Before you swear off the art of pedicures all together, read on. Though I cannot testify for MOST nail salons out there, this particular case may not be there fault. Obviously you have done your homework before even attempting a pedicure. You already made sure that your particular salon is sterilizing the foot tub with an antimicrobial cleanser (preferably containing bleach) and sterilizing the instruments after every use!
Now that we know you are patronizing the cleanest of salons, the question is what is wrong with my toe nails?! Paying a visit to your local podiatrist to back up your home diagnosis is a great first step. Excluding the possibility of trauma or some other nail pathology, the doc will send a nail clipping away to a lab to not only confirm the presence of fungus but also to identify the type of fungus. Yes there are different types! With the diagnosis of fungal toenails (the fancy medical term is onychomysis) you can begin the task of restoring your nails to their original clear healthy state. There is a long list of natural, topical, oral and even high tech laser treatments. Whichever route of treatment you decide upon just know time is of the essence the longer you live with fungal nails the harder it will be to eradicate it.
If a trip to the podiatrist is not in the cards for you right now or are you are more likely to opt for natural solutions, here is a list of some home remedies that have worked for a lot of my patients.
Topical antifungals come in many different formulations. Everything from creams, lotions, to liquids and even nail lacquers. The antifungal nail lacquers are prescription and mostly work in the same way. You will remove any existing nail polish, then buff the nail as discussed earlier. Next you will apply the antifungal nail polish every day for 7 days, one coat on top of the previous. On the seventh day you will remove the nail lacquer with alcohol (not nail polish remover) and begin the process again.
You also should refrain from prolonged nail polish application while treating your nails. If you must just polish your toenails for the event and then remove it and continue your treatments.
Topicals whether they are prescription or natural may not be enough to eradicate the fungus, especially if you have had this problem for a long time and the nails have become thickened and brittle. The topical solutions are more effective on newer cases where you are just beginning to see the white spots. In the case of a severe fungal infection there is oral medication. It is the most effective treatment but you will have to consult a doctor for a prescription and it is not without some potential side effects.
Another newer option are laser treatments. There are several different lasers on the market that are available at podiatry offices as well as some dermatologist and even medical spas. Laser treatments are not covered by insurance and can be several hundred dollars for a series of treatments.
The main take home point is that you don’t have to settle for unsightly nails. There are many available treatment options. Feel free to contact us with any questions!