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Toe Nail is Thick

Posted by Charlie M on 8/14/03 at 22:39 (127001)

My to nail is thck and it looks like it is rotten away. What type of treatment will I need ? Will my toenail be removed ?

Re: Toe Nail is Thick

Carole C in NOLA on 8/16/03 at 08:29 (127106)

I'm not a doctor or a foot professional, and I have no medical qualifications, but until a doctor answers I guess my answer is better than none.

It sounds to me like maybe you have a fungus infection of the toenail, or something like that. Probably if you go to the doctor, he might give you some antibiotic. Your toenail might be removed if it is in really bad shape and going to fall off anyway. But if you object to that, you can always say 'no'. I don't think your toenail is likely to improve without seeing a doctor.

Carole C

Re: Toe Nail is Thick

Dr. David S. Wander on 8/16/03 at 14:27 (127132)

Thick toenails can be from fungus, trauma or can be congenital. Your doctor will NOT place you on an antibiotic as Carole C has suggested. If it is a fungus, antibiotics will have no effect. The only way to determine if it is a fungus is to have a culture of the nail taken. If it turns out to be a fungus, the most common treatments are an oral antifungal such as Lamisil tablets or a prescription topical medication called Penlac. Lamisil must be taken for 3 months, and blood tests should be performed prior to treatment and at 6 weeks into treatment, since Lamisil is metabolized in the liver, blood tests to track liver function should be performed. If Lamisil therapy is beneficial, it may take up to one year to determine (it takes up to one year for a new nail to grow). Penlac has virtually no side effects since it is topical, but it has a relatively lower 'cure' rate. Removing the fungus nails is rarely performed and purchasing over the counter 'cures' is basically a waste of money. See a podiatrist or dermatologist.