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Fungal Nails2016-12-22T15:01:59+01:00

What is a Fungal Nail?

The spores of fungi are naturally present on our skin but in certain circumstances they multiply to the point where they infect tissues such as skin (athlete’s foot) and nails (fungal nails).  If left untreated they spread through the nail.  Fungal nails often follow on from an athlete’s foot infection.

What does Fungal Nail look like?

It often starts as a white/creamy coloured patch at the free end of the nail.  There can be small patches or pitting of the nail.  This gradually spreads down the side of the nail and eventually covers the whole nail.

The nail is no longer healthy.  The nail thickens, becomes soft and flaky.  Bits of nail break off.  When trimmed it feels soft and spongy.

Over time the nail may disintegrate and can become painful when pressed so wearing some shoes can be uncomfortable.  The surrounding skin can become infected and appear red with creamy coloured dry patches.  One toe nail may be infected first but this can soon spread to all the toe nails on the foot.

Who is at risk from Fungal Nail infections?

People who:

  • Have diabetes
  • Are over 65
  • Have a disease that causes poor circulation
  • Swim in a public swimming pool
  • Use gym changing areas
  • Have a nail injury
  • Have a skin injury around the nail
  • Have moist toes for an extended period
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Wear closed toed shoes without socks
  • Wear synthetic socks and tights
  • Wear safety boots

It is more common in men and more common in adults than children. It more often affects the big and little toe nails.

It has been reported that the prevalence of fungal nail is as high as 23% across Europe.

How to treat

It can be difficult to treat because in the early stages the changes in the nails are not very obvious. Over the counter, paint on remedies are only effective if they are applied in the early stages. Too often people try to cure the nails with paint on treatments when the fungus is too advanced for them to be any good. There are several remedies on the internet such as Listerine and Vicks vapour rub. They may have some affect but in my experience it is limited. There is also medication available from your doctor but it has to be taken for many months, indeed up to a year and there are significant side effects. Laser can be effective but the treatment is very expensive, costing hundreds of pounds, and can be painful.

In 2016 a new, alternative treatment, podiguard, was launched for the treatment of fungal nails and athletes foot.


Podiguard is a revolutionary super oxidising liquid for nail fungus, athletes foot and infection control. An ionising machine activates a specially formulated salt into the solution to treat microbial foot conditions. Podiguard utilises the same natural disinfectant that your body creates itself to combat bacteria, MRSA, fungi and viruses. Your body keeps these bugs at bay most of the time but if they are allowed to multiply to the level where they are damaging tissue they need extra help. The beauty of this product is it is so safe, yet potent in killing microbes in record time.

It is safe enough for babies, pregnant women, diabetics. I fact no one is prohibited from using it. There are no known side effects.

It can be done at home following simple instructions.

Whilst most products treat just fungal nail, leaving a possible skin infection which will re-infect the nails podiguard kills the fungal spores it comes in contact with, any mould, fungi or bacteria on the foot so leaving a clean and disinfected foot.

To summarize Podiguard is:-

  • Effective against fungi, bacteria, MRSA and viruses.
  • It is safe with no side effects
  • Can be used on children, pregnant women, diabetics – everyone
  • It’s a new product recently available for the treatment of fungal nails and athletes foot
  • Easy to use in the clinic or at home

When nail fungi are killed by any means the nails which has been damaged does not recover but has to grow out. A sign of success is the appearance of healthy, pink nail at the base of the nail and there is no further spread of the fungus. Because nails grow slowly it may take several months to eradicate the damaged, infected tissue but this does not mean treatment has to continue the whole time. A guide to the course of treatment is

  1. Treatment in the clinic which includes thinning the nail and removal of damaged tissue, use of podiguard and demonstration of home use
  2. A weekly home application of the Podiguard solution for 3-4 weeks
  3. Review and further nail thinning after 6 weeks from the start
  4. Monthly home use of Podiguard

Please note this is a rough guide and will vary according to the severity of the condition, health of the individual etc.

Home treatment kit

A nail soak bath, emery board, orange stick, flannel and three bottles of podiguard to last  three weeks.

The cost is £25.

Additional Podiguard solution £6 a bottle. (£1 discount for each returned bottles which can be refilled).