Need I say more?  The title pretty much sums it up.  What can a person do to clear up the thick and yellow appearance to their toenail? Well, it’s not that easy.

To begin with, there are a variety of conditions that can cause a toenail to become deformed or discolored.  These include:  fungal infection, psoriasis, peripheral vascular disease, trauma, and certain medications such as chemotherapy.  If the condition is a result trauma then it’s unlikely you will be able to fix the appearance.  The nail is permanently damaged or deformed and will not revert  back to its preexisting appearance.  Think of it as being “scarred” as a result of the trauma.  This trauma may be the result of dropping something on your toenail, having the nail torn off, or even micro-trauma from running in which the nail rubs on the shoe.

If the nails discoloration or appearance is truly from a fungus, then there is hope that treatment may help to restore the appearance back to a healthy looking nail. The nail is typically cultured which involves partial removal in the office and it is sent to a lab where a 2-4 week process can determine if fungus is growing.  If a fungal condition is isolated, the species is identified and medical treatment can then be initiated.   If you’re reading this, chances are you are probably aware of the home remedies and topical therapies that are available over the counter. The majority of them have not been studied and reviewed in scientific literature so the effectiveness cannot be established.  It is rare to see them work.  Probably the number one discussed home remedy is Vick’s Vapo rub.   Once again it has never been proven to cure or resolve nail fungus in scientific literature, many have touted benefits.  More than likely, the petroleum in the Vick’s is softening the nail plate which can improve the overall appearance and some see a reduction pain.

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Treatment of nail plate with oral Lamisil tablets for 90 days. Lamisil is now generic and covered by the majority of insurances.

1 Comment

Dr. CampitelliAugust 14, 2016 at 6:30 am

The home remedies did not work for me.

After my insurance company refused to pay for a prescription topical anti fungal, I started applying two different OTC antifungals, one in the morning and another at night. I kept this regimen up until after all of the diseased toenail had been trimmed away. My toenail is finally fine again.

This probably won’t work for everyone, which makes me wonder — what is the problem with the insurance companies?

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Topical Nail Solution to soften and clear discolored toenails.
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