As someone who has looked down and seen yellow toenails on their own feet, I can relate to what you’re going through right now. What’s happened? Why do my toenails look gross and yellow?
You deserve to have healthy feet and toenails that you aren’t ashamed of other people seeing. Let me help you reclaim your pinkies.
If you’re looking for my recommendation for treatment, check out ClearNail Pro+.
|ClearNail Pro+||At Home||Regular application required||$$|
|Prescription Medications||At the Doctor||Cannot drink alcohol, can be dangerous to the liver.||$$$$|
|Laser Treatment||At the Doctor||Multiple treatments required, some pain involved.||$$$$$+|
|Vinegar Soak||At home||"Home remedy" - Requires strict regular application||$|
|Vick's Vapor Rub||At home||"Home remedy" - Requires strict regular application||$|
|SteriShoe||Preventative||Greatly assists treatment and prevents reinfection||$$$|
Discolored toenails look & feel awful
I’ve been there, just like you. Yellow toenails are really unsightly. Whenever you go barefoot, either around the home or in public at the pool or beach, it can be very embarrassing. Count me out of summer fun and flip flops with thick crusty and yellow toenails, yuck!
What’s worse is when you think that you look bad, you begin to feel bad about yourself. Your self-confidence can take a hit and you will stop being as outgoing. You start to become very self-conscious about your feet and toes. This is not what you want when you’re at the beach or at a pool party with cute guys and girls!
Even worse can be the embarrassment felt in the bedroom when you finally take off your shoes and socks. It’s not sexy to leave your socks on. If you have yellow nails, it’s time to act – because the sooner you begin treating your fungal toenails with an effective treatment product like ClearNail Pro+, the sooner they can recover.
Yellow toenails can eventually thicken and start to crumble if left untreated. This starts to look really bad – disgusting even. It’s all very unnecessary; you don’t need to go through it all. Treatments are simple and effective these days. The sooner you act, the sooner it’ll all be over. Regain your nice feet, and your confidence.
What causes toenails to change color?
The most serious, but very rare, cause of yellow toenails is Yellow Nail Syndrome (YNS). Smoking is the biggest cause of lung disease and associated YNS. YNS is associated with serious lung disease, so if you have yellow nails and persistent coughing you should see your medical doctor straight away.
The most common cause of yellow toenails is a fungal infection. Onychomycosis is the scientific name for a fungal infection of the nail and accounts for around half of all toenail problems. Approximately 10% of the adult population has toenail fungus, so don’t worry – you’re not alone. Probably some of your closest friends are suffering too. Nail fungus is more likely to infect men rather than women and can be associated with a family history of nail fungus.
The common fungi that infect nails are dermatophytes, candida and nondermatophytic molds. Candida fungi prefer and thrive in tropical environments whilst dermatophytes prefer cooler climates. So if you’re living in Florida, you’re more likely to encounter candida. Whilst in Boston, you’re more likely to encounter dermatophytes.
Many factors can lead to fungal infections in toenails;
- Living in a wet (moist & humid) climate
- Wearing socks that don’t absorb sweat
- Being barefoot in damp places used by large numbers of people (pools, gyms, showers)
- Already infected with athlete’s foot fungus
- Injury to the toe and/or toenail
- oor blood circulation to the feet & toes
- Weakened immune system (undergoing cancer treatment or HIV treatment)
Usually if you have a fungal infection you won’t feel any pain in your feet, toes or toenails. However, in severe and long term cases the might be some pain and discomfort in the toenail, especially when wearing tight shoes or when you go to cut your toenails. The nail bed can become inflamed and sore.
Eventually, if the infection is left untreated long enough the toenail will become thicker and thicker. The nail will become brittle and start to break or crumble away until you lose the entire nail. Without the toenail you’ll be more susceptible to other infections and toe injuries.
In some cases the skin around the toenail will start to become scaly with yellow patches. Again, without treatment, the skin may start to emit a foul smell.
All the above could be considered minor but it can add up to more harmful psychological issues. This is because of how the nails look… very gross and unpleasant. If fungal infections spread to the fingernails that cannot be hidden so easily like toes with socks the embarrassment will be even greater.
People with gross nails caused by fungus are likely to be less outgoing in social situations due to fears about how others might react when they see their nails.
Why you should treat infected toenails
You should treat fungus infections as quickly as possible. Once a fungal infection occurs they can be very difficult to cure. Also as the fungal infection progresses, your nails will look and feel worse and worse. The longer the fungus is left without treatment the longer it will take to cure once treatment starts.
