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Fingernail Fungus?

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Fingernail Fungus?

Posted by Ser [10130.8674] on March 03, 2010 at 18:43:55:

I've never been one to wear nail polish on my fingernails, with the exception of a clear strengthening polish. But I began wearing nail polish around September '09, usually just painting over the chipped polish or reapplying polish right after removing it, up until the end of January '10 when I removed my nail polish off completely. For about a week my fingernails looked healthy just a little discolored from not wearing a protective base coat underneath my dark nail polish. However, the slight discoloration faded within days. THEN, about 3 days later, I noticed that ALL 10 tips of my fingernails were bright yellow. Once again, I assumed it was discoloration from the nail polish growing out and I didn't bother to do anything about it for 3 weeks, except trim the tips to remove as much of the yellow at the tops of my fingernails as I could. It suddenly dawned on me that it was probably fungus as the yellow I was seeing were not surface stains, but they were under the tips of my fingernails, which were now forming sort of a frown on the tops. I believe wearing nail polish non-stop on my fingernails for many months caused me to contract fingernail fungus.

Even though I have not been medically diagnosed with fingernail fungus (I don't have medical insurance), I'm fairly sure it is. When I came to realize it was fungus, I started rubbing Vicks to my fingernails twice a day for a week. I noticed instant results, as it made the discoloration on the tops of my fingernails almost fade and blend in with the rest of the bottom of my healthy fingernails, and so I thought it was really killing the fungus. However, it was too complicated and messy and unrealistic to maintain, especially since I'm always on the go. Luckily, I came across this wonderful site about a week ago and have started Dr. Stoll's vinegar protocol twice daily since. I have learned SO much. I'm amazed by everyone's testimonials and have faith that I, too, will have the same success with the vinegar protocol. I've read all the archives regarding nail fungus and have come across only a few posts where people have treated their fingernail fungus with the vinegar protocol with success so I know it does work on fingernails as well, but the for the most part, everyone else writes about their toenail fungus as it is more common, I suppose.

I believe I stand a good chance since my fungus appears to be mild (there is no thickening, flaking, lifting, peeling, cracking or foul smell - just yellow/purple discoloration) and I have began to treat it at an early stage. Also, my hands are exposed to air every minute of every day, unlike feet, which should be less difficult to treat. Am I correct?

As I mentioned above, I have removed my nail polish completely, trimmed my fingernails as far back as I could (probably too short as I have exposed the tips of my nail beds) and every time I do, I get closer to trimming the the "yellow/purple frowns", however, within days, the "yellow/purple frowns" get thicker, which can only mean one thing: the fungus is spreading downwards. This is very discouraging and frustrating for me because below these "yellow/purple frowns", my fingernails are completely healthy looking and pink from the base up to the where frowns are at the very top.

I started the vinegar protocol 6 days ago today, applying 2 "drops" of 5% white distilled vinegar at the base of my fingernails with a Q-Tip (one for each fingernail... I don't have a dropper.... plus, I read in some of the archives that Dr. Stoll mentioned Q-Tips would work just fine), letting it sit for a few seconds and rubbing it around the base and sides of my fingernails twice a day every 12 hours. I have no missed a single dose, and I don't plan to either.

I know it is still VERY soon, but how will I be able to tell if/when the vinegar is working since the fungus is growing from the tips down, not from the base up like on most people who have posted here. I was hoping that the new nail growth would be pushing the fungus off my body, but it looks to be doing the opposite?

I do have a few more concerns/questions that I hope will be answered, or at least direct me to the answers I'm looking for, as well as any suggestions on any preventative measures I should be taking as I can't seem to find any on fingernail fungus. Dr. Stoll, I would especially love to hear you add your two cents on my situation.

1. From what I've described, am I doing the protocol correctly?

2. Will the fungus have a chance to spread down to the healthy parts of my fingernails BEFORE the vinegar starts working on pushing the fungus off my body?

3. Since fingernails tend to grow a bit faster than toenails, how long do you think until I begin to see some improvement? Or will my fingernails also take 6 months to grow out the fungus just like toenails do?

4. In the meantime, is there ANY WAY I can prevent the fungus from spreading downwards into the healthy portions of my fingernails? Yes, I know the nail is dead tissue and I can't do anything about the discoloration until it grows out, but I also don't want the healthy parts of my fingernails that are between the base and the "yellow/purple frowns" to get infected while my fingernails grow.

5. Will showering and hand washing through out the day affect any progress I may be making with the vinegar protocol? I probably wash my hands 5-6 times a day with anti-bacterial soap and dry my hands right away and shower 25-30 min. a day.

6. Am i doing more harm than good by cutting my fingernails too short? It's just that the less discoloration I see, the better I feel about my hands being exposed to the world. Unlike feet, I can't hide my hands from others.

