Problems tackled: 23,137

Toenail infection

Thickened, ugly nails are common – up to 10% of the population have infected toenails – but can be very upsetting. Fortunately, there are now some fairly effective treatments available that can help even if you have had the problem for years.

Causes of thickened toenails

Physical damage to your toenail may cause it to be thick until the damaged area grows out. This is why thickening of the big toenails is common in young men, particularly football players. Old people also often have thickened, hard toenails, probably because of the damage they have sustained over the years and because their nails grow more slowly, it takes longer to repair the damage.
 
Fungal infection can make your nails thick. The commonest infection is with Trichophyton rubrum, the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot. Occasionally, other types of fungus, such as yeasts, are responsible, and people who have been abroad may have some quite exotic fungi. (Fungal nail infections are also known as onychomycosis.)
 
Psoriasis, a skin condition, can make nails thick, with tiny pits on their surface. It is not a fungal infection but can look like it. However, if your nails are affected by psoriasis they are also vulnerable to fungal infection.

How a fungal infection occurs

It is easy to pick up fungi – they are particularly common on the floors of communal showers and changing rooms – and many of us probably already have fungi on our skin. They cause problems only when the conditions are right for them to thrive, which means warmth and moisture. When human beings started wearing enclosed shoes, which trap sweat and heat, we created ideal conditions for fungi. This is why only 1% of people in Zaire, Africa, have fungal toenail infections compared with 10% of people in the UK. It is not surprising that fungal toenail infections (and also athlete’s foot) are five times as common in people who have to wear work boots for long periods in wet conditions.
 
The fungi shelter under the tip of the nail and start to get a hold. This is particularly likely to happen if:
  • the end of the nail has been damaged (for example, by ill-fitting shoes) and is already slightly separated from its toe
  • you are taking long-term tetracycline medication and then expose your toenails to sunlight – this is called photo-onycholysis
  • you have a condition such as diabetes or an immune deficiency
  • you are elderly
  • the fungus is already multiplying between the toes (athlete’s foot).

The fungus very gradually spreads towards the base of the nail and down the sides, loosening the nail from the underlying toe and filling the separated area with crumbly, yellowish-white gunk. The nail itself becomes thicker and yellowish brown in colour. This can take months or years.

Sometimes the infection starts at the base of the nail, giving a whitish area near the half moon, or it may just affect the surface of the middle of the nail, where it will appear as a white patch.

What you can do

Be patient. For any treatment to be successful, one of the most important elements is patience. You will have to use the treatment for at least 3 months, and some treatments take even longer to work. Nails grow from the base to the tip, as anyone who has used nail varnish knows. Because it can take 18 months for a nail to be replaced completely by a new one, it may be a long time before you see a result.

Try amorolfine (Curanail; Loceryl), an antifungal nail paint that you can buy from pharmacies. It is usually applied once or twice a week after filing and cleaning the nails. Treatment should continue until the infection has cleared, which can take about 6 months for fingernails and up to 12 months for toenails. See ‘What your doctor can do’ below for further general information on nail paints. 

Try benzalkonium chloride (ClearZal BAC), which you can buy from pharmacies. It is applied twice daily for 2–4 months for fingernails or 4–8 months for toenails. It is an antiseptic that kills some bacteria and fungi.
 
Tea tree oil, which is available from health shops and chemists, may be worth trying if you really do not want to go to your doctor. It has some natural antifungal properties and one study found that it improved or cured 60% of cases of toenail infection. Apply it generously twice a day with a cotton-wool bud, wiping it under the tip of the nail and on the surrounding skin. Because it is an oil, it may discolour leather shoes. At night, soak a small piece of cotton wool with the oil, and tape it to the end of your toe.
 
Is tea tree oil safe?
  • There have been concerns about the safety of tea tree oil, especially if undiluted.
  • The EU’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products says the undiluted oil is a ‘severe irritant’ to the skin. And the risky chemicals become even stronger if the oil is stored at room temperature and exposed to light and air. Some experts advise using a concentration of only 1%.
  • Another study warns that using very dilute tea tree oil (perhaps less than 4%) can make skin bacteria resistant to antibiotics – ‘superbugs’ (Journal of  Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 2007;59:125–7).

 Care for your feet sensibly by following these rules.