Toenail fungus is very contagious. Left untreated, the fungus can spread to the skin on your toes, feet and even to your fingernails. Spores can also spread to your groin giving you jock itch. You might be wondering how this is possible? When you put on your underwear in the morning, your toes often touch the fabric on the way up – passing the fungus on to your underwear. So, your underwear is now infected with that fungus – and given that you wear that same pair of underwear all day (and maybe all night), that fabric is in contact with your private parts for the entire day, giving it plenty of chances to spread the fungus. Not a good outcome!
Not only can fungus spread to other parts of your body, you can also pass it on to others. If you’re sharing a bathroom shower with your girlfriend, boyfriend or other family members, you run the risk of getting them infected with the same spores as well. Don’t risk it and don’t spread it, get some treatment today.
How to treat infected toenails
There are three main categories that treatment falls into;
- Oral medication – you take a pill that is designed to fight the infection from inside your body, and at the Nail Matrix (where your toenails grow from)
- Laser fungus treatment – a special medical laser is used to heat your toenails (including the nail bed and nail matrix), which is designed to kill the fungus
- Topical medication – creams or sprays that are applied directly to your infected toenails
Oral Medication for fungal infection
Oral medications used to be the only strong treatment option. Unfortunately, oral medications are still not 100% effective. On top of this, these anti-fungal oral medications are very harsh on your liver. These medications are tough stuff and not that pleasant.
Side effects include headaches, upset stomach and skin irritations. You can only be prescribed these oral medications if specifically recommended by your doctor – and even, then we’d recommend getting a second opinion. Also, whilst the oral medications should kill fungus, they may not immediately make your toenails look better.
Oral medications for fungus are generally prescribed from anywhere between 6 weeks to 4 months depending upon the drug used and the dosage pattern (i.e. daily tablet or weekly tablet). You will need to do a liver function test before, possibly during and then after treatment to ensure that your body can handle it and that no long term damage has been done.
Warning: never ever drink beer, wine or spirits if you’re taking antifungal oral medication. Your liver will already be doing enough work, having to process alcohol in addition to the antifungal drug can do serious damage to your liver. If you like to drink regularly we’d recommend trying a different treatment strategy.
Laser fungal toenail treatment
Yes, it’s real people! Set lasers to stun and blast that fungus away. To treat your fungal toenail infection, a medical laser is used to heat up your toenail and the nail bed beneath. Sometimes heating up to 140°F (60°C), the heat sensitive fungus should stop growing and die off.
Laser treatments will usually require you to use a urea cream a few weeks before laser treatment to soften and thin the nails, and your podiatrist will likely trim and grind down the thickness of your nails before treatment as well, to ensure maximum efficiency. In the pre-treatment stage, be careful not to get urea cream on the skin around your toenails, as it will start to breakdown your skin.
Laaer treatments are not yet 100% effective but they avoid the potential damage to your liver that oral medications can cause. So, they are a much better choice and allow you to consume alcohol.
Unfortunately, laser treatment is quite expensive and often requires multiple sessions. Expect to pay around $800-$1000 per session and undergo treatment a few times, though good doctors will not charge you as much for the follow up sessions.
Laser treatment is intended to kill the fungus, but you’ll still need to wait for the new nail to grow out. And in the meantime, there is the possibility of your toenail becoming reinfected from shoes or socks that are still carrying the fungus. So, even if it completely kills off your case, you will still have ugly nails for at least 6 months or more, until the nail is fully replaced by new, fresh growth.
A final note about laser treatment – it can be painful. I am speaking from personal experience here. I’ve had multiple sessions based on my podiatrist’s recommendations. Some people are fine and most doctors or podiatrists will sell the lasers as being “pain free”. However, in my case it hurt. Quite a bit. Heating the skin under your toes to 140°F (60°C) is not a walk in the park, especially if you have fungus on multiple toenails. Much like the “zingers” that some people report from laser teeth whitening, expect a few of them when getting laser treatment on your toenails. If you do choose to go down this route, I’d strongly recommend taking some strong over the counter pain killers about 30 minutes before your laser treatment session, to try and keep the pain to a bearable level.
Topical (cream or spray) treatment for discolored toenails
Topical creams or sprays for nail fungus are cost effective and easy to use, but you have to keep at it. Use them daily, or multiple times a day when you start with these treatment in order to get the best results.
Topical creams are much much cheaper than laser treatments and don’t have the nasty side effects of oral medications. Some topical treatments can also help with the look and feel of your nail. Creams can help soften and break down unsightly parts of your toenails. The oral medications and lasers are just designed to try and kill the fungus, then you have to wait for the healthy nail to grow back to see whether it worked – meanwhile, your toes are showing very little sign of improvement.
Topical treatments are often the best option to treat and cure an infection. If topical treatments are not effective, even when you’ve used them daily for 6 months, that is when you should begin talking to your doctor about a more serious treatment (laser or oral medication). Fungus can eventually penetrate into the nail bed and nail matrix, so the more expensive laser treatment might be required. Followed up again with a topical cream, you should be cured.
