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  1. #1
    Registered User Tosto's Avatar
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    Default Toe Nail Fungus: Yes, it's Disgusting.

    Just wondering if anyone had fungus infected toe nails before long distance hiking or thru-hiking and how that affected them.

    I got toe nail fungus 4 years ago after I had a doctor treat an in-grown toe nail (ironically, he said I was treating it perfectly before I went to see him, then he screwed it all up!) and since then it's been infected. I recently cut the entire nail off myself, and am soaking it in epsom salt every other day to kill the exposed fungus. My biggest worry is that it will transfer to adjacent toes during a thru-hike.

    Sorry this is so disgusting, but hey, we're all humans here (at least I hope so).
    "Measure Four Times, Cut Twice"

  2. #2
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    Damn that sucks. I spent a couple months with wet feet and coincidently super athletes foot, and couldn't get rid of the crap for a while. The thing I found that killed foot fungus was the medicine that is usually prescribed to women to kill off yeast infections. If you can find a woman who'll fess up, the routine, IIRC, was one pill every other day for a week, then one a month to prevent it.

  3. #3
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    Default

    In my experience, it does not typically spread to other toes.

    The most effective treatment I know without dealing with possible liver or kidney problems is soaking in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water and filing off the debris.

  4. #4
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    I had it quite a while ago and was given a prescription drug to clear it up. I was grounded by the Flight Surgeon, but it worked well and they are now clear. I believe there are a few different drugs out there, but they can be hard on your liver. If you don't care about it, I do not think it spreads unless somehow exposed to the nail bed through damage or poking and prodding.

  5. #5

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    Ewwwwww...there's a fungus amongus.
    Some people take the straight and narrow. Others the road less traveled. I just cut through the woods.

  6. #6
    Registered User Tosto's Avatar
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    Default

    Ha, there is one amongus. Thanks, maybe I'll try to vinegar instead of the salt. I really don't want to take antibiotics; the side effects could be worse than the fungus!
    "Measure Four Times, Cut Twice"

  7. #7
    Registered User Toolshed's Avatar
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    Penlac Nail Lacquer. Apply nightly and remove every 7 days and repeat. It will clear the fungus up. Other products work from inside you, but who knows what they kill.
    .....Someday, like many others who joined WB in the early years, I may dry up and dissapear....

  8. #8

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    When people ask how I like my new TV, the stock reply is that, "I'd watch foot fungus--if it was in Hi-Def." Now I'm not so sure. (-:

    Tom

  9. #9

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    Most treatments take a long time to work, if they do at all. (Penlac has about a 20% success rate, according to my doctor.) Talk to your doctor, see what he/she recommends.

    If you do nothing, the fungus may spread, but it won't affect your ability to hike. It's ugly, but it isn't painful.

  10. #10
    Registered User JDCool1's Avatar
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    I have fought nail fungus for some time. The best non-prescription application I have used is "Tea Tree Oil." Applied in the morning and evening following bathing. It may take a month or so but do not give up. It will work. I have also heard of the effective use of vinegar already mentioned.
    J D Cool

  11. #11
    Teddy Bear in a hammock HikerRanky's Avatar
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    Default Try Oregano Oil or Chlorine

    Go get some Oregano Oil (capsules rated at 750mg).... That works too.

    If you have access to pool chemicals, get the powdered chlorine and put it in the water.... It clears it up real fast.... put in about a 1/8 teaspoon in 8 cups of water... Do this nightly, and it will clear it up real fast... I found this out after getting a pool this year and swimming a lot....

    Randy

  12. #12
    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    The chlorine idea is quite workable. Go to Home Depot or a local pool supply and just buy 1 pound bag of Shock. Find a Mason Jar to store it in. Make the bad solution and soak.

    You also have the advantage of being able to bleach your clothes and having pasty white feet.

    No one really understands why fungus doesn't grow or spread very often. It should not have an effect on your hike, unless you get those grim overgrown horny toenails, looking like your toe has morphed into a rhinoceros. If so, plan to bring a pretty rough file and just plan to work on it gradually.

