Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BEST Treatments for Toenail Fungus would NOT Include Cornmeal Mush!!

I was shocked recently to read in the Chicago Tribune that "Cornmeal Mush" may help "cure" toenail fungus!  This article suggests soaking your cornmeal for an hour then soaking your feet for an hour.  While I have heard MANY home remedies, this is the first I have heard that cornmeal has antifungal properties!
Fungus residing in the toenails is very difficult to "cure" because there are so many factors that contribute to its existence and infection - its not so easy to just say the infection developed because of a pedicure.  While pedicures can, and often do, directly cause fungus to be seated within a toenail, there are many other factors that make treating fungus challenging. 

It is important to treat toenail fungus, known as onychomycosis, because it can spread to other nails, worsen in an isolated nail, cause deformity of the affected nails and cause a fungal infection in the skin.  Once you have decided to treat the nail, you need to be committed as persistence is very important.  Despite what the pharmaceuticals would have you believe, there is no "magic pill" that rids you of fungus permanently. The best defense we have now is a combination of treatments which includes laser treatments, topical treatments, treatments and possibly including short term oral antifungal treatments. 

Not everyone is ready to treat their fungal nails and while I am a podiatric physician I am also a woman who understands that decision!  There are certain times when a pedicure is a must!  Many podiatrists now offer a cosmetic temporary solution that will allow you to show off your pedicure without worry that your toes will be a source of embarrassment.   I have recently began using KeryFlex which will transform your ugly nails (whether there is fungus in them or not) to a normal looking nail that will last for weeks.  KeryFlex will also help stop the spread of the disease as it creates a seal over the fungal nail.

Deciding when and how to treat your onychomycosis is a decision you should make with your podiatrist.  While home remedies may show improvement in some individuals, the most effective and direct treatments should have research behind them and clinical results.  I think most podiatrists would agree - leave the cornmeal at the breakfast table and bring your feet to us!