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How to Remove Toenail Fungus

written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 6/30/2009

It's summer. You want to wear sandals. Then you remember your toenails and the awful looking fungus that turns them yellow. Read on to learn how to get rid of toenail fungus.

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    How do you know if it's toenail fungus?

    To know for sure if it's a fungus , you need to go to a doctor and allow him to take a sample and put it under the microscope. To do this, he will scrape a bit from underneath the nail to use as a sample. This procedure is usually only done if the doctor needs to verify the existence of a fungus to your insurance company. Otherwise the doctor can usually tell that it is a toenail fungus by looking at it.

    Normally, if you look at your toenail and there is a thick yellow substance under it as well as your toenail possibly being a bit upraised, it's a fungus. There are several treatments that can be used to get rid of the fungus. These will be discussed in the next section. For now, know that one of the most important things you can do to avoid toenail fungus is to not share your nail products with others, wash your feet on a regular basis, always wear clean socks and never borrow any kind of footwear from anyone else.

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    Nail Fungus Treatment

    There are many over-the-counter treatments sold to remove nail fungus. The one thing you need to know before wasting money on any of these treatments is that a topical cream is not going to kill the fungus. The fungus is safe and warm and protected by your toenail. Any cream you apply is going to be a waste of time.

    There is always the option of nail removal. The doctor will numb the toe with about 2 shots to the nerves on either side of the toe. Then the Doctor will pull the nail out. Once the nail is out, the doctor will then place acid on the sides of your toenails so that the nail never grows into the skin again as it has done from being upraised by the pressure of the fungus. Relax, you won't feel anything at all except for a sense of relief when you can walk without pain once again.

    After the removal of the nail, the doctor is likely to do one of two things. Either he will prescribe a medication such as Lamisil to kill the fungus that was growing beneath the nail or they will recommend that you continuously apply Vick's VapoRub. Either way, your nail should grow back fungus-free and you can once again show off your toes on beach days!

    References:Mayo Clinic

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