  13. #13
    Registered User Maple's Avatar
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    Default Vicks Vapor Rub Treatment

    VICKS VAPOR RUB TREATMENT
    12/20/2006: June from NYC writes, "Question for Ted. I have read a lot about Vicks Vapor Rub for nail fungus. Have you any comments on its effectiveness?" Ted writes, "The active ingredients that kills the fungus in the Vicks Vapo rub is the eucalyptus oil. The eucalyptus oil will degrade to a very weak form of hydrogen peroxide. Therefore using hydrogen peroxide 3% with vinegar would be a far more faster way to deal with it. Just today I suspect my foot was getting a fungus.
    If I were to use this with vicks it would take me one week instead of 5 minutes. Under this fungus thing, the foot will have some irritation or skin problem or itchiness BEFORE a toe nail fungus starts. So what I did was wash my foot with 3% hydrogen peroxide and the fungus came off like mud! It won't do that if you just wash your feet with soap and water! A hydrogen peroxide and borax solution works too, and a hydrogen peroxide and vinegar works also. Both works differently. Borax works by alkalization, vinegar by acid. Most fungus are acid resistant, but often not in presence of borax. It should take no longer than 3 months maximum, instead of a year. My own experience has been less than a month. The source of the problem I found is that the shoes harbor an awful lot of fungus if the lining of the shoes are felt, clothed, instead of straight leather. It is best to avoid those shoe with felt or cloth otherwise I will end up peroxide treatment on the shoes endlessly. Of course doing the vicks vaporub will work but it takes more than a year from my own results (closer to three years) for it to bring results.
    The Vick's vaporub is rather a mild therapy. A stronger one is to add 50% tea tree oil+lavender oil to the vaseline. This means 50% (tea tree oil and lavender oil) plus the 50% vaseline. This will be a more powerful mixture and should take it half as long. Still hydrogen peroxide protocol along with clorox and tea tree will often take a lot faster as per previous posting. Ted"
    Maple

  14. #14
    Registered User oldfivetango's Avatar
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    Default

    Is there some reason plain old Clorox would not do the job?
    I believe that pool chemicals are a sodium based chlorine,sodium
    hypochlorite as I recall,but I can't help but wonder if it is the free
    residual chlorine itself that does the job?

    Inquiring minds want to know........

    One more thing about pool chemicals-they can cause fire if exposed
    to petroleum products because they are a powerful "oxidizer".OOps!
    Don't ask me how I know.
    Oldfivetango
    Keep on keeping on.

  15. #15

    Default

    Word to the toenail biters. STOP.

    This thread is a good reminder why you should wear flip flops or sandals in any hostel shower.
    'All my lies are always wishes" ~Jeff Tweedy~

  16. #16
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    Default

    liquid chlorine is sodium hypochlorite and dry pool shock is calcium hypochlorite

  17. #17

    Default

    toenail fungus is disgusting. i tried not to look at my feet when I had it. i tried everything to get rid of it--vicks, tea trea oil, listerine, beer, vinegar, you name it. to my surprise, this solution called Fungusil worked. I honestly thought I'll never look at my feet again!

  18. #18
    Registered User Doc Mike's Avatar
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    Default

    Multiple methods work if you give them enough time (up to 6 months) Thats about how long it takes to grow a new toenail. Lamisil tablets are the most effective way to treat it. (see your dr.). Yes can have issues with liver but ever read a tylenol/advil bottle?
    Yes toenail fungus will spread it is rare when I see only one infected toenail.
    Lead, Follow, or get out of the way. I'm goin hikin.

  19. #19
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    Default

    I have it on 10 out of 10 toes, been there a couple of years. I tried Vicks, clorox, hydrogen peroxide, and nothing worked. I avoided the Dr. because my insurance wouldn't pay for the Lamisil and I couldn't afford the $300/month. But now that it is generic ($4/month at Wally World) I am into my 3rd month of treatment. I have to have a liver test once a month (so far so good there) but if it works it will be worth it. I haven't seen any improvement yet, but the Dr. told me it would take 3-4 months to start seeing results and a year for complete success.

  20. #20
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    Gramps, Just wanted to say, be patient. As a caregiver for my mom it has taken almost two years to get her feet fungus free. I think body chemistry has a lot to do with how well any treatment works. We both use the bath tub and I have not had a problem so maybe I am more resistant to the fungus. At any rate here is what I have learned. Try to keep nails short and thin by trimming and filing. The objective is to allow them to 'breathe'. It is the skin under the nail that hosts the fungus. Keep the nail pliable so that it does not try to curl up and separate from the toe not allowing the nail to lay flat and grow out normally. Hand cream or oil of any type can help keep the nail pliable. The two things that worked for my mom were teatree oil and 'Reclear AF' from walgreens the active ingredient is clotrimazole. Some sprays have that ingredient but I think that this mix has an oily-gel type base that helps the nail stay moist. I think some of the sprays were too drying. I also use lotrimin spray just so I don't give the skin an extra problem to try to deal with. This summer my mom went for a pedicure and got nail polish for the first time in two years--so hang in there.

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