The emphasis is that you need to use the treatment as directed and usually daily. It takes a bit of time but it is worth the effort. You’ll start to see new nail growth, as healthy growth once the fungus is dead and gone. In a few months you’ll have a fully nice and healthy toenail again.
Preventing yellow toenails recurring
Once you’ve cured your infection, recurrence is unfortunately a pretty common scenario. Here are some tips and tricks to keep the fungus away for good:
- Keep some anti-fungal cream on hand. If the fungus does come back, hit it fast with a dose of anti-fungal cream. Don’t give it a chance to take root again.
- Keep your feet dry. Wear breathable shoes or go barefoot as often as you can around the house. Ensure you dry your feet and toes thoroughly after bathing.
- Clean showers. Shower floors can harbor fungus. Clean them well and regularly. Use a good bathroom cleaner for your shower.
- Treat your socks. Socks can also harbor fungus. For your socks, use 2oz (60ml) of eucalyptus oil in a bucket with 1.5 gal (6 litres) of water and leave them to soak them overnight. This will ensure your socks aren’t re-infecting you again and again. You might also like to treat bath mats and towels this way too.
- Treat your shoes. You can buy shoe sterilizers like the SteriShoe that are designed to kill the bacteria and fungus that cause athlete’s foot and yellowed toenails.
- Avoid pedicures. Pedicures and manicures often result in the cuticle (the skin covering the base of the nail) to be pushed back. This allows fungus and other nasty things to infect your nails more easily. Also if pedicure instruments are not cleaned thoroughly, you can get an infection from one of their other clients. That “cheap” pedicure that you got on holiday might end up costing you a lot more because their equipment wasn’t properly sterilized.
My treatment history – and a product that I think is the best treatment
I’ve tried several treatment methods myself, and have spent countless numbers of hours visiting web sites just like mine, learning more about toenail fungus and researching extensively into the various types of treatments.
I have personally tested a few of the home remedies available online including applying Vicks VapoRub and soaking my feet in a vinegar and water mix – and have decided against some of the more absurd ones like urinating on my feet or using bleach.
I tried to get on the oral medications, but like so many other people who have had toenail clippings taken for this purpose, it did not successfully grow anything in the lab. As a result, my doctor opted against prescribiyng the oral medication. I then decided to try used the over the counter Loceryl nail paint, which cost about $100 and was promising to clear it up for good – but with no success.
After this, I was disheartened for quite some time and had almost accepted that the only way I’d ever get rid of my fungal toenail infection would be to have the toenails completely removed. I let it go for about 18 months and in that time, it had spread to almost all of my toenails. This was when I began looking at other treatments.
I then decided to go for laser treatment, and had several sessions over the span of a year with no real success to show for it. Every time I went in for another 3 monthly check up, the podiatrist would recommend another course of laser treatment and tell me that there was still hope. I eventually decided not to go back and cancelled my follow up appointment.
This was when I went searching again for other treatments and found a number of people, especially those with more stubborn, long term cases, had been having success at clearing up their infection with ClearNail Pro+. It’s a special mix of several naturally occurring oils that fight infection and clean up your toenails without nasty side effects that you apply to the nail, and a homeopathic spray that you spray under your tongue to help your body fight off the nail fungus from inside.
While my nails began to look better after a couple of weeks of using ClearNail Pro+ every day, it took almost four months for them to completely clear up. As with any treatment or medication, you’ve got to stick with it and give it the time it needs to work. Given that your toenails only grow about one eighth of an inch every month, it’ll take some time for your clear nails to start growing out if your toenails are covered in the fungus – but it will happen.
It’s about nine months since I started using ClearNail Pro+, and while they don’t list it as being a preventative for toenail fungus, I’ve been using it once a week to try to fight off any potential new fungal infections.
As with any product, you should only buy it from a trusted source – at the moment, the only official outlet for ClearNail Pro+ is Amazon. Don’t risk it by buying from eBay or anywhere else online – click here to go to Amazon and buy ClearNail Pro+.
Why you shouldn’t delay treatment
Don’t put up with nasty nails anymore. I left it for far too long, which only made things worse when I wanted to treat it. If I can achieve one thing with this site, it’s getting people to get started on their treatment today. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be comfortable getting around in bare feet again. And, if you don’t treat it, there are more serious health issues that can occur later on as a result of your fungal toenail infection.
Pick a product and get started on your treatment. Having tested a lot of them, my personal recommendation is ClearNail Pro+ because it was the only product that managed to clear up my toenails. Follow the directions and our tips & tricks and you’ll never look back. You deserve nice feet!