7. Is hand lotion out of the question? The tips of my fingernails, especially, are VERY dry and beginning to peel.

Thank you.


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Re: Fingernail Fungus?

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on March 04, 2010 at 07:27:27:

In Reply to: Fingernail Fungus? posted by Ser [10130.8674] on March 03, 2010 at 18:43:55:

Ser,

Typically, the nail fungus starts at the tips and grows down into the nail while the cure works from the root of the nail and the body grows it off the body.

In my opinion, you would be better off (until the fingus is grown off) to use the alcohol gel instead of washing your hands.

Walt


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Re: Fingernail Fungus?

Posted by Ser [9426.8674] on March 16, 2010 at 19:55:34:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on March 04, 2010 at 07:27:27:

Thank you for your response, Dr. Stoll.

I have taken your advice of using hand sanitizer to wash my hands through out the day. Hand washing with actual soap and water has been significantly reduced to 1-2 times per day.

In my last post, I explained how I thought I had contracted fingernail fungus by wearing nail polish for extended periods of time last year. However, I'm not too sure about that now. Here's why: I have been battling athlete's foot since I was 5, which I contracted from my mom. It was never severe, just an itching burning sensation between my toes. The fungus spread to my toenails (about 8 years ago) as a result of long standing athlete's foot and poor foot hygiene, I suppose. The nails that are mostly affected by the fungus are the big toes and small toes. The big toenails are lifted, yellow, thick and crumbly only from the tops and edges of the nails while the small toenails are practically non-existent. I cut them down to the quick since once they grow, they lift from their nail beds and grow straight up, causing pain whenever I wear shoes. The toenails in between look almost normal except for some slight lifting. For years I have been wearing nail polish to cover the fungus on my toenails, but I'm now at the point where hiding them with polish is no longer an option due to the thickening and lifting of my big toenails. I'm also sick of living with embarrassment and fear of spreading it to others. Living with toenail fungus has kept me from enjoying the simple things in life like walking barefoot at the beach or wearing cute sandals in the summertime.

A couple months ago I read about Vicks curing toenail fungus and I started treating my toenails with it. I always made sure to wash my hands immediately after treating my feet/toenails and used rubbing alcohol on my hands and fingernails just in case. A few days later I discovered my fingernail tips were turning yellow from underneath, which makes me think I probably got my fingernails infected by cross contamination (though I was always careful) or perhaps it was a combination of both. I don't know.

I have started treated my toenails with vinegar twice daily at the base and I'm also treating my athlete's foot with a topical anti-fungal cream. In the past, whenever I felt the itchy, burning sensation between my toes, I'd apply the anti-fungal cream until the itch went away, stopping treatment before the recommended 4-6 weeks. This time, I'm planning to treat it for at least 6 weeks to prevent it from recurring. I'm also using an anti-fungal foot powder to prevent any moisture and exercising proper foot hygiene. I've also started airing out my feet by wearing flip-flops around the house as well as exercising more and cutting out as much refined carbs as I can and practicing skilled relaxation but I know it's something I can't master overnight. It will be a continuous life-long learning process for me. I will be ordering your book "Saving Yourself from the Disease-Care Crisis" to learn as much as I can about this unsightly disease and other conditions. After all, knowledge is power.

My question is, if I can successfully eradicate my athlete's foot, will the toenail fungus cause a recurrence of athlete's foot? Would you suggest I keep treating my athlete's foot until all my toenails grow out healthy and free of fungus?

The other day I wore a pair of ballet flats that I had not worn for about 3 months, and as soon as I put them on, I felt the familiar itching and burning sensation between my fourth and fifth toes. Is there any way I can truly disinfect my shoes from the fungus? If so, should they be disinfected before and after every use? I have a few very expensive pairs of shoes that I'd hate to throw out.

I hope you don't mind but I have taken the liberty of posting the current state of my fingernails. Judging by the picture below, if at all possible, would you be able to say that this is indeed a fungus that can be treated with the vinegar protocol? Thank you and I do apologize for my long posts.

http://img61.imageshack.us/img61/5760/fnails.jpg


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Re: Fingernail Fungus?

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on March 17, 2010 at 07:38:07:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? posted by Ser [9426.8674] on March 16, 2010 at 19:55:34:

Ser,

You would be ASTOUNDED to learn how very difficult is it to spread athlete's foot or onychomycosis! The requisite conditions for the organism to actually take hold and grow have to be present.

I think I have archived this in the fungus of the feet archives, years ago. In brief: fungus can only grow on dead tissue! If you do not have a habit of rubbing between your toes, with the terrycloth wash cloth while bathing and drying the same way when drying, dead tissue tends to build up there and that is where the fungus takes hold. Once established, It actually creates more dead skin from live skin and that is the irritation you feel.

