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Podiatrist has suggested these options to my 95-yr-old mom to eradicate fungus on her big toenails. The topical kit of Tolcylen costs $120 and the laser treatment is over $500. I tried soaking her feet weekly in a mixture of water and vinegar, but that did not do much. Vicks Vaporub apparently works on some fungus but not this kind.

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I used to work for Podiatrists. Toe Nail fungus looks nasty, but as far as I know it does not lead to other infections or conditions that can be detrimental to health. So why is he suggesting treating it at all?

The ones I worked for would only prescribe treatment if the patient really want it. The topical medication rarely worked. The oral one was contraindicated by other medications, but effective for those who could take it. Oral was very expensive and it took at least one month of pills. Laser treatment was expensive, needed multiple visits and still there was not guarantee.
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jacobsonbob Feb 4, 2019
Probably because s/he wants the money! It might be like the dentist who, when told one's gums are bleeding, starts a discussion about how nice veneers would look.
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Thanks, cwillie and Tothill. Yes, they did the culture and identified this specific fungus. I researched it, too, and saw the lung disease thing. For the toenails the doctor did not indicate it was a rarity, but maybe it is. Tothill, you are right about oral meds being preferred treatment option, but as you also pointed out these meds can be contraindicated, as is the case with my Mom. Fortunately, this isn't some kind of crisis situation, so I can mull it over. We bought the Tolcylen but when I got it home and read what the process is (2 products applied twice daily after soap and water foot wash for 2 months with the likelihood of having to buy a second kit and repeating the experience), I had to roll my eyes. My plate in life is so full already with Mom care and everything else I need to do, the thought of adding this process into the equation just does not get me jazzed up. Plus we don't have a money tree to put into something that may not work and may not be that important in the overall scheme of things. Mom is 3 month away from 96 and has a 20% chance of making it to 100. There are perhaps bigger things to worry about. Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it.
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If this is simply a toenail problem and there are no problems with open sores between the toes then I think that I would not do anything - seems like too many doctors are recommending treatments that 'could' be done rather than using common sense about what 'should' be done.
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MomcareFL Feb 1, 2019
Thanks, cwillie; Yes, I agree with you about some doctors not using common sense. The toes don't hurt since the podiatrist eliminated enough of the thickness. And no open sores, etc. Doing nothing sounds like the best course.
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So I've been researching this - did they culture this and are certain of the type of fungus? Whatever you do I think I would want a second opinion, resistant aspergillus is apparently becoming a big problem as a cause of lung disease and is a very rare condition of the skin. For regular toenail fungus I was going to recommend tea tree oil, but for something like this it may be better to go with the laser option.
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Nail fungus is difficult to get rid of, does not cause long term problems.
Even topical medications it could take a year to see results, the old nail has to grow out before you would see good new nail growth. Same with oral medications and they come with a whole host of side effects.
Unless there is some physical discomfort caused by the nails bothers your mom I would leave them alone.
Continue to have them trimmed so you do not have to deal with other problems like ingrown nails. (I used to kid my husband that I could only cut his nails with a hacksaw)

If the nail does cause pain you could go a step further and have the nail removed. There are procedures that can do that and if properly done the nail will not grow back.
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MomcareFL Feb 1, 2019
Thanks, Grandma1954, for the feedback. Leaving them alone sounds like the best thing to do. So when a nail is removed, it does not grow back? I had not realized that, although of course it makes perfect sense. Interesting!
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Try putting on Teatree essential oil straight on her nails every day for about a week. You’ll be amazed to see the fungus vanish! Cost about $10-20 dollars for a 30ml bottlefrom Edens Garden essential oils.
I just cleared up my husbands nails and keep mine fungus free by applying it everytime I shower.
No doc will tell you this as it hurts their bottom line. It simple, easy , natural with no side effects and cheap. Win win!
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MomcareFL Feb 4, 2019
I will definitely give this a try. Nothing to lose! Thank you for this suggestion.
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The essential oil treatment might be the answer. Also, Walmart has an anti-fungal liquid (that is the name of it on the bottle) that worked for me. It has Undecylenic acid, and, if remember correctly, it is derived from the Catawba tree. Directions are to apply it around the edge of the nail daily. I have had no more problem since I used it several years ago. I hope you find an answer!
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MomcareFL Feb 4, 2019
OK, thank you, for your suggestions. I will research them a bit!
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tea tree oil or oregano oil should do the trick
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Zdarov Feb 4, 2019
I only recently read about oregano oil being such a great disinfectant, knew about thyme. Amazing!
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This will probably cause a huge uproar here, but it worked for my FIL when nothing else did. (Nothing - including multiple, often expensive, prescriptions.). He was diabetic. A caregiver went to his house a few days a week. Every time she visited she would use bleach on the toe nail only. She would use a Q-tip and just gently roll it on top of the nail. She would let it dry completely before putting clean socks on his feet. It took a little time, but it was the only thing that cleared it up.
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MomcareFL..yes a nail can grow back. And previously when a nail was removed it wold grow back but there is a medication that can be put on the nail bed that will prevent the regrowth of the nail. I think it has to be repeated a few times but at least you do not have to worry about the entire nail growing back and having to deal with whatever problem there was previously.
I had considered it for my Husband but by that time it was just better to leave well enough alone. As was the decision for so many things.
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MomcareFL Feb 4, 2019
Thanks, Grandma1954, I wasn't aware of all that. Good to know!
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