  • Give your feet plenty of air, because warmth and sweat encourage the fungi; so follow the advice given for sweaty feet. When you are at home, go barefoot whenever possible, and if you don’t want to expose your toenails search for some strappy sandals that cover the toes.
  • Choose shoes that give your toes plenty of room. As well as making sure your shoes are long enough, so your toes are not touching the end, check there is plenty of depth in the toe area. You don’t want shoes that compress your toenails. Hold the shoes up and look at them sideways, and when you are trying them on wiggle your toes upwards to check there is room.
  • Dry your feet very thoroughly after washing, using a tissue to dab underneath the end of the nail to make it as dry as possible.
  • It is tempting to use nail varnish to disguise the nail, but nails need to breathe so use it for short periods only, removing it as soon as possible.
Treat athlete’s foot promptly. If you ever develop athlete’s foot in the future, treat it so it does not spread to the nails.

How a chiropodist can help

For any problem with your feet, particularly the toenails, it is well worth seeing a state-registered chiropodist – in the UK, a qualified chiropodist will be registered with the Health Professions Council (see Useful contacts). The chiropodist will be able to advise you on foot care, and will be able to tell you if your thickened toenail is likely to be a fungal infection or due to some other cause. The chiropodist can also thin down the thickened nail so that other treatments such as paints or tablets will be more effective. Chiropodists cannot prescribe antifungal tablets or the most effective antifungal paints – you will have to see your family doctor for these.

What your doctor can do

There are now some quite effective treatments for fungal nail infections. The downside is that they have to be taken for a long time, can have side effects and do not work for all types of fungi. So before starting treatment your doctor will usually take a sample by scraping under the nail (this may be slightly uncomfortable but not painful) and will send it to the laboratory to identify your particular fungus. It can take over 3 weeks for the laboratory to grow and identify the fungus.
 
Antifungal nail paints. If only the end of the nail is affected, the nail is not too thick and the cause is a Trichophyton fungus, your doctor may prescribe a nail paint. There are various types of nail paint. As well as the over-the-counter product amorolfine (see above), there are a couple of nail paints for which you need a doctor's prescription:
  • 28% tioconazole, which is applied twice a day for 6 months.
  • Ciclopirox, which is used in the USA but is not available in the UK.

It is important to use nail paints continually because if you stop, even for a short period, the new nail that has grown will become infected by the fungus, and you will be back to square one. Antifungal paints are not suitable if you are pregnant. Success rates are not very high – possibly 40% for amorolfine, about 22% for tioconazole and about 12% for ciclopirox. Although inconvenient, they do have an important plus point; you apply the drug only to the part of the body where it is needed, rather than taking a tablet that could have side effects.

Medications that you swallow. Your doctor may prescribe itraconazole or terbinafine for certain types of suitable fungus shown on the laboratory test.
  • Itraconazole is taken twice daily for a week, followed by a 3-week medication-free period. The treatment saturates the nail, and continues to work in the medication-free period. This treatment cycle is repeated two more times.
  • Terbinafine is taken every day for about 3 months, or in a higher dose for 1 week each month for 3 months. The continuous treatment is probably more effective (Journal of the  American Academy of Dermatology 2005;53:578–84).
The treatment does not have an immediate effect. The drug stays in the nail and continues to act long afterwards, and the result shows when the new healthy nail grows.
 
Experts are arguing about how effective these drugs are. Some claim that they have a 80–95% likelihood of cure, but the true figure may be lower – probably 25–40% for itraconazole and 35–50% for terbinafine (Archives of Dermatology 1998;134:1551–4).
 
Like any drug, these medications can have unwanted side effects. There have been rare cases of severe reactions, and each of these drugs can affect the liver. You should not take itraconazole if you are taking erythromycin (an antibiotic), or if you are taking calcium-channel blocking drugs (for angina or blood pressure). Also, itraconazole may weaken the force of the heart’s contractions, so you should not take it if you have a heart problem (see Useful contacts).
 
If the medication has not worked after taking it for the correct length of time, your doctor will consider other possible causes, such as psoriasis or another skin condition called lichen planus, or that your footwear is continuing to damage your toes.
 
Laser treatment is a promising new treatment, and is already being used in the USA and the EU. More research needs to be done to find the best wavelengths to use and the best type of laser.
 
Photodynamic therapy uses special nail paints that penetrate the nail, followed by a special red light that activates the drug within the paint. The success rate so far is only about 43%.
 
Future treatments. A lot of possible new treatments for nail infections are being investigated (Expert Opinion in  Pharmacotherapy 2012;13:1131–42). Some of these may become standard treatments that you will be able to obtain from your doctor, but at the moment they are just being researched or are not widely available. One possibility is iontophoresis, which may help antifungal nail paints to be more effective. New drugs and new nail paints are in the pipeline; some of the paints contain terbinafine (see above).

Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Wednesday, May 1st 2013

 


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Comments on this article

Posted by Optional on 17/08/2014 at 03:50

My right big toenail turned yellow and has started being painful. Can't really feel toe anymore, except for the pain. It has started separating from the nail bed. The skin around it is flaking off.

Posted by Optional on 05/12/2013 at 09:22

thank you for clear and succinct information

Posted by Babs on 10/11/2013 at 10:12

I have severe Oestroposis,plus Epilepsy,taking alot of anticonvulsants that does effect bone tissue.

Posted by mags on 17/07/2013 at 06:56

i am bipolar my doctor has told me i cant take medication for the fungal infection i have got on both feet ,my feet are very bad please help

Posted by rahul on 26/06/2013 at 06:24

My both toenails (only big toe ) are grown uneven it became thicker and leaved the bed .it hurts when pressed lightly .. Kindly explain the treatements ..ihave suffering for 4 years due improper tretement.. Your suggestions will be fruitful for me...

Posted by thessy on 23/04/2013 at 10:42

the infection of one fingernails could be very fustrating and embarrasing especially if the fungi has damaged and disfigured such nails. People keep staring at it and even make nasty comments but patience and continious use of drugs plus faith will see u smiling again.

Posted by Jessica on 16/04/2013 at 03:26

I recently tried the antifungal treatment by Hoof called Fungi Fix. It worked really well for me. I found it at a store online called ineedbeauty. Hope this helps.

Posted by dukeGradmay on 01/04/2013 at 04:47

My toenails on both feet (excluding the big toes) are discolored; they fully dark. I have just always worn nail polish as long as I can remember (feels like my entire life) and I am generally a healthy adult. It has never given me any problems other than the in pleasing, embarrassing sight. Should I be concerned. Like I mentioned, my toenails have always been discolored fully but it gives me no problems. What should I do?

Posted by Optional on 10/10/2012 at 09:38

My toenail started out yellow then turned to green. After that it became very lose so I cut most of it off. Now I can see the new nail growing in and it's like a reddish,yellow,and green color. Does this mean the new nail is infected too?!? *I haven't seen a doctor yet* WHAT DO I DO?!?

Posted by jbaby on 13/09/2012 at 03:34

I got my toenail fungus from using same nail clippers my boyfriend used. I have been on Rx clear nail polish, can't remember medical term now.I am now taking Lamisil 250mg daily by mouth and have beer for 12 months with lil difference. I have tried cow manure, nothing works.I did see where H202 is a good answer, so I'll try that!

Posted by SEANAGH on 15/07/2012 at 08:14

CAN TOE NAIL FUNGUS BE CAUSE BY SLEEPING IN A DAMP FUNGUS ROOM?

Posted by Optiona on 14/05/2012 at 06:35

my big toe is dark and it hurts only when I put my sneakers on . could u tell me what the problem is please.

Posted by Optional on 30/04/2012 at 07:24

Often times nail infections and discolorations are indicative of underlying immune diseases and other deficiencies such as thyroid problems, liver problems, anemia, jaundice, etc. If you've attempted to utilize over the counter medications/home remedies and see little to no improvement in the presentation of your symptoms, it is recommended that you follow up with your primary care physician or at a free health care clinic. There are low cost clinics that do accept patients without insurance as well (at least in the US). If you have been following up with a physician or specialist and are still confused about your condition/diagnosis, ask questions for further information. It is your health and you are entitled to fully understand the necessity for certain treatments or surgery. If you haven't found relief with your current treatment plan, talk to your doctor about trying another. If they are unable to help you, find a new one. Best of luck!

Posted by Kubiz on 29/03/2012 at 01:04

I have done three surgery on my big toenail both.the recent one is still not yet cured.i am confuse with my condition.please help me from recurrence.

Posted by John on 23/03/2012 at 03:57

Thanks for your insight. I tried the vicks and vinegar as a less expensive option as i have seen doctors and tried other options with no success. I paid the money for CLearzal. It took a couple of months, but i can say for the first time in years my nails are looking better, thanks to Clearzal. I should have listened to you and just paid the money for Clearzal. Now my mom is using Clearzal and is seeing improvement for the first time in years! Good stuff

Posted by rita grandmaisonOptional on 17/01/2012 at 09:53

i apologize, it is vicks not vaseline for toe nail fungus you rub it morning and night on your toe nail and it brings in oxygen through the nail ,it might take 6 months but it works thank you

Posted by Optional on 29/12/2011 at 04:24

I am a Brit living in France. My problem has been with me for as many years as me! My 2nd toe (next to my big toe) is quite a bit longer than my big toe; like so many other people. BUT I nearly always have to buy a size or 1/2 size bigger in shoes than I should need; and it is painful especially whilst doing any sport, and the pressure alone causes my toe-nails (both big toe and second) to go black and bruised and is painful. Can anything be done with say a 'little bit of surgery'? Thank you.