Resistant to treatment onychomycosis frequently comes from these same conditions between the toes, even though it is a different species of fungus. My recommendation would be to continue with the vinegar and change your hygiene habits between the toes while using something like the desitin protocol in the archives.

Hope this helps.

Walt


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Re: Fingernail Fungus?

Posted by Ser [10130.8674] on March 17, 2010 at 17:37:10:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on March 17, 2010 at 07:38:07:

Thank you very much for taking the time to explain, Dr. Stoll. You've been very helpful indeed. However, I'm having a terrible time finding the desitin protocol you mentioned. I looked in the archives under "fungus" "foot problems" and "fungus infections" as well as the search engine and nothing. Are you referring to the diaper rash ointment?


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Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus.

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on March 17, 2010 at 18:10:02:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? posted by Ser [10130.8674] on March 17, 2010 at 17:37:10:

Thanks, Ser.

I wish the archives were better organized too. Even I could not find it.

Briefly:

Wash feet about every 12 hours: at bedtime and upon arising is OK. After washing between toes with terrycloth washcloth, and drying between toes with terrycloth towel, apply desitin ointment sparingly and rub in well. Put on fresh socks with a little desitin powder in them. Also put desitin powder in all shoes at least once a day.

This will clear up the athlete's foot within about a month and keep it from coming back until you can get the rest of the habits formed.

Let us know how you do.

Walt


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Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus.

Posted by Ser [9338.8674] on March 18, 2010 at 23:07:32:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus. posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on March 17, 2010 at 18:10:02:

Thank you once again, Dr. Stoll. I picked up the ointment you suggested this afternoon but I cannot find the desitin powder anywhere online or in stores. However, there was one mention on a website about desitin powder with corn starch being discontinued by the manufacturer. I'm not sure if this is the same one you were referring to. If so, are there any other good substitutes I can use?


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Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus.

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on March 19, 2010 at 06:02:44:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus. posted by Ser [9338.8674] on March 18, 2010 at 23:07:32:

Thanks, Ser.

If the desitin with cornstarch filler is no longer available, I would bet that desitin powder with some other kind of filler would be. First, I would ask the pharmacist to order me some and if she said that NO desitin powder was available I would look up the active ingredient and see if the pharmacist had anything in powder that would serve the same thing.

I have no experience with anything else since that worked so well I had no use for going further.

Hope this helps.

Walt


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Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus.

Posted by Ser [6880.8674] on March 29, 2010 at 00:07:27:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus. posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on March 19, 2010 at 06:02:44:

Dr. Stoll,

I'm experiencing good results with desitin for my athlete's foot. But I have another quick question for you. Since I started doing the vinegar protocol and treating my athlete's foot, I've been keeping good foot hygiene in addition to making sure to wear well-ventilated shoes to allow my feet to breathe. When I do wear closed shoes and socks, I remove them as soon as I get home and put on a pair of sandals or flip-flops. And, recently, I've been sleeping without socks on. At first it was hard to break the habit since I've been going to bed with socks on since the age of 7, mainly because I've always had cold feet. But I'm concerned that in trying to let my feet breathe at night, I could potentially be spreading the fungus onto my bed sheets and blankets, which I do change and wash on a weekly basis. Would it be all right if I continued going to bed with a clean pair of socks on to bed? Or will it jeopardize my progress? Thanks!


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Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus.

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on March 29, 2010 at 07:31:36:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus. posted by Ser [6880.8674] on March 29, 2010 at 00:07:27:

Ser,

I would wear the sox!

Walt


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Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus.

Posted by Ser [6880.8749] on April 06, 2010 at 03:43:04:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus. posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on March 29, 2010 at 07:31:36:

Thank you for your quick response to my last question, Dr. Stoll, it is very much appreciated. I have been following your Desitin protocol to a T for my athlete's foot for the last couple of weeks now. Recently, the skin around and in between my toes where I apply the ointment is peeling and turning white. Is this normal?


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Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus.

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on April 06, 2010 at 07:59:07:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus. posted by Ser [6880.8749] on April 06, 2010 at 03:43:04:

Yup, Ser.

This is an indication that the superficial fungus is dying. Patience and perseverence.

Walt


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Re: Fingernail Fungus?

Posted by Ser [10130.8749] on April 10, 2010 at 05:54:40:

In Reply to: Fingernail Fungus? posted by Ser [10130.8674] on March 03, 2010 at 18:43:55:

Dr. Stoll,

I THINK I may have found the protocol for the treatment and prevention of athlete's foot that we both initially couldn't find in the archives.

However, in the post written by Michele, she mentions using Desenex cream and powder to get rid of foot fungus (as recommended in your book). I'm a little confused since I've been using Desitin ointment, which you recommended I use. I'd check myself but I'm still waiting to receive your book in the mail. I'd appreciate it if you could please tell me which of the two is it? Thanks again!

