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Toe Fungus
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Toe Fungus

Hi, I had a pedicure and then went on vacation. I noticed that my toenail hurt. When I got home and took the nailpolish off I notived that my nail was yellow and cloudy. It also feels hot. Is this a toe fungus? If so, are there any over the counter treatments that are effective?
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First have it looked at by your doctor to confirm, especially if this is new to you.  Very few things work to cure nail fungus and insurance doesn't usually cover the systemic anti-fungal treatments for it, because they consider it to be cosmetic.  The stuff is also very toxic to the body, so I wouldn't recommend using the medication systemically anyway.  Nail fungus will make the nail thicker, yellow in color and rather brittle.  It will also peel easily.

However, I managed to kill nail fungus with a much gentler method.  It takes vigilance and a lot of time to do this, but it worked for me...

The first thing one has to do is file down the nail, including the nail bed, as far down as is safe to do so.  This will make the nail bed rather thin, so extra footwear protection is needed to keep from injuring the toe nail bed.  While at home, you will want to mostly go barefoot or wear dry socks at the very most.  The idea is that your feet need a lot of air circulation to keep the fungus from having added heat and moisture to grow even faster.  If you work in an office setting, wear shoes that you can quickly and easily remove while sitting at your desk when no one can see your feet anyway.  The idea is to make it possible for the treatment to reach under the nail bed, but in a safe manner.

After you have filed off as much yellow as is safe to do so, soak the affected foot in warmed (for your comfort) undiluted white vinegar for at least half an hour to an hour and at least twice a day.  Each time you soak your foot, check the nail bed to see if there is any yellow that is safe to file down.  Then wash your foot with a gentle soap and warm water.  The vinegar will dry your skin out, so be sure to apply a good moisurizing lotion each time you do this.  You can do this for as long as you continue to see any yellow in the nail bed and may need to do this for as long as two weeks.  If you need to do it longer, take a day or two off from doing this before continuing after you have done this for a couple of weeks.

Be mindful that the vinegar is strong enough to eat away a little bit of the nail bed, so back off if anything starts to be painful.  This should not cause added pain at all.  

Do not worry about "smelling like a pickle".  Vinegar does not linger for that long.  Pickle jars continue to have the pickle smell in them because of the garlic and other spices.  Vinegar is used as a natural fabric softener in the rinse cycle and doesn't cause the clothes to have a vinegar smell.  Besides, it's better to put up with the temporary smell of the vinegar than to put up with nail fungus that is so hard to get rid of and that will only spread to the other nails on the foot.
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