Posted by Optional on 29/12/2011 at 10:44

My mother has hard skin growing from toes to underneath her nails - she cuts this out on a regular basis, but cannot find any skin cream or lotion which will help - her doctor has given her some cream, but this has not helped. Do you have any suggestions as to how she can prevent this or make it easier to remove? Thank You Caroline

Posted by Optional on 19/12/2011 at 05:00

Great information! Very informative, I now feel comfortable discussing this problem with my doctor. Thank You!

Posted by Optional on 12/12/2011 at 10:57

My mom has a finger type looking nail growing from her middle toe on top of the nail...u can actually lift it up,move it,it literally looks like it has its own separate nail on top of IT..but its smaller then her actual nail... She complains that it hurts and also that she feels like because she had it for at least the last 10years that she feels like its wrapping around her ankle. She hasn't seen a doctor yet because just a regular visit is $175 so we at least like to know what it is called so we can pay for the specialist to look at her instead of getting the run around as this would get costly. Please help..because I really feel that at this point they would have to just cut her foot off :( I love my mom please tell me what u "think it may be so we can at least move n the right direction

Posted by Holly on 27/11/2011 at 08:50

My boyfriends been suffering from athletes foot/toenail infections and so forth for as long as i've known him. At first it was the skin which was affected -not so much thickening of the skin- but inbetween his toes were white, the skin was paper thin and extremley sore. He's general cleanliness is very good so it raised cause for concern. I bought some athletes foot creams Which seemed to really help. However, now - atleast a year on. The infection has returned even worse. His toe nail, which has always been thick, is now yellow and the surrounding skin is inflamed. If looking at the toenail from thr bottom of his foot you can see it is roughly 2mm thick and it appears to have wholes. He's been going to the doctor for a long time now with regarda to his foot but they keep dismissing it. It really gets him down, and it's very painful. He wants the toenail taken out but the doctors have yet again fobbed him off with antibiotics which prebiously never worked. Is the anything anybody would reccomend? He's adamant that having the toenail removed would be the best option? However, i'm not convinced as will the infection still be in the foot? It doesnt look although the skin is infected. Please help, i can't bare the pain he's in & it's recently got so bad that he can't walk properly & even sleeping is hard due to the pain. H x

Posted by Optional on 16/11/2011 at 06:00

im a 56 yr old man and i woke up with a black and blue on my big toe and its causing me pain what could it be?

Posted by Fungi Treatment on 14/11/2011 at 10:10

To find a product that actually cures fungi infection is very hard. i found Claripro Nail Fungus Treatment and i have been using it for a month. the infection is almost gone. it takes time but i am very satisfied with tineacide. My brother also plays soccer and he got toenail infection by borrowing his teammates socks. his coach recommended Claripro Nail Fungus Treatment . Claripro Nail Fungus Treatment be found at http://fungitreatment.org and it actually works. Thank you for all the good advice that you have writen about. I look forward to reading about your future updates. Best Wishes

Posted by Optional on 23/10/2011 at 04:40

Thanks. I thought thickening yellow toenails were just down to age. I will see the doctor.

Posted by Optional on 19/10/2011 at 09:17

My big toe nails have two dark bruises at the corners. havent knocked them why this happened?

Posted by Destiny on 28/09/2011 at 06:58

My toe nail r gettin smaller every day & it's very painful at 9ite , i don't knw wat 2 do. Pls help me.

Posted by Tim Bagnall on 23/09/2011 at 12:02

I have been taking Terbinafine now for two weeks and I have about 3 mm of nice fresh pink nail on my big toe tail. I have had no side effects that i am aware of.

Posted by anon in USA on 16/09/2011 at 03:14

I had fungal infection on *all* of my toenails for about 10 years... the only way to get rid of it is to dremel the crumbly part of the nail down to the base once a week and apply a vinegar with higher acidity in the morning and night with a medicine dropper - do not skip a dose (btw, in EU, you can find the higher acidic vinegar much easier than in the US). It has worked very well so far. Alternate shoes each day. Spray your shoes inside with Lysol or antifungal powder. Keep the bottom of your shower or tub clean. Keep your feet DRY. Be sure to treat the rest of your foot for athlete's foot if you have it (Laimisil cream works well for that). The key is to prevent re-infection too.

