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Nail Problems Message Board

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It appears that for about 7 months to 1 year now I have been battling some form of something on my big toe. I remember having a normal nail and then something fell on it or I had a pedicure done and then after that It had a crack in the middle of my nail and maybe it smelled funky. At some point my big toenail turned yellow so I cut as much of it off as I could bc it was ugly. So now it seems the nail was growing out but it was a funky yellow/white color. My nail was so weak I was able to cut it all off almost up to my cuticle which is where I stopped bc it became painful. There was white flaky stuff under my nail and I was able to scrape it all off and expose I guess what I presume is my nail bed I'm not real sure (kinda has ridges). But there was a tiny bit of yellow flaky gunk under the white flaky gunk. So needless to say I became tired of having no nail and having to put bandaids on the nail due to embarrassment so I had a fake toenail put on there - french manicure and all. I have been following some of the suggestions here and have been putting white vinegar with a Q-tip in the morning and Vicks underneath the fake nail and cuticle generously at night and sleeping with socks on. I have been doing this for a week today. My toenail is growing out a little and looks yellow on one edge (but this may be a part I did not cut off).

Anyways my questions is is this a fungus or yeast infection and what type of treatment should I be doing? Is the vinegar and Vicks helpful or not? How long will I know this is actually clearing up by what home remedies I am applying now?
Marti - any tips on how to remove this artificial nail? It's like what little teeny tiny nail I have left (prob about 1/4 of an inch) is purple and the corners are yellow now. I'm worried that my nail is really hurt bc of the artificial nail procedure (maybe bruised). I noticed that when I apply vinegar more it turns the nail yellow on the corners. However, when I do the Vicks there is only a slight bit of yellow - any ideas why this is happening?

Thanks so much. I wish this would all go away overnight but I understand it takes 3+ months.
Marti - I took the fake nail off per your instructions. OH how gross! Actually the fake nail had started growing on this white looking thing that I assume was my nail or nailbed. Whatever it was it was not attached to my toe and it was very very thin - paper thin! EWWWWW.

So that means I have to go bandaidless? What if I put like vinegar on my toenail and on the bandaid as well, is this just as bad too? I have no toenail other than what is left at the cuticle. All that remains is my nailbed (I guess I'm not sure?) I've noticed in other posts that you mentioned something called Dr. Clear. How effective is this? I've been doing a home remedy of vinegar during the day and Vicks at night for 2 weeks this coming Wed. I'm kind of leery of taking anything Dr. prescribed just bc I take other meds now and I've been hearing bad reviews about the meds Dr.'s prescribe (i.e. liver damage, etc.). I'm kinda of inpatient and boy this is driving me insane as I constantly wear flip flops especially with summer coming soon but..... it's gonna take time to get better. I did notice that my nail grew out a bit since I've had the fake nail (had the fake nail on 1 month) on so I guess that means I may be one of the lucky ones who's nails grow fast.

It puzzles me though how I could have contracted this. I take pride in my feet. I always say I have a foot fetish cuz I'm constantly putting lotion on them and keeping them smooth. I don't know. Now I'm scared to get pedicures anymore or my fingernails either for that matter.

One other question - I run in the afternoons how should I be treating my running socks and shoes that I wear when I do so? Am I allowing the fungus to stay in them by using them everyday?

Thank you so much for all your advise. You have been so helpful to me.
Dr. G's Clear Nail - I will say that the best treatment is to use only ONE treatment, so choose one and stick with it. If the vinegar is working, then use only the vinegar.

You should not wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row - it can take longer than this for the moisture from our feet to completely dry out inside the shoes. Leather shoes are worse as the fungal spores can live in the leather since it contains proteins from the animal skin it was made from.

No bandaids what-so-ever! When I say "clean and dry', I mean it and bandaids will aloow moisture to build up and that's all the fungus need to continue growing. Your nail bed will heal as the nail plate grows forward over it.

It can take up to a year for a toenail to replace itself - especially one that is also infected. You say you get pedicures? You could have contracted this at the salon if they used the same files and implements on you that they do on everyone else if they did not properly sanitize them between clients.
Thanks Marti - I'll try to refrain from using a bandaid. I only put one on loosely for a second yesterday when I ran into the store really quick and took it off immediately when I got in my vehicle. I wear flip flops constantly so my feet and toes are usually exposed 98% of the time. So today I ran into the store without a bandaid - I'm taking baby steps. LOL.

So I need to keep my toenail uncovered when I run? Yesterday I put alcohol on it to keep it dry or to keep it from sweating while I ran. It this ok?

O.K. so if I'm understanding you correctly I should only use either one method alone and not combine them - as I am doing using vinegar in the a.m. and throughout the day and then the Vick's at night.?. I've increased the vinegar to 2 to 3x's throughout the day this shouldn't pose a problem should it? I've noticed that the nail is coming out pink with the pretty white smiley face in the middle. However it is still yellowish on the right and left edges of the toenail. Any thoughts why this is happening? I know I must keep in mind that the process may take up to a year and I have only been treating it for 2 weeks. I think overall I've seen some improvement.

Thanks Marti for your expertise.

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