Nail Fungus- Dr. Acky Friedman

We all know the thick, yellow, deformed, and unaesthetic fingernails that we would love to be rid of. Some of us use brightly colored nail polish to cover the fungus and some wear socks or walk around with closed shoes even in the summer in order to conceal the fungus. Fear not – nail fungus can be treated successfully.

Contamination

Contamination may occur in swimming pools, showers, public bath houses or in other public facilities. Many develop nail fungus during military service. Another way to become contaminated is by damaging the fingernails, or even a hemorrhage under the fingernail can be followed by the development of fungus in the nail.

This fungus can be present for a long time without developing and contaminating other nails, but it can also quickly contaminate your and other household members’ finger and foot nails. There is probably a personal tendency to contamination, which is evident by the fact that there are couples where one member has fungus for a long time and the other has none, even after decades of living together .

The fungus lives in the nail bed, underneath the fingernail. That is why it is difficult to treat and in many cases, it may reappear after successful treatment.

Treatment

  1. Medical nail polish: there are various types of nail polish that require smearing the material on the contaminated fingernail for several months. The material infiltrates the nail and treats the fungus. This is a solution mainly for light cases.
  2. Melting the fingernail by using a special ointment. This process is pain-free, eventually resulting in an exposed nail bed in order to treat the fungus – this is an effective treatment that requires effort and consistency on the patient’s side.
  3. Pills: most treatments should take 3-4 months. Different medications have side effects and may cause disruption in liver functionality. This calls for close medical monitoring of the patient and stopping the treatment if necessary. It is important to pay attention to drug-drug interactions (such is the case with medication for blood lipids).

No treatment guarantees full success nor that the problem won’t return in the future.

Among unconventional treatments, the most known and commonly used is soaking feet in bleach. My understanding is that even though there have been successful cases, this method does not treat the problem (fungus) but only melts the nail. It is important to understand that bleach is produced to clean toilets and not to soak your body parts in.

Laser Treatments – much has been written, published and guaranteed about using laser treatment for nail fungus. As of today, there is no scientific proof that this method is effective. It may be that in the future, there will be a suitable and scientifically proven way to treat and heal fungus using laser treatment.

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