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I read somewhere that Vicks Vapor Rub is a good treatment for toenail fungus. Is that true?

Q.

I read somewhere that Vicks Vapor Rub is a good treatment for toenail fungus. Is that true?

A.

In a newspaper column written by a family doctor he mentioned that Vicks Vapor Rub may help treat fungus nails. The day after this came out, I could smell this on many of my patients’ toenails. I have also heard of using corn meal mush to treat fungus. 

Sometimes it is difficult to determine if a product does treat fungus nails (onychomycosis ) or whether it just makes the nail look better.  If there is a high suspicion of a fungus, then a diagnosis by a doctor may be necessary and treated accordingly. Fungus nails can be very difficult to treat, even with prescription medications. There is also the cost and safety factors that can influence a decision in treatment.  Homemade fungus treatments most likely will not do harm, but their effectiveness is still controversial. If you suspect a client has a fungus, you should delay the pedicure service until the client has seen her physician. -- Dr. Dennis Arnold is head of the International Pedicure Association

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