Nail Fungus Blog

Should I Remove Infected Nails?

November 26th, 2012 by admin

This is another tactic in the elimination of nail fungus infections that medical professionals are still unsure about.  However, let’s point out a few general facts regarding nail fungus cases and whether it’s possible that removing a nail is a real way to cure toenail fungus.  How to know which treatment to use often depends on the stage of the infection and other factors.  If there is only a white patch on the nail, a strong, effective topical nail fungus treatment should cure the infection.  If there is nail thickening, brittleness, separation and inflammation, topical solutions are still effective but there may need to be an oral supplement of some kind to increase the medicinal dosage.  The usual discoloration of the toenail is a yellowish brown hue.  If there are other organisms causing the change in the toenail, the discoloration may take on a dark green to black appearance.  Black toenail can also be caused by trauma, autoimmune disorders, and melanoma.   If the infected nail is in this advanced condition, it is very important to consult a medical professional to determine the proper course of action.  It is obviously very important to arrive at the right diagnosis before treatment or sufferers will simply be wasting their time and money.

Removing the toenail completely is not recommended for some individuals since the risk of complications, improper healing and/or infection is high.  We would highly recommend that a patient go to a doctor or podiatrist to manage the trimming and, if necessary, the removal of the nail infected with nail fungus.  Reasons for removal include: if leaving the toenail will cause further complication, if the toenail is already partially separated from the cuticle bed and if simply trimming the infected nail does not achieve the desired result.

In addition, here are some general guidelines that EVERYONE should follow to avoid getting a toenail fungus infection or having a previous infection recur:

  • Keep your feet dry but not excessively dry. Use lotion to prevent excessive dryness, but do not use it between your toes.
  • Be vigilant about careful drying after bathing or physical activity, or when you are in a warm humid environment. To help keep feet dry, you may use either regular or antifungal talc. Wear socks made of “breathing” fabric, which keep moisture off the skin.
  • Make sure you examine your feet daily for minor skin breaks, rashes, and nail changes.
  • Keep your shoes in a cool dry place.
  • Because any trauma to the toes increases the chance of fungal infection, wear well-fitting shoes and seamless soft socks. Keep your toenails trimmed straight across and not too short.
  • Do not walk barefoot.
  • Clean your tub with bleach and use shower shoes when in a public gym or swimming pool to avoid potential nail fungus breeding ground.

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2 Responses to “Should I Remove Infected Nails?”

  1. Lynn says:

    Hi. This sounds like good advice, but I am wondering how to protect finger areas after the nail has come off. My separated finger nail had to be trimmed in order to prevent catching on clothing and other objects, but the exposed area is quite sensitive. Do you have any recommendations?

    • admin says:

      Hi Lynn and thanks for your question. Our best suggestion is to keep the area lightly wrapped with clean, thin gauze so that it continues to get exposure to oxygen which will speed up the healing process. Keep it uncovered as often as you can for this same reason, but when needed a light gauze should offer you some protection.

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