Fungus destroys nail plate, distorts its form and makes a nail look ugly. In neglected cases patients having toenail fungus experience severe pain, discomfort during movement and in some severe cases discover pis discharged under from a nail plate. Such symptoms limit moves of a patient. When a case is neglected, then there are no conservative ways of treatment and only surgical nail removal will cure a toe. From this review you will find out what are the available methods of toenail removal, what are the pros and cons of every method. After reading this review you will be able to make up your mind which method of toenail removal is optimum for your case. But first let us discuss when nail removal is inevitable and how to avoid losing your toenail.
What are the symptoms of severe toenail fungus
Toenail fungus is an extremely cunning diseases as, unlike bacterial invasion performing symptoms right after the penetration into a human body, nail fungus does not perform any signs of its presence in the human body. A person does not even suspect having a fungus on a toenail as the first stage of the disease flows symptomless. A very attentive patient will notice only a small spot on a toenail which can be a sign of vitamins deficiency or a mark after injury or trauma (beware! Darks spots on toenails may be melanoma — a type of cancer, oncology disease which is hard to diagnose timely. That is why noticing a dark spot on your nail, do not waste time and make the appointment at the doctor’s. Only thorough lad testing will show exactly what a spot really is, whether it is an oncological disease, toenail fungus or a result of trauma). Examine your toes and nails regularly to timely notice the smallest changes.
Just because nail fungus does not cause any discomfort from the beginning, it is impossible to diagnose. While a person does not feel any discomfort a fungus gets necessary time to set securely into a deep nail layer and to thrive successfully. When you should get alarmed?
To diagnose a toenail fungus is extremely hard on your own, however discovering such changes of the nail plate, you can be sure that a fungus changes it. Among the symptoms there are:
Color changes — toenail fungus may change a color of a part of the nail (you will see a dark spot) or of an entire nail plate (you will see that a nail plate has lost its healthy shining look and looks paler than other toenails). This process is called nail discoloration. If you see a discoloration of a nail or of its part, then you can be sure you have a fungus destroying your nail plate from inside.
Changes of structure — these can be invisible changes but you will feel ups and downs on the nail plate if examine it with your finger tip. If you feel such changes then it is another evidence, that a nail gets destroyed with fungus. If you notice minimal structure changes in combination with color changes, then it is nail fungus.
Visible changes of structure — these are changes which are easily seen with the naked eye. Fungus damaged nails are commonly thicker, their surface is uneven and cracked, such nails become crumbly and very difficult to cut evenly. In severe cases the side parts of the damaged nails start to grow in the soft tissues of a toe causing irritation and inflammation. These are evident signs of nail fungus destruction. This is a case when application of home remedies and topical medications will be of no use and a nail will require radical treatment as toenail removal.
Change of smell — commonly healthy nails do not produce any smell and have the same smell as your feet. But when a nail is affected with toenail fungus then it gets a foul odor which can be sensed even in the environment through socks. Smell is a result of a destroying process and of inflammation going under a nail plate. In 98% of cases with smell patients discovered pis discharge from under a nail plate.
Pis discharge — pis is a result of soft tissue destruction and of inflammation. This means that it is impossible to recover such nail, and the only way to avoid severe side effects and consequences of nail fungus is to remove a damaged nail.
Now you know all the symptoms of nail fungus and can make a solution which treatment will help at every stage of the disease.
Toenail removal — possible ways
Doctors offer three methods of toenail removal. These are surgical and non surgical methods. Among non-surgical methods there are laser toenail fungus removal and chemical dissolving of the nail. A surgical method of nail removal is the fastest, the cheapest and the most effective. Let us review every available method of nail removal and find out whether it is a good option for you or not. We will compare the next parameters as pain and discomfort during and after procedure, time it takes to remove the nail and to recover after the procedure, the price, effectiveness and chances for complete recovery.
Laser toenail fungus removal
It is a new technology which allows to eliminate compete toenail removal and cures only an affected part of a nail. The procedure goes as follows:
- a doctor treats a nail plate with a specific solution and if necessary removes an upper layer of a damaged nail for a laser beam to easier penetrate and reach a fungus
- a laser beam is directed on the spot of fungus
- the laser heats this spot of nail plate up to 140C thus burning out the fungus.
Pain – an anesthesia is not used to remove nail fungus with laser. Though the procedure us said to be painless still laser heating the nail plate hurts very much. The pain is bearable but very unpleasant.
Pain after procedure – a processed with a laser beam nail does not ache. A patient does not feel any discomfort or pain after a procedure and is able to wear socks and shoes without a need to additionally protect a nail plate
Time – the procedure takes up to 40 minute, but commonly it lasts about 15-20 minutes depending of the size of area of damage.