Posted by Optional on 14/09/2011 at 01:38

Use listerine mouth wash....its is helful in lessening of fungus and relief from pain

Posted by Optional on 09/09/2011 at 02:20

I am a 33 year old woman that have been having this problem for years. I have thick blacken toe nails on all of my toes on both feet. Can you please tell me where do you think this problem could have come from. And have you ever heard of any other causes like minds for a young person?

Posted by Dave on 17/08/2011 at 10:23

Put up with my badly infected crumbling nails for about 12 months, applying tea tree oil with no effect. When it spread to yet another toe I went to the doctor. Been using Terbinafine for about 2 months now and my nails are almost completely clear. Really surprised as he said it may take up to a year. Wish I'd done it months ago.

Posted by Philly on 24/07/2011 at 03:25

Been using Amorolfine lacquer (Curanail) for 7 months now, applying religiously once a week and I can see a big improvement. Just got repeat prescription today and will continue for full 12 months. Toenails grow so slowly, the more so the older you are. You really do have to be patient and regular. Don't do the oral route for your health's sake.

Posted by karen bullock on 21/07/2011 at 04:37

have just started treatment today using crimanail my 2 big nails are sligtly affected one on one side the other very slightly in top corner but one of my small nails had already been infected and the small nail fell off the question is can i use crimanail on the small nail which is the new nail growth, the new nail does not look yellow or thick but is growng back uneven bumpy looking hope you can advise me Thanks karen

Posted by danjumah on 06/07/2011 at 02:56

my father has diebetic and he injured the big toe and we went to treatment for some time but later today the doctor said he has to cut the big toe is there any solution to forget about the cuting the big toe,thank you

Posted by Optional on 25/06/2011 at 08:37

My toenails are horrible since wearing MBT,s almost daily for a year. Have abandoned the shoes. Anyone else experience this?

Posted by Manny on 12/06/2011 at 11:15

Hi I have had an infection on my middle and big toenails since 1986. The doctor has prescribed various things over the years, and I have bought different products over the counter, but nothing has worked at all. I haven't used these new toenail paints. But I have been hesitant because I do not want to make things worse, I am particularly worried because I do not have any healthy nail left on my middle toe. What would you advise? The same foot also gets very hot in the summer, and I get small bumps like spots, on different places on my foot, mainly around outline of my foot. The foot becomes very hot. This becomes unbearable at night, and I have to have a fan on all night. Any help and advice about what I can do, would be most appreciated. Thanks Manny

Posted by i have a finger nail fungs on 11/05/2011 at 12:40

i request for an acess to contacts of doctors in south africa or kenya who can treat me for the disease

Posted by Optional on 09/05/2011 at 10:47

About 12 years ago I had my big toe nails removed as the nail bedding had been damaged by a heavy object falling on my toes at an early age and they were yellow and thick. My question is I\'d love to wear open toe shoes but I\'m so self conscious is there any way of putting a false nail on....I\'ve tried normal glued toenails but as there\'s no nail to glue the false nail too they just pop off. Please help!!!!

Posted by Optional on 19/04/2011 at 09:10

i used mouth wash and vicks vapor rub for about 4 months, tried to use both almost everyday and it has almost cleared my big toe nail up just an affordable suggestion

Posted by Optional on 15/04/2011 at 06:06

I am a diabetic. you dont seem to mention in your article, what effect or connection there could be re-foot infections

Posted by Optional on 12/04/2011 at 03:27

I noticed my two big toes got black after having a pedicure last July. Both toenail fell off. However, they did not grow back all the way andthey are very painfull. I do not like showing my feet. It has been almost one year and I am wondering how to correct this issue.

Posted by Susan on 28/03/2011 at 10:08

I have had a fungal nail for the past 10 years,ive tried almost everything to get rid but nothing has worked,I find it very depressing and my toes are really horrible,every toenail on my right foot is infected,I think my nail bed on my big to is badly damaged and all my tonails are really thick and crumbly yellow colour,in winter I just cover up wearing socks and boots but in summer I cant wear anything that shows my toes,I try to disguise them with nail varnish but my nails are so thick. Ive been reading about laser treatment on the web,I know its expensive around £800 but if it works,I would pay it,so I need to do more research to make sure im not wasting even more money,my nails have really become the bain of my life.

