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tanibear's avatar

How do I get rid of Toe Fungus?

Asked by tanibear (48points) September 14th, 2008

My toenails have yellowed and one on each foot has actually blackened. There is no pain but it sure is unsightly. What is the best way to rid myself of this problem and about how long does it take?

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25 Answers

Mr_M's avatar

Tell your mother-in-law to LEAVE!!!

Mr_M's avatar

Actually, there are over-the-counter things you can get in a drug store and they may be successful. Otherwise a dermatologist can prescribe a pill you can take to attack the problem systemically. The medication has side effects and can interact negatively with certain OTHER medications, so you’d need to talk to your doctor.

Snoopy's avatar

Anything that you put on topically (i.e. from the outside) will be of limited use, as the nail is also under the skin, hidden from topicals.
Far and away the most effective treatment is Lamisil pills. You take one pill a day for 3 months. It takes 9–12 months for a toenail to grow out completely. i.e. even once you are done take the 3 months of medication, it may be a few more months before the discoloration is completely gone. Prescription only.
A fungal infection of the nail is, well, an infection. Like any other infection, it can return.

Also, keep in mind that not all discoloration is fungus. Yellowing can also be caused by dark colored nail polish as an example.

sacaver's avatar

There is a radio host here in San Antonio who is very much big into the organic gardening scene. A number of months ago, he was telling listeners to try soaking their feet in cornmeal. As he put it, you mix up some water with the cornmeal and then dump that into a pair of rubber boots. Then you sit there for perhaps 30 minutes or so and then rinse everything off. I laughed.

Then about a month later, I had a nasty case of some fungus on my foot. For grins, I went ahead and followed his instructions, figuring “what the hell.” In my case, I made up a batch and stuck my feet in a large basting dish. I’ll be damned if it didn’t work.

Here’s a link for more information

corn meal uses

AstroChuck's avatar

Next time you are taking a shower, try urinating on your toe. I don’t mean this as a joke. There are many kinds of fungi and some of them are susceptible to the amonia in urine. I’ve known two people who swear it’s helped with theirs. Worth a try, anyway.

XrayGirl's avatar

AstroChuck is right about the urine (urine also gets rid of swimmers ear) doesn’t work for everyone, but it is worth a try. First of all, once you get this fungus, and 99% of all people who live long enough will eventually get it, ...anyway. once you get it, it is ALMOST impossible to get rid of it and keep it gone. Lamisil is very toxic and dangerous to the liver, and other drugs simply don’t work. Another natural remedy that works for some is a peroxide soak once every other day.

AstroChuck's avatar

And I meant ammonia.
Jus dant wand u peepel too thinck i kant spel.

sarapnsc's avatar

Urine also gets rid of ringworm!

AstroChuck's avatar

Just hope the ringworm isn’t on your face.

Snoopy's avatar

@astrochuck. What minimal benefits there are from urine would be more effective against atheletes foot fungus. Will not work w/ toenail fungus.

@Xray girl. Lamisil is generally considered safe in a healthy patient. Bloodwork should be done on the patient prior to starting lamisil to assure that there are no previously unknown liver issues w/ any individual patient (e.g. closet alcoholic). Follow up bloodwork should be done after 6 weeks of taking lamisil to assure that there are no new problems.

All drugs have a potential toxic effect on the body. Any drug (including over-the-counter drugs) can cause adverse events.

AstroChuck's avatar

Snoopy, I know two people who would disagree with you.

allengreen's avatar

Head and Shoulder’s or Desonex Medicated Shampoo’s are anti fungal also

Snoopy's avatar

If the fungus is covering the entire nail——including the nail that is under the skin—there is nothing that can be applied topically for a cure. The “new nail” that comes out at the base will be perpetually infected w/ fungus.

Without laboratory examination of nail tissue (the only true way to diagnose a nail fungus) it is possible that the two people you mention may not have had a fungus.

JackAdams's avatar

Amputation is always an option.

Kay's avatar

Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties; try soaking your feet in a basin filled with warm water and 8–12 drops of tea tree oil 2x a day.

tanibear's avatar

Well I am using a topical product at the moment..its a kind of nail polish that you apply after filing the nail…after reading all the advice I feel like amputating!!! What a bugger!!! Just glad its not a painful affliction but it sure is ugly and I hope I will be able to fight it…

Snoopy's avatar

@tanibear. If it is Penlac, it is effective about 10% of the time…..and only then in the most mildest of cases (not the entire nail, under the skin, etc.)

Good luck :)

tanibear's avatar

Now my question is HOW ON EARTH DO YOU GET TOE FUNGAS in the first place????? Its not like I have been anywhere strange..shared anyones clippers, or live in the tropics! Its sooooo depressing!!!!

sarapnsc's avatar

Fungi are microscopic organisms that flourish in warm damp environments. The most common places where the feed are public areas such as spas, swimming pools, locker rooms, or shower stalls. Athletes and people who wear tight-fitting shoes or tight hosiery prevent the feet from drying out and are at a higher risk. They can invade your skin through tiny invisible cuts or through a small separation between your nail and nail bed. They can spread from one toe to another or to other parts of the body.

Mr_M's avatar

It can occur with athletes foot.

bobbybrownrules's avatar

There seems to be quite a number of nail fungus solutions on the market. We beleive that we have reviewed several of the best ones at nail fungus treatment reviews website

tanibear's avatar

Good news…i ended up losing the toes that were black after rigourously filing and applying the meds..tea tree oil helped the most…slowly but surly the nails are growing back but now they are a normal color….thanks for all the input….look after your feet all…they really can take a beating so we need to be more kind to them…

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