached, so I carefully removed it. Back then there was an
anti-fungal oil you could buy over-the-counter, called Tinactin
(I think its still on the market). I rubbed it into where my nail
was removed according to the instructions on the bottle. Within a
few weeks a paper-thin new nail began to grow. It was a very thin
nail, and it eventually regained its normal thickness. (I was
very happy about the outcome and I also recall that it was a huge
realization that doctors are just human and don't know all the
answers). Good luck!
I understand that soaking feet twice a day in warm lapacha tea
will clear up nail fungus. The tea bags may be purchased at
health food stores.
My husband had that fungus for years and finally broke down and
spent the hundreds of dollars the medication costs to use it and
it's gone. It was well worth the expsne and I'm sure hewishes
he'd done it sooner!!
Hi! I just read through your posts on toe nail fungus out of interest. My nails are growing in healthy for the first time in many years. It had spread to all my toe nails and was starting in my fingernails. The cure is so simple. Take distilled white vinegar and put drops on your nails am, pm and after your shower each day. Once a week, soak nails for 20 min. in vinegar. I pour it over my feet in a basin so my toenails are all submerged and watch a show.I also soak my fingernails in it. This must be done for about 7 months ... the same length of time that the medications take because all of the infected nail must grow out and be replaced by healthy nail. It is important to continue treatment for full duration and to not miss any days of treatment. My doctor is impressed and recommending this treatment to patients with toe nail fungus, as well as those with diabetes-related foot problems. Incicentally, it also clears up the most stubborn cases of athletes foot. Carol
my doctor recommended soaking my feet in warm water (enough to cover your toe nails) to which a little chlorine bleach has been added, twice a day. it worked. i think it also helps to trim the nail as much as possible in conjunction with this treatment. fungus may reappear and you may need to resume soaking, but it works.
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