Posted by Optional on 26/03/2011 at 02:04

my daughter is aged 12 and today we have notice that both of her big toe nails are coming away from the nail bed on one side - it is very thick in that area and is a bit painful. any suggestions

Posted by Optional on 08/03/2011 at 08:05

hey well i have toe nails that are dis coloured ugly looking and are thick its very embarrasing and i tend to paint them im to embarrased to go to the doctor

Posted by Optional on 03/03/2011 at 12:42

Having a toenail infection/fungus in a humid climate complicates matters. I have been battling this problem now for two years. I started with an anti-fungal paint from OPI - limited results, then moved on to T Tree Oil - some improvement but did not clear the problem. I'm now using Sporal and I think I see an improvement three months into the treatment but it is far from cleared. I am trying to be patient and not to stop the drug too soon although I am all too aware that there may be side effects to the liver. The fight goes on.....

Posted by hauwa on 01/03/2011 at 03:09

for more than 10years i have noticed a small cut under my left bigtoe wich continue to increase in size,some times feeling some movement inside & it never heal.I think this causes the dark colour beneath my toe nail.pls i need a clear explanation?

Posted by Optional on 26/02/2011 at 12:47

I am noticing some white colour on my foot nails especially on the biggest one.Is this a type of fungal infection.I never go to shower without a sandal.

Posted by alison on 10/02/2011 at 06:08

hi i am just back from the dochers my big toe is brown and sometimes sore he said i have to cut bits of it and out in the bottel he gave me i mighthave fungus he said i might go on talbets but can affc you livr i am scared now what do i do

Posted by Optional on 04/02/2011 at 01:23

in the corner of my toes how you get gunk under your toenails mine smell like cow dung even after i had a shower i dont go near cows and never had why do they smell like this?

Posted by Ray Thompson on 15/01/2011 at 09:03

I had fungus very badly for many years and could never get rid of it. Because I am a diabetic it is of great concern and want to avoid amputation of foot or toes, So my doctor sent me to a foot specialist and they recomended removal of all toenails for good. I have to admit it was the best posibible course to take. However painful it was it was worth it. And I do mean painful like no other pain I have ever had before they healed up completely but thank God its over now and my feet look and feel great. When she removed the nails she poured acid on the site of each toe to make sure they never grow back. Sounds like torture (and it was) but as far as I am concerned well worth the temp pain as oposed to the loss of a toe or foot.

Posted by Optional on 28/12/2010 at 12:07

this website is so soo great it helped me out a lot.

Posted by Optional on 20/11/2010 at 09:36

Very good article. Good to know what to expect when I go see the doctor. Thanks

Posted by Optional on 08/11/2010 at 07:12

still got a very sore nail but im going to the docs

Posted by Optional on 28/10/2010 at 12:46

What happens when u don't trim your nails

Posted by Optional on 13/10/2010 at 02:09

I've had a problem with bad toenails for the last 2 years.it's discoloured,rough and edgey.it's only my right foot thathasthus problem.i've been my doctor and used a nail polish thing and was on medication but nothing helped...please tell me what's the next step forward for I am desperate to have my toenails back to normal cos it's extremely embarrasing.

Posted by Guilliame on 11/10/2010 at 10:37

ingrow toe nail give me problems Dr. removed it and burnt the sides where it grew in it has been a month and my food are getting cold like in dead,he said that it is due to bloodflow ? never that problem before opp.I think it is infected and boulding up pressure(like if a vinger nail has been hit with something.Do massage and footspa foot helps a bit but then it is sore again.

Posted by Optional on 09/10/2010 at 10:48

Very helpful, succinct information.

Posted by Optional on 28/09/2010 at 02:35

desr sir, i have been suffering teonail for 8 years. I took terbinafin i year.and fluconazol liquet for clean but not responds.i;m warried about it.my doctor told me it's long time treatment but i think our country have no better treatment abt it.so what can i do? thanx

Posted by Optional on 18/09/2010 at 11:15

I think I have an infection in my toe because I can't seem to walk on it and it causes me pain. I look on several website to see what I can find out about it, but it makes me worry even more. Can anyone please help me?

Posted by Optional on 17/09/2010 at 03:44

One of my toenails has a thick band of salmon pink. Is this athlete's foot? Somehting more serious?

