Treating Fungal Toenails – Get a Fresh Start for Your Feet!
The beginning of any new year presents an ideal opportunity to make a fresh start by establishing goals and plans to achieve them, then putting those plans into action.
For many, these New Year’s resolutions are related to areas like diet, exercise, and finances.
Here’s the thing about that, though:
There’s never a wrong time to make positive changes in your life.
So it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about January 1 or August 17 – you can always adopt new practices and mindsets to tackle any goal you want.
Of course, there is no time better than the present if your goal is directly related to solving a problem.
After all, problems have an annoying tendency to escalate over time when left unchecked. (As professionals within the larger field of healthcare, we say this definitively!)
It’s always in your best interest to address any health or medical concerns at the earliest possible opportunity.
One surprising health-related issue this certainly applies to is toenail fungus.
Why do fungal toenails need to be treated?
Now, a case of fungal toenails isn’t typically going to develop into a life-threatening condition over time, but we’re still talking about a problem that takes away from your quality of life.
Toenail fungus can cause nail tissue to become discolored, distorted, ragged, and crumbly.
In other words, this fungal infection can take healthy, clear toenails and make them quite unsightly.
That might not sound like a big deal when your feet are covered in socks and shoes, but wouldn’t you like the option to wear sandals or open-toed footwear—or walk barefoot on the beach—during the summer and on vacations?
Sure, you can certainly do that if you have fungal toenails, but most people prefer to avoid the embarrassment and self-consciousness that comes with it.
Accordingly, this is an incredibly frustrating situation.
And that’s for someone who A) has an otherwise healthy immune system and B) a less-severe infection.
People who live with diabetes (and other diseases that compromise the immune system) should be concerned about any kind of infection. On top of that, severe cases of toenail fungus can also potentially become a source of pain.
If that’s not enough to illustrate why this condition should be treated, here’s something else to consider:
Why would it?
Fungus needs a damp and warm environment—and doesn’t require sunlight (so it can thrive in dark places)—to proliferate.
When encased in socks and shoes, aren’t your feet providing exactly that kind of environment? (Yes, they are.)
Since the fungus has found an ideal home, it’s not going anywhere without treatment.
What is the most effective treatment for toenail fungus?
Let’s start our look into fungal nail treatment by answering a very common question:
What is the best home remedy for toenail fungus?
We get why people want to know about home remedies that can clear up their toenails – it’s easy and cost effective.
The fact of the matter, however, is that there simply aren’t any good options here. And the ones you do hear about tend to fall in the category of “old wives’ tales.”
For example, some people think vinegar or Vicks VapoRub can be used to kill toenail fungus.
That’s just not the case.
The reason they think it works is related to how light refracts through liquid materials. Even fungal-free nails look shinier when you step out of the bath or shower—because they’re wet. The “restored shine” people see when they soak their feet in vinegar or tea tree oil (etc.) is related to that scientific principle.
Additionally, you cannot scrape out toenail fungus. (Active fungal spores reside in the nailbed and are protected by the nails themselves.)
So if home remedies for fungal nails don’t work, what options do you have?
This might sound like a hopeless situation, but that’s not the case!
Even though all those home care remedies you hear about are ineffective, professional fungal toenail treatment options are proven to provide results.
With regard to professional care, we are mainly talking about prescription medications and state-of-the-art treatments.
Starting with medicinal approaches, oral and topical medications can be prescribed.
Some podiatrists utilize both to form a one-two punch that targets the infection from internal and external methods. When used in conjunction, the topical cream or lotion is intended to eliminate active spores residing on the nail surface, while the oral pills work from the inside out and can eradicate fungus hiding under toenails.
This may sound ideal, but a word of caution:
Oral antifungal pills have a high failure rate, are often accompanied by unwanted side effects, and can cause problems in the liver.
One state-of-the-art treatment that some podiatrists promote is laser therapy. This particular option doesn’t have the side effects as medications – but a majority of insurance plans do not cover it. For reason, it can be quite costly.
A better alternative—one that we’re proud to offer—is controlled micro penetration (CMP).
In CMP treatment, we use a device that creates tiny (“the same as four human hairs”-level tiny) holes spaced about 2-3 mm apart in affected toenails. This enables a topical antifungal spray to reach and eliminate spores residing on the nailbed.
The process is remarkably safe and only requires a single, 30-minute appointment. Patients report seeing results as new, healthy nail tissue grows out (in just a couple of months, or even weeks in some cases!).
Specifically, our office uses the Clearanail system and if you’d like to learn more about it, check out this free guide.
Get professional treatment for fungal toenails today!
Give your toenails the fresh start they deserve – no matter the time of year!
Remember, this infection isn’t going away on its own and home remedies are, sadly, ineffective. If you want to eliminate the offensive fungus, you need professional care.
Wilks Advance Foot Care is proud to offer you a better solution. If you have any questions about toenail fungus or our Clearanail treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Either call our office at (541) 673-0742 or take advantage of our online form (and a staff member will be in touch during normal business hours).