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HIV Health and Treatment Issues >> Treatment & Side Effects

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BrokenWingedBird
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Reged: 11/30/04
Posts: 113
Loc: United Kingdom.
Help! Vicks Vaporub & Toenail Fungus
      #186379 - 04/14/06 08:41 AM

Hi,

The thread "Terbinafine (Lamisil): does fungus recur?" (below, on main page of "Treatment")is mine but I am starting a new thread here in order to try and catch the eyes of people who may be able to help me.

My earlier thread resulted in my beginning to treat my toenail fungus (onychomycosis)with Vicks Vaporub . . . because it has clearly worked well for some other people in whom HIV has allowed fungus to root itself in the nails.

I have now been applying Vicks to my toenails for six weeks.

All the nails on my LITTLE toes are now pink and healthy-looking. They used to be yellow and brown and crinkled. So I suspect the fungus has quit them. This is great. It's clear evidence for me that Vicks certainly has some power in this situation.

The nails of my two BIG toes are now absolutely smooth and firm. They used to be rough, crinkly, soft and crumbly. However, all of both two big nails are discoloured: yellow, creamy, or brown. This discolouration is NOT growing out, i.e. new nail becomes discoloured as it appears.

What does this mean?

Does it mean that the two big nails are too thick for the Vicks Vaporub to penetrate to the underside of the nail and so the fungus continues to thrive there, but not on the upper surface? (Afterall, this is why the toxic orally-taken terbinofine is prescribed by doctors - to get at the underside of the nail, where the fungus "hides".)

Or, does it mean that the Vaporub may have destroyed the fungus throughout but because of the thickness of the two big nails Vicks Vaporub causes discolouration?

I could just cease encasing the toes in Vicks every morning and see what happens. However, IF the fungus IS still present in the two big toes, then stopping the treatment may undo all the improvement that has been achieved over the last six weeks to the upper surfaces of both nails.

Has anybody any advice?

Thanks.

BWB.

------------------------------------------

My original thread started with the following posting:

"I posted this question to The Body's Experts two months ago but they haven't replied. Can anyone with experience of "HIV toenails" (onychomycosis) give me advice?

I have had badly infected toe-nails for four years now but to be frank they've been the least of my problems while battling with HIV. However, I'm in a good window right now - an HIV treatment that works and which isn't causing major side-effects. So, I'm thinking that maybe I could take Terbinafine now for the toe-nails. I have been painting my toenails now for eight months with tea-tree oil and vinegar and these seem to have helped all the nails except the big two - which are almost as bad as ever.

My concerns are: 1. added to my toxic HIV drugs, what will it do to my liver, etc, and 2. what's the likelihood of the fungus reasserting itself, if the turbinofine gets rid of it?

Thanks."

-------------------------------------



--------------------
Without a dream, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Keep hold of your dreams.

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Mustang
Newbie

Reged: 03/28/06
Posts: 4
Loc: Michigan, USA
Re: Help! Vicks Vaporub & Toenail Fungus new
      #186719 - 04/17/06 12:55 AM