Posted by Embarassed on 12/09/2010 at 03:54

Im 14.And I Have Two Infected Nails. There Gettting Worse But I Dont Want To Go To The Doctor Because I Know He'll Remove it And I Really Dont Want That. Can Someone Please Tell Me What I Can Do To Make It Better As I Am In Severe Pain.

Posted by carole on 11/09/2010 at 02:55

hi on my big toe nails they seem to be growing out like when uv knocked your nail and it then falls off but i havent knocked any of them.on one nail all discoloured the other nails that bad in colour but is still growing out like a new nail is growing underneath

Posted by bad big toe on 05/09/2010 at 09:18

great info!! it was very detailed and informative i must say thanks very much for your help i have successfully seen about my fungus problem and have splendid results. amen to that!

Posted by SHIRLEY on 16/08/2010 at 12:36

WOULD HAVING THE TOE NAIL REMOVED SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF FUNGUS?

Posted by Shefali Jauhari on 03/08/2010 at 10:29

HI my mom has an what looks like an infection but the toe nail is looking blue and seems like its wearing away. We have been to the doctor and have been told that she has to get her nail taken out. Can you please advise what may be causing this? and what can we do to get it better. Thanks Shefali.

Posted by Optional on 14/07/2010 at 01:41

if ur toenail is black then it may fall off in a while

Posted by Optional on 14/07/2010 at 01:38

when i cut my toenails it hurts because of this whitehead thing is in the way

Posted by Optional on 26/06/2010 at 03:23

my big toe nail is lifting up from my toe and is discoloured any suggestions

Posted by angelina on 16/06/2010 at 11:51

well on my both big toe nails a big patch has apeared on the corners. it is white and brownish what cuold the problem be?

Posted by razzaefc on 16/06/2010 at 10:18

i have a nail infection,or so my doctor told me,a chiropodist told me it was just a thick nail,my doctor gave me PYTEX PAINT,and told me it does work, i hope so.as i go traveling in october and want it to be gone,has anyone use it before

Posted by Optional on 26/05/2010 at 08:35

Large Toenails thickening - I have hepatic encellopaophy

Posted by Optional on 22/05/2010 at 03:27

Hello. I have had problems with my two big toe nails for years now, but I find it too embarrassing to go to the doctors about. I have scoured the internet and found that the problem most resembles "Distal Subungual Onychomycosis" from photographs I have seen. The nails are thick, have yellow/white build up around the edges and are sort of curved. They are brittle and uneven and just generally not pleasant. Can you offer any advice please? I was wondering if I should use Curanail, or ClearZal Bac? I can't bear to go to the doctors but would really like to be able to wear sandals again and my nails are very noticeable as they are so thick, please help!! :)

Posted by Optional on 22/05/2010 at 08:31

Try using distilled malt vinegar

Posted by Deni on 21/05/2010 at 10:20

It seems to have alot of treatments.Mine was treated with Cicropirox and did not help at all. Now I have this fungus for 1 year and is getting worst.

Posted by Optional on 14/05/2010 at 04:05

Hi I have a problem with my big toe nail it is thick and blue underneath looks awful but not painful at all and I did not knowck it - what is this ? a fungus ? must I go and see a doctor ?

Posted by Anonymous on 27/04/2010 at 11:15

toenail is thick with white under toenail hard to cut and very deep the infection

Posted by Optional on 10/04/2010 at 10:46

Both my feet are badly infected. It started with my feet, hard skin, foot infection then my toes, but as I always wear varnish and instead of taking it off I used to always apply it and thus for this reason never so the extent of the infection. Only two of my toes are ok, the rest look really white and the ends are flaky. One of my toes has now gone thick (the way it grows. I never show my feet to anyone and its horribly embarrassing. I have plucked up the courage to go to the doctors. I'm just worried that I will end up with amputation?

Posted by Jose on 05/04/2010 at 11:52

I liked the consise and very informative, easy read and organized website.Top site in my book,will use again and again.

Posted by bfore on 05/04/2010 at 09:07

My problem is bruised toenails two middle toes on my left foot. Have had this problem for about two years or more don't remember bumping it.They are really black nails. They don't hurt nor will they fall off. Is there anyway I can turn them natural again?

Posted by Optional on 13/03/2010 at 12:13

Soak your feet in Listerine. It takes a half dozen soaks about 2 weeks apart but it DOES work.

