Tuesday, January 10, 2006

about my toenails

Toonguy asked in a comment how a person goes about having her toenails permanently removed.

Let me begin this by saying I never had pretty, feminine feet.  I went barefoot all my life when possible, until this recent "heel spur" problem came up.

Some women like to paint their toenails and wear sandals to show off their cute little tootsies.  I never wanted to do anything to attract attention to my size-ten, calloused feet; they drew enough attention on their own.

I remember exactly when the ugly toenail fungus made its appearance, because I know where I lived at the time; it was around 1979.  Shortly after I started walking three miles a day for exercise, there seemed to be some sort of build-up under some of my toenails.  Ewwww.  It didn't cause any pain, so I lived with it for years.  Until 2002, I believe.

The condition got worse, and because the job I had required me to walk rather briskly for eight hours a day, excluding breaks, my big toes began to rub on the tops of my shoes.  Discomfort set in.

You've probably seen the ads on TV for a prescription you can take by mouth for nail fungus.  While I was at the doctor for some reason or other, I showed her my toes and asked about remedies for toenail fungus.  She was totally honest with me... I like that in a doctor.  Here were my options:

1.  There's a prescription stuff you can paint on your toenails, and it might help.  But when you stop using it, the fungus will likely return.  Oh, and it takes months for it to work, even if it does work.

2.  The oral medication can work; again, it takes months, simply because toenails take a long time growing in.  But the drug can be dangerous to your liver, so the doctor has to keep checking liver function periodically.  And the fungus will likely return eventually.

3.  Have your toenails permanently removed.  If you want to read about the procedure, click HERE.  But beware, there are some ugly pictures of toenail fungus.  I'd advise you not to click on it too early in the morning, or too soon after a meal.  And by the way,my toenails weren't that bad.

(Yes, I've heard all about the home remedies; and yes, I've tried most of them.  Vicks, vinegar... nothing worked for me.  If it worked for you, that's wonderful.)

If you only have one or two toenails removed, the podiatrist will do it in his office.  I had all ten at once done, so I went to a surgicenter.  There was some pain, as there is with any precedure like that; if I hadn't tried to return to work too soon, though, I wouldn't have had a major problem, because I wouldn't have had shoes on.  My toes could have been open to the air and everything would have been dandy. 

The doctor destroys the root of the nail with acid, and the nail will never grow back.  It's possible to remove the nails and let them grow back, but my very honest doctor told me the fungus would likely return with the nails.

And there you have it.  I'd advise toenail removal to anyone having problems with fungus.  Naked toes may be ugly, but not half as ugly as the fungus.


robinngabster said...

WHen I was younger I had an ingrown toenail and had my nail removed...not permanently though.  I was a cheer leader then and I do recall it being sore for some time. Can't imagine having them all out. You tough girl you!

sanforized6 said...

There's FUNGUS AMONG US!! LOL Thanx for filling us in! rich

plieck30 said...

Bet you are glad that is over and done with. I can paint my toenails but no one ever sees them. Swollen ankles aren't a pretty sight in pretty little sandals either. Paula

siennastarr said...

And, just think?? You don't have to cut them anymore! :)