Yellow toenails from nail fungus: My 3 biggest mistakes
As soon as most people notice that ugly yellow mark on their toenails, they'll want to get rid of it. That was certainly the case with me. My big left toenail started turning yellow around 5 years ago and although it was not painful I didn't like it. I also noticed that my nail started to loose texture and begin to develop flaky edges.
After doing some research and discussing my condition with a nail specialist I leaned that I had developed a very common fungal disorder known as Distal Subungal Onychomycosis. Apparently this accounts for over half of all toenail disorders so I was certainly not alone in my journey.
It took me all of five years to finally get rid of the fungus. This is mostly due to the fact that nail fungus infections are notoriously hard to treat, but also because I made several mistakes along the way. I decided to chronicle my experience over at my blog - FungusFacts - and spread the word about the infection so that others don't have to suffer the embarrassment of having thick yellow (often smelly) toenails for 5 years. I don't know how many trips to the beach I've had to turn down out of sheet embarrassment.
So here goes with my top 3:
1) I assumed that the yellow patch would simply grow out on its own. I remember having had white patches on my nails in the past and these did resolve on their own. Big mistake! Nail fungus infections are progressive in nature - relentlessly so and rarely resolve without treatment.
2) I assumed that I would see quick results from applying a topical treatment. Big mistake. I was quick to be disappointed after a few weeks of treatment which made me give up time and time again.
3) I didn't continue to treat while a healthy nail was growing out. As soon as I saw the yellow patch start to shrink and move up my nail, I thought I had won the battle. Wrong, cross-infections and re-infections are common. Its vital to keep treating until a new nail has completely grown out.