Fighting Fungus Before Pedicure Season

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With summer just around the corner, you may have started pampering your feet to get them sandal-ready. But no amount of moisturizing and exfoliation can help a potentially embarrassing problem: yellow toenails.

In most cases, yellow toenails are the result of a fungal infection. It’s contagious, often highly resistant to treatment, and it attacks the nail bed and surrounding tissue.

If mild-just faintly yellow-this can probably be treated at home. Start by carefully filing the top and sides of your nails with an emery board. Then, soak your feet in apple cider vinegar every day for three weeks, and follow with an application of Vicks VapoRub. Mild cases are often resolved with doctor-prescribed topical cream, too. (Keep in mind that frequent use of dark nail polish can cause a yellowish tint, so if you’re not sure you’re dealing with a fungus, ask your doctor.)

For moderate or severe cases-with the nail being thick, crumbly, lifting and nearly all yellow-an oral antibiotic like Lamisil, prescribed by a dermatologist or podiatrist, is necessary to clear up the infection.

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