BrokenWingedBird/All: Penlac is used with success for onychomycosis. I did some checking on its use in immunocompromised patients. One site stated it was contraindicated in HIV/AIDS but others, perhaps more recent, described its use below. It's a topical nail laquer, works from the outside in, manufacturer's site states no drug interactions with other medications reported, no need for liver function testing. I wanted to share the information; perhaps others have talked to their professionals about it? States recommended treatment plan with Penlac is 48 weeks.
***********************
Ciclopirox topical (Loprox®, Penlac Nail Lacquer®)
What Are The Special Considerations In Treating AIDS Patients?
This case is a 37-year-old AIDS patient. He had proximal white onychomycosis that is prevalent in the HIV-positive patient population and, in particular, patients with AIDS.
When I first saw this gentleman, he had only a small amount of involvement because it is proximal. A month later, the infection involves the majority of his nail and it is only on this hallux nail. Given this HIV-positive patient with rapidly spreading proximal white onychomycosis, how would one treat this patient? Would you wait to see if the nail just grows out normally and maybe debride it if it gets too long? Would you provide debridement plus an OTC topical antifungal cream or solution? Would you opt for ciclopirox lacquer with or without debridement? Would you prescribe oral terbinafine with or without debridement?
It is important not to confuse proximal white onychomycosis with superficial white onychomycosis. This is a subungual disease. Proximal white onychomycosis occurs underneath the nail whereas the superficial white onychomycosis is on the surface of the nail. If you have something on the surface of the nail, I agree. Using ciclopirox lacquer or using other topicals would work very well. However, if I am treating this condition in an HIV-positive patient, I might tend to be a little bit more aggressive with it in this case.
Dr. Scher: I agree. If you have an HIV-positive patient, even if he or she has only one nail involved, oral therapy may be indicated. The condition in this case is due to T. rubrum. As Dr. Joseph said, it is not white superficial onychomycosis, which is due to T. mentagrophytes. Patients with AIDS are much more resistant to therapy because here the proximal white onychomycosis went from just a small area to an extensive area of involvement within a month. I would definitely say you have to be more aggressive. Keep in mind there is one area of leeway that you have now that we did not have maybe five years ago. AIDS drugs are much more effective than they were a few years ago. There is a correlation between the level of CD4 counts and the activity of the fungal infection. When the CD4 counts are very low, these patients are more resistant to therapy and, even when they do respond, they experience recurrence very quickly. When the AIDS drugs are working and the CD4 counts come up, then they get closer to what you would see in a non-AIDS patient.
www.podiatrytoday.com/article/3169 - 40k - Cached - Similar pages
*******************
Penlac® Nail Lacquer (ciclopirox) Topical Solution 8% is indicated as topical treatment in immunocompetent patients with mild to moderate onychomycosis of fingernails and toenails without lunula involvement, due to Trichophyton rubrum.
www.penlac.com/hcp/safety2.jsp - 19k - Cached - Similar pages
***************
For Penlac FAQ's, check www.penlac.com/treatment/penfaqs.jsp


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Likir820
Unregistered

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tuffnftl
Regular

Reged: 05/03/06
Posts: 26
Loc: florida,fort laud
Re: Help! Vicks Vaporub & Toenail Fungus new
      #194273 - 06/03/06 08:06 AM

just a question for anyone, what connection does nail fungus and hiv and in common, not to sound like an idiot???thx

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Bear60
Legend

Reged: 12/21/05
Posts: 1390
Re: Help! Vicks Vaporub & Toenail Fungus new
      #194276 - 06/03/06 08:51 AM

Its my impression that people with HIV are more prone to fungal infections. It also depends on what your numbers are or how damaged your immune sytem is. You skin is your body's first line of defense. Thrush and fungal infections and warts are all things to watch out for. They are usually easily treated.

--------------------
6 ft tall poz bear in Philadelphia

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Help! Vicks Vaporub & Toenail Fungus new
      #208940 - 09/27/06 11:02 PM

My teacher was talking about Vicks being a alternative fungal remedy in class today. She stated that it had the same active ingredient as lamisil. Since I knew the 2 were not equal I started searching and stumbled in your article. I found another article from the USA today that lists a few home remedies but it says for the really deep dematophyte infections that Px medications will probably be required. Here's the link: http://www.usaweekend.com/06_issues/060507/060507healthsmart.html

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BrokenWingedBird
Expert

Reged: 11/30/04
Posts: 113
Loc: United Kingdom.
Re: Help! Vicks Vaporub & Toenail Fungus new
      #214133 - 11/09/06 12:55 PM

Hi. Just found your post. To answer your question re. the relationship of toenail fungus to HIV. People with a low CD4 count, i.e. a low ration of white fighter cells, are less able to fight off fungus and bacterial infections. Hence, one of the greatest killers of people with HIV/AIDS in the early days was pneumonia. When my CD4 count got down to close to only 100, my doctor put me quickly on the antibiotic septrin, to protect my lungs . . . and save me from infections of the lung. It's the same story with the underside of your toenails. If they become infected with the common fungus known as athlete's foot, then if your CD4 cells are poor they're not going to be able to fight the fungus off. That's where the antifungal called "Terbinofine" comes in. You take it in tablet form, it gets into your bloodstream, gets down to your toes and everywhere else, and kills of any lurking fungus. I hear that if you have take it then you really need to ensure you take it till the condition is completely cleared because if any fungus is left it will grow and reassert itself and then you're back on the Terbinofine and stressing your liver again with an extra drug. If the terbinofine completely clears someone's toenail fungus then it's obviously sensible to absolutely keep the feet clear of fungus - i.e. change socks daily, apply lamisil cream and sprays, etc, anything to make sure it doesn't get UNDER the nail again. And if YOU are one of the lucky ones who hasn't had fungus getting a hold UNDER your nails then stay that way - KEEP THOSE FEET fungus free every day with washing, clean socks, shoes that breathe and so on!