Below is the link to the post mentioning the protocol if you'd like to see for yourself.



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Re: Fingernail Fungus?

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on April 10, 2010 at 07:33:07:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? posted by Ser [10130.8749] on April 10, 2010 at 05:54:40:

Ser,

Either the ointment OR the cream will do the work. The ointmenht is a little messier.

Walt


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Re: Fingernail Fungus?

Posted by Ser [10130.8749] on April 10, 2010 at 08:53:30:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on April 10, 2010 at 07:33:07:

Dr. Stoll,

I'm sorry to keep bringing this up but I don't think I understood correctly. I guess what I was really trying to ask is, which of the two medications that you recommended should I use?

Desitin (the diaper rash ointment that you recommended to me on this thread)

or

Desenex (an antifungal cream/ointment for athlete's foot that you recommend in your book).

As you can see they are both totally different medications for different purposes, and this is the part that confuses me.

Or do they both work the same to treat athlete's foot and should use either one? As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been applying the Desitin (diaper rash ointment which has 40% zinc oxide) on my feet. The tube says it helps seal out wetness so I can see how that could help, and it has done just that, seal out moisture.

But I also think the Desenex (athlete's foot cream which has 1% Clotrimazole) would work better since it is an antifungal.

Thank you!


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Re: Fingernail Fungus?

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on April 10, 2010 at 10:45:16:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? posted by Ser [10130.8749] on April 10, 2010 at 08:53:30:

Ser,

Desenex.

Walt


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Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus.

Posted by Ser [9426.8749] on April 16, 2010 at 03:40:01:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus. posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on April 06, 2010 at 07:59:07:

Hello Dr. Stoll,

I just thought you'd might want to know, but tonight while dropping vinegar on my big toenail, I got a little curious and pulled the cuticle down a little and to my amazement, I saw healthy pink growth! I also checked on the other toenail and same thing. There is a definite clear difference in color between the light yellow infected nail and the new flesh colored nail growing under the cuticle. I realize it's too soon (6 weeks) but I can see that it's really working and I think in another month or so, the new growth will be visible just above the cuticle. I would've imagined that I'd see healthy new growth on my smaller toenails first, but either way, I'm very excited. This will further encourage me to keep using the vinegar on my nails. I just want to thank you for sharing this easy, safe, inexpensive and effective home remedy to others like myself who thought they'd have to live with this unsightly infection for the rest of their lives!

As for my athlete's foot, I have a question -- why is it that when I apply the anti-fungal medication, my toes begin to itch? Is this a sign that the superficial fungus is dying? Just curious since the anti-fungal is supposed to stop the itch and burn.

Regarding my fingernails, I haven't missed a dose of vinegar and try to keep them as dry as humanly possible throughout the day, but it seems that the rate of my growing nails is a little slower compared to the growth of the fungus, since it continues to spread down my nails. It looks okay as long as I cut them short because as soon as I start to let them grow, the fungus takes over. I'm not expecting any miracles yet as I've only been doing the vinegar for 7 weeks now. My only complaint, however, is that the skin around and above my fingernails is peeling and turning yellow. I'm also getting a lot of hangnails. Gross. Do you think lack of moisture could be causing this? I've stopped using hand cream since I began the vinegar. Is there anything that you can recommend? Thank you.


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Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus.

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on April 16, 2010 at 08:38:32:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus. posted by Ser [9426.8749] on April 16, 2010 at 03:40:01:

Thanks, Ser.

You are fortunate in that your toenails grow faster than most.

The itch, after applying antifungal stuff, is a reaction to the med. Just watch closely to be sure that redness does not develop. As the new skin (fungus free) develops it will become less sensitive to the med and this symptom will cease.

Regarding the fingernails: are you using any form of nail poiish? The fungus will continue to advance until it reaches the nail that has grown since starting the vinegar.

Walt


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Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus.

Posted by Ser [6880.8749] on April 16, 2010 at 11:12:28:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus. posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on April 16, 2010 at 08:38:32:

Dr. Stoll,

No, since I started the vinegar I have not used any form of nail polish on my nails. Someone suggested I use Neosporin to moisturize the surrounding dry skin of my fingernails while another person suggested Vitamin E oil, but I'm concerned that the excess moisture from the oil might seep into my nails. Thoughts?



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Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus.

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.8110] on April 16, 2010 at 12:08:40:

In Reply to: Re: Fingernail Fungus? Archive in foot fungus. posted by Ser [6880.8749] on April 16, 2010 at 11:12:28:

Ser,

I do not know if the Neosporin or vitamin E will help this although anything oily, logically, would help the symptoms you are describing. Fungus does not live on "oil" like it does on moisture.

Walt


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