There is nothing more demoralizing than a toenail fungus, am I wrong? I’d even say that a giant cold sore on your face would take a back seat to a big, yellow, crispy, flaky, toenail <gag>.
So let’s talk about how to avoid getting one, and God forbid, the one sure way to get rid of it if you do.
What is Toenail Fungus?
It starts out as white or yellow spots on your nail which can easily be mistaken for a scratch or a mark. Next your whole nail will become yellow or dark, thick, flaky, and possibly distorted in shape.
If you have a nail that looks like that, then pay attention because, if it’s not treated properly, it’s only going to fester, get worse and spread.
Who Get’s Toenail Fungus?
Anyone can get a toenail fungus, but your more likely to if:
- Your mom or dad had one (could be heriditary)
- You work in a damp environment
- You have diabetes or any disorder that inhibits blood flow to your feet
- You have an auto immune disease or any type of disease that effects your immune system.
- You get pedicures often you have a bigger risk of being exposed
- You wear tight shoes and socks that crowd your toes and block them from sunlight
- You’re an athlete and run around in sweaty socks and shoes
- You’re a male over 60
If you are a serial pedicuree, make sure that you look at your nails each time your nails tech removes your polish. If you see a yellowish hue to a nail, give it a break! You could be getting a fungal infection!
How Do You Get Toenail Fungus?
You can grow it, or you can catch it. Let’s start with how you can grow it.
How Toenail Fungus Grows
You don’t have to have a green thumb to be growing some nail fungus! Fungus loves dark, wet places, so sweaty toes wrapped in socks all day is particularly conducive to growing a fungus. Make sure that after you’re finished exercising, take off those socks to let your feet breath.
(like we need a reason to rock the Havaianas)
You stand less of a risk of getting a toenail fungus if you wear open toe shoes.
Got athlete’s foot? Then time for some tough actin’ Tinactin girls! Athlete’s foot can lead to a fungal infection on your toenails.
And, if you like to rock the toenail polish like I do, consider giving your tootsies a break every now and then. Dark, thick polish, acrylic or gel nails that block the sun and air from your nails, can be a wicked cool breeding ground for fungus. Especially if the polish was previously used on someone with fungus.
Wear work boots all day? Well get some with a little extra room. Tight shoes impede the blood circulation to your toes which can cause a fungal infection.
How You Catch Toenail Fungus
Don’t walk around your gym locker room barefoot, man, that’s just gross. Toenail fungus is contagious and, unless you’re auditing the feet of all the other peeps working out at your gym, you may want to err on the side of caution. Capisce?
That also stands true for your local swimming pool. Wear your havaianas around the pool!
And pedicures – I don’t care where you go or how much you pay, if the tools or the bowl aren’t properly sanitized and the person before you had toenail fungus, you’re asking for a hurtin’.
Call me crazy, but I only go to places that use disposable plastic covers in the bowl and separately packaged sanitized tools for every client. You also may want to consider investing in your own nail polish too.
If a polish was previously applied on a nail with fungus, then it’s not crazy to say that you could end up with that fungus too.
Also, it’s good to know that fungus lives in a shoe for up to two weeks, so you may want to reconsider borrowing those Manolo’s if your friends rocking a toenail fungus.
So let’s move on to the good stuff (relatively speaking). Let’s talk about how laser can kill that nasty toenail fungus!
Laser Light Treatment for Toenail Fungus
There are medicated nail polishes, nail creams, and oral meds that can be prescribed to get rid of toenail fungus. But the fact is, they take from 4 months to a year, have serious side affects and may or may not work.
If you want a sure thing, nothing works like a laser treatment.
How it Goes Down
I actually got to experience this coolness twice so I feel like quite the expert! First I went with my girlfriend and then I took Mr. BeautyBlackBook.
First Gary applied an aqueous gel to the feet and used the IPL on which focuses intense pulsed light on the nails, and the skin surrounding the area, to kill the tinea associated with the fungal infection.
His reasoning is that it won’t do much good to kill the fungus within the toenail if there’s some athlete’s foot sitting in wake, waiting to make a new home when it’s gone.
Not all laser centers take the time to run over the area with an IPL Consider this when choosing your laser place.
Gary used the Cooltouch Varia ND:YAG which stuttered out five shots at a time, to build up heat to kill the fungus within the toenail. I actually assisted there, holding the tube used to suck the oxygen out of the area after one of the toenails set off a spark.
Check out that spark!
(I totally only included that pic because I didn’t want you to think those fungus toenails were mine! See the stigma??)
The fungus dies immediately and, as the nail grows out, it’s good times all over again. 🙂 The happy part is that it’s totally painless.
The next day I dragged my hubby to IMAj (he thought he was getting ice cream).
Here’s how it went down:
Two weeks later you can see that the toenails are growing in clear (look at the base of the nail, yo! nails take time to grow!)
Cost of Laser Treatment for Fungus
So what does this amazing treatment cost? It can run anywhere from $250 to $1000 depending on where you go and how many toes are effected. For example, since IMAj Institute is also a school, they charge in the lower range. That being said, I wouldn’t normally recommend a school for your laser treatments but these are toes and this is IMAj!
l’ll keep you updated with after photos as they grow.
Fun stuff I know but toenail fungus is a real issue when your dealing with it. You may thank me later!