--------------------
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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Help! Vicks Vaporub & Toenail Fungus new
      #220222 - 12/28/06 08:57 PM

Think outside the box. I had toenail fungus for 7 years. I finally resolved my problem while studying Einstein. I used a strong UV light. The particles penetrate deep into the nail and kill the fungus. There was no guessing game. It simply worked. Fungus as everyone should know does not like to live in light areas. about 2 hours each day when I remembered for about 2 weeks produced a pink toenail. It took 3 weeks to realize that the old crap was dropping off and the new nail underneath was taking a stronghold.. Anyway, you need a real UV light and not a blue light from the joke store. I used an eprom eraser light which is used to erase programs in electronic chips. Feel free to email me at alanwms@gmail.com if you have any questions.

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BrokenWingedBird
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Reged: 11/30/04
Posts: 113
Loc: United Kingdom.
Re: Help! Vicks Vaporub & Toenail Fungus new
      #226582 - 04/13/07 03:26 PM

It's months since I started this thread and I thought I ought to update it.

Six months of coating my toe-nails twice weekly with the anti-fungal nail lacquer ("Penlac" in the States, "Loceryl" in the UK) caused the fungus to disappear in only two little toes (with thin nails). So finally I have given in to taking a Lamasil tablet once a day. My liver counts are being monitored and so far, after just one month, my liver is holding up. There is a slight improvement near the quick of all my toes, even the two big ones. The doctor warns that it will take months, however.

To recap: Tea-tree oil made no difference to my condition after six months of dedicated use. Vicks vaporub made no difference either, after a further six months of use. The anti-fungal nail-lacquer worked only on the very thin nails of little toes - but lacks the power to penetrate through thick nail.

To be thorough I am continuing to use the nail-lacquer on the surface of the toe nails while take the lamasil to attack the fungus from beneath.

To the person who very helpfully suggests that using UV light alone will work, it's interesting that medics don't recommend this method. I wonder why not. It did occur to me last summer that exposing my feet to as much summer sunlight as possible should help . . . and even though I did so (including everyday for two weeks in Greece!) it didn't help. However, thinking that concentrated UV light for 2 hours a day is another scenario, I have looked it up on the web and found the following on a reputable medical website:

". . . exposure to ultraviolet rays causes blindness, and almost everyone is aware that increased exposure to ultraviolet in sunlight is causing an increase in skin cancers. It is not a benign light, therefore any toenail fungus uv treatment should be approached with extreme caution, and under the supervision of a professional. . . One of the drawbacks in ultraviolet light, with respect to sterilization techniques at least, is its inability to penetrate surfaces. Glass and plastic that don't allow ultraviolet wavelengths to pass through are readily created. It may very well be that ultraviolet rays would not penetrate an infected nail sufficiently to affect the fungus growing underneath - a weakness of many nail fungus treatments. The bottom line is that toenail fungus uv treatment is not a good treatment choice. A natural remedy or prescription drug will probably work better and carry less risk."

from:
http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/5939/1/Toenail-Fungus-And-UV-Light.html

--------------------
Without a dream, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. Keep hold of your dreams.

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BrokenWingedBird
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Reged: 11/30/04
Posts: 113
Loc: United Kingdom.
Re: Help! Vicks Vaporub & Toenail Fungus new
      #240321 - 06/29/08 04:05 PM

To bring you all up to date.

The internally-taken Lamisil tablets (terbinafine) was the only thing that removed the fungus from the underside of my two big toes. I stopped the treatment many months ago now and the fungus has not returned. I am now very careful to thoroughly soap my toes in the shower each morning and change socks regularly.

The main point is this: tea-tree oil, Vicks, and all sorts of other home-made remedies just can't get at the underside of thick diseased toenails. So don't waste time like I did. Get onto the Lamasil tablets and hope that your liver will be able to tolerate them.

Best Wishes.


--------------------
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