Posted by kimberly on 10/03/2010 at 09:04

Have had this problem since I can remember, but have been too embarrassed to talk to anyone about it. I just try to hide it, but I really want to get rid if it. So I am risking not wearing an artificial nail or polish for a while. I am using wart freeze treatment wich I heard works miracles together with vinegar wash and tea tree oil. See wat happens

Posted by Lisa on 16/01/2010 at 03:07

After years of nail painting, both my husband and I have found a solution - good old Vicks vapourub! It works a treat - we only tried it because I kept reading on the internet how well it works on toenail fungal infections. Apply it everyday to the affected area and we both saw an improvement after few weeks! In fact 3 months on and the nails on our feet are totally clear!

Posted by Anonymous on 20/10/2009 at 12:01

my two small toes on each foot are brown and always grown darjer than my other toenails. I imagine its from all the bad fitting shoes I sued to wear when I was younger. does anyone have a suggestion how to bring these toes back to the same colour as the others.

Posted by MalcH on 15/09/2009 at 01:28

After several years of using expensive commercial treatments and home remedies without any real success I noticed after swimming in a salt water pool for several days while on holiday the nail appeared to improve. Once home I made up a strong solution of salty water and poured this on and under the nail and applied this three times per day - after 2 weeks there was a noticable improvement and after 4 weeks the infection has disappeared and the original damage to the nail is now disappearing as the nail grows.

Posted by joanne on 30/07/2009 at 12:03

i have a fungal infection on my big toe which now has spread to my other toes on the same foot. the nails grow but become hard with a build up of white flaky tissue behind which if removes crumbles away. what can you prescribe for me

Posted by Anonymous on 07/07/2009 at 09:15

have had fungal nails for years,interestingly not had athletes foot for sometime.FOR ME ;Tea-tree oil did not work;topical nail lacquer(loceryl)used for year didnot work;both Terbinafine and the PULSE treatment worked ok,but eat yogurt with these as they also depleat good bacteria so thrush can take a hold

Posted by Daniel on 23/04/2009 at 09:03

I was Completely oblivious to my infection, I was to busy doing things I have always worn socks at home. But now I have to keep them free mmmm well that sucks sometimes technology advances are'nt really hellping anyone.

Posted by Anonymous on 14/04/2009 at 06:11

larfe toenail became infected and now the has raised itself about a quarter of and inch causing it to be uncomfortable wearing a shoe . nail is very hard

Posted by Dr Fred Connor on 13/03/2009 at 01:00

I came across Curanail a year ago while I was on a training course. I used to write scripts for Loceryl (a fungal nail infection treatment) but realised that there is an over-the-counter version of it, called Curanail. The product is perfect, treats the fungal nail infection quite well by penetrating the nail. It's much beter than cheap cosmetic alternatives.

Posted by kelley on 11/03/2009 at 03:48

i have discolouring and i also have bloodblister's under my 2 big toe nail's and i'v started useing clear-zac! so i was wondering if you no of any thing els that could help? also my mum has discolouring toe nail's and they are getting thicker and pushing her toe nail up away from the skin? she is in a lot of plan soo please help!

Posted by Mariyn on 09/03/2009 at 05:02

I have a lot of discolour on all my toe nails on the right foot and can see tiny discolour coming on left toe nails have bought PHYTEX paint and am going to use it twice a day to see what happens i dont really want to use any thing else at the moment keep you posted

Posted by Anonymous on 01/03/2009 at 04:35

Both of my big toe toenails bruised from boots. Both nails partially lifted and I cut them off. Will the rest come off and will the nail smooth up again?

Posted by Anonymous on 27/01/2009 at 11:57

I have a problem only on my one big toe. Its badly discoloured and looks almost as if it has red fibrous veins running through it. Nail also splits and is very bumpy and seems to have holes underneath. Please help!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Jassmin on 24/01/2009 at 01:23

what abt blackening if toenails??? my mum is recently having a blackened toenails,which is embarassing and makin it hard 4 her to wear open shoewear.nd her dr. prescribed her some toe paints but it's useless..so dr.phill plzz tell me wat she can do abt it?? can it be permanent?

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Toenail infection

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Fascinating facts

Nails are made of keratin, the same protein as horses' hooves

It takes 12-18 months for a toenail to grow from root to tip

If you are right-handed, the nails on your right hand grow faster than on your left, but toenails grow at the same rate on each foot

Nails grow faster in summer than winter

Toenail problems have strange medical words. Onychogryphosis (on-ee-co-gry-foe-sis) is the thickened, hard toenails that old people often have: onychomycosis (on-ee-co-my-co-sis) means fungal nail infection

In the UK, the NHS spends more than £15 million a year on treatments for fungal nail infection

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