Result – one procedure is not commonly enough to clear out toenail fungus from a nail plate. The procedure should be repeated at least once again. Some complicated cases require up to 3 to 5 procedures to get a nail completely recovered.
Cost – a price of laser treatment is immense. It can reach up to 1000$ per a procedure.
Recovery period – absent. A patient is not limited in moves with pain or discomfort. A patient turns back to normal life right after the procedure.
Benefits: it is the only procedure of toenail removal which does not remove an entire nail plate.
Disadvantages: laser treatment does not guarantee complete recovery. If a single spore of nail fungus will remain in the nail plate (which is not removed), then the disease will return and thrive again. This means that you will only waste your money.
Important note: a procedure of nail laser treatment should only be done in the clinic or at the doctor’s office, but not in a beauty salon. Nail fungus is a disease and not a cosmetic problem. In some cases it leads to soft toe tissue death.
Laser fungus treatment is not applied in cases complicated with inflammation and pis.
Non-surgical nail removal
It is a alternative method of toenail fungus removal toenail fungus removal done in a clinic. A doctor examines a toe and estimates its chances for a recovery. If a nail is severely destroyed and damaged wit fungus, but a patients does not want a nail to be removed in a traditional surgical way, then chemical nail dissolving can be applied.
- A doctor treat a nail plate with a special solution and if necessary and possible removes an upper layer of a nail (it is a dead tissue and its removal does not hurt patient and does not harm a nail).
- A special urea ointment is applied to a nail under a plastic dressing.
- The ointment dissolves the nail and in a certain period of time a patient comes back and the doctor removes the ointment and the nail. A opened wound after nail removal is treated wit special medications and a patient gets a numbing ointment to apply daily in the morning and in the evening.
Pain – a procedure of chemical nail dissolution is painless, thus an anesthesia is not required. A patient does not feel pain or discomfort when the ointment works and dissolves the nail. Patients do not report any unpleasant feelings as burning or feeling hot in the spot of ointment action.
Pain after procedure – after a nail is removed completely an open wound may hurt as any other wound. Patients commonly feel discomfort during walking and wearing tight shoes.
Time – the procedure of nail removal takes less than a minute. However a preparation period exceed a week. A patient should wear the ointment dissolving the damaged nail for at least 7 days. Moreover it is forbidden to get the toe wet as the water may reduce the efficacy of the ointment.
Result – one procedure is completely enough to dissolve the damaged nail. However there are rare cases when a 7 days period has not been enough to completely dissolve the nail. If patients refuse to remove the nail surgically, then a doctor applied another layer of ointment which will go on dissolving the nail.
Cost – a price of chemical nail removal is much lower than of laser treatment. It will depend on the clinic and the remedy applied to dissolve the nail.
Recovery period – present. A patient gets an open wound which needs additional care twice a day. A patient will feel discomfort while the wound will be open. The discomfort goes in 2 weeks.
Benefits: it is an absolutely painful procedure.
Disadvantages: it takes the longest time to remove the nail and causes much discomfort in the period of preparation and nail dissolving.
Surgical nail removal
It is a radical method of toenail fungus treatment. It is the fastest, the cheapest and the most effective. The procedure goes in the following way:
- a doctor treats the nail with special solution
- a patient gets an anesthetic injection into the soft nail tissues to numb the nail
- the doctor separates the nail plate from the nail bed and removes it completely
- an open wound is processed and gets dressing
A patient may ask a doctor to destroy nail matrix chemically in order a new nail not to grow again. This is an optimum solution for those patients who can not get rid of toenail fungus for a long period of time. The type of fungus is resistant to the most effective medications and the disease returns soon after the treatment.
Pain – an anesthesia is applied during the procedure, but still chances are that a patient will feel some unpleasant pain. It is bearable. You can ask your doctor to give you another portion of anesthesia if you still feel pain.
Pain after procedure – patients commonly feel bearable pain after a procedure for the next few days. Some patients report pulsing sensations in the operated nail.
Time – the procedure takes few minutes only. An injection of anesthesia numbs the nail in 2-3 minutes and the operation itself takes only 5 minutes.
Result – one procedure is completely enough to get rid of toenail fungus as the doctor eliminates a nail plate which is a source of infection.
Cost – It is the cheapest way of nail removal available.
Recovery period – present. An open wound will heal for at least two weeks causing pain and discomfort. You doctor may supply or prescribe you numbing ointments which will relieve pain for this period of time.
Benefits: it is the fastest and the cheapest way of getting rid from a nail fungus.
Disadvantages: the procedure and the recovery period are extremely painful.
Warning! The procedure can be done only in a clinic, but not at a beauty salon.