If you have been living with toenail fungus, you likely already know you have a battle on your hands.
Catching the infection at its earliest stages might lead to a quick and easy time fix to the problem. However, it’s very difficult to catch the subtle signs at this point and very few people ever do. The fight doesn’t often begin until the fungus has had a good opportunity to get into the nail and set up a stubborn base of operations.
What are your options when your nails are already suffering from brittleness, thickness, and discoloration? Two big elements come into play: time and effectiveness.
Do You Have the Time for Home Remedies?
There are plenty of “home treatments” that get thrown around the Internet, everywhere from Facebook to naturally focused websites. Recommendations include foot baths containing everything from baking soda to Epsom salt to apple cider vinegar.
We can’t tell you that none of these remedies work. What we can say is that they are generally unproven by science. By choosing to try them, you are essentially running an experiment on yourself.
As long as a home remedy does not harm you (stop using it immediately if it causes you any pain or irritation), we will not try to stop you from using it. But one important caveat to keep in mind is that, if the remedy is not having any effect, you are only giving the fungus more time to thrive within your nail.
Proven Treatments Will Start You on a Clearer Path
When you come to Associates in Podiatry for fungal nail treatment, you can be assured we use treatments that have been medically proven to be effective for most patients.
We say “most” patients because no treatment is 100% effective or able to be used by everyone. Before we recommend a course of treatment, we will need to conduct a full examination of the condition, including your medical history and sometimes a lab culture of the fungus to know exactly what we’re dealing with.
Our Lunula Laser therapy provides a direct approach to eradicating fungal infections from nails, whereas topical treatments may require additional filing and oral medications have potential side effects that prohibit their use with some patients. Ultimately, however, our recommendation might include different or combinations of treatments.
It is important to note that, even with proven effective treatments, it will still take time for your nails to achieve their best results. Even when a fungus is killed, the damage it left to the nail remains until new nail tissue is able to grow out and replace it.
The time element is why you must consider whether you really want to try home treatments first. If there is an event in the future you want to have better-looking nails for, you need to start treatment now and make sure odds are high of it working!
Tips for Your Toenails in the Meantime
Whether you are trying home remedies or currently undergoing professional treatment, it is still wise to take care of your nails in a day-to-day sense.
Primarily, what you most want to avoid is spreading the fungus to other nails, whether they’re your own or someone else’s. While the odds tend to be relatively low of this happening, they still exist enough to take some precautionary measures:
- Have a pair of clippers you use only for your toenails. Do not let anyone else use them, and don’t even use them to clip your own fingernails. These clippers should only be used for your infected toenails.
- Apply anti-fungal powder to your shoes. Fungus thrives in warm, damp, dark places. Your shoes are a great spot to do so. Treat your shoes with anti-fungal powder, and under no circumstances should anybody else stick their feet in them.
- Wear clean, breathable socks to bed. If you share a bed with someone, fungus might transmit via contact with their skin and with the sheets. Socks can help prevent this, as can regularly washing the sheets.
If you have any questions about toenail fungus treatment or prevention, please don’t hesitate to contact our office – we are conveniently located at Roselle Park and Princeton, NJ and would love to help you get back to clear, comfortable nails as soon as possible! We’re also one of the few health care providers in New Jersey to offer the Lunula laser and we’d be happy to use this technology to help you take your life back!
To schedule a visit, simply call us at (908) 687-5757 or (609) 924-8333 (for our Princeton office) today! You can also fill out our handy request form online.