Well there are a few things we need to take into consideration before we look at anything anti-fungal:
1- If we have immunity problems or conditions that encourage a fungus problem in the first place then treating the problem is going to be very difficult.
2- If we ever do get rid of it we can never guarantee that it will not come back. It is not really that you are prone to it (some people are) but because we are walking fungal food it is likely that we can get it many times.
3- Your toenails grow at a really slow rate- about 12-18 months from base to tip. So if you apply anything or take anything then nothing is going to happen anyway for a long time, because you can only see a difference when the nail grows. So watching your nail daily will not produce anything.
4- Tablets are much more potent treatment method than anything else because of the ability to get straight to the matrix. But they have to be potent and taken for a while so that the nail can grow with the treatment. The downside of this is that your Doctor will need to monitor your Liver for any concerns (rare but present) and you can get stomach upsets.
5- Anti-fungal paints applied to the nail need to be applied as per instructions from the manufacturer- some present with toxicity if not used correctly and also you don’t want to be doing this for years on end… what is the point? Different paints give different results per different patient- not everyone is the same. Applying the paints for a year at 2 week intervals is common. Patients dropping the treatment regime because they are bored or can not be bothered is also very common. If you stop the treatment for a month, more than likely the fungus takes hold again and the treatment regime has to start back up again.
6- If you have Athletes Foot that needs to be treated as well with different medications or else the fungus from the skin will go into the nail.
7- Are you sure you have a fungus nail to begin with? Many people do not and antifungal treatments don’t work because there wasn’t a fungus to start with. Unfortunately many medical professionals do not know the difference and usually test the nail before treatment commences. However this in itself can lead to negative results because of preparation and storage of the sample is flawed. Going off the Internet as a diagnosis is wrong as well. Sometimes nails are just thick because of trauma or some growth problems… not a fungus in sight.
8- Fungus are notoriously hard to eradicate, and it might come back. Also research has found a bolus of fungus, a “motherload” under the nail which prevents treatments from working as effectively and quickly as we have liked.
Some people will say “tablets, paints… I heard Vicks can take care of my fungus”. Well this was one of the main reasons for me to write this article.
What we have read so far states that you either have to attack the fungus from the matrix from where the nail grows from. Or keep on attacking the nail until the fungus disappears and the nail grows out fungal free.
All types of paint and rubs and anything that you put onto the nail relies on you, the patient, to actually do it for a long period of time. Studies have shown time and time again that nails are slow growing. If you apply something you have to wait fro the nail to grow to see if it has worked whatever treatment that you use, especially topical medicament’s. The Vicks study only used 18 patients, showed slight healing in a certain portion of patients after 40 weeks, but never showed their age of the severity of the fungus before hand (heavy fungus will take longer to treat).
But people believe in the “gone in 48 hours” theory or that something in your medical cabinet is the golden bullet. It’s not. It just a different way, a different bullet that does exactly the same job in exactly the same way. Choose your bullet but just make sure that you follow the very laborious treatment methods.
But now we have Laser. This technically “cooks” your fungus. But as will all the points above they can flow directly into this treatment. You have to wait for it to see whether it worked. And there is the cost… which is very expensive for something that has very little effect or seriousness to warrant such expense that other medicaments can’t be more useful for.