BY DR PETER KADILE
Warts are a skin condition that may respond to a harmless home remedy instead of expensive medical treatment. Warts are caused by a virus and can spread when the affected individual picks at them. Warts are painless except when they occur on the bottom of feet (plantar warts). Over the counter topical treatments may not work, so seeing a physician who can either burn off the warts or cut them off can be painful and expensive. An option to try before seeing a doctor is duct tape.
Trim the duct tape so that it just covers the wart. Remove the tape once a week, wash the skin and rub off any dead wart tissue. After the area has dried overnight, re-apply the duct tape. The tape treatment may be needed for several weeks to months but can be effective. I have found that trimming the wart down and applying over the counter topical wart medicine that contains salicylic acid and then applying the duct tape is sometimes more effective. Again, give it time.
Toe nail fungus is another ailment that affects many people. Thick, yellowed, disfigured nails are ugly to look at and can rub against the inside of shoes causing pain and discomfort. Over the counter anti-fungal creams are ineffective in treating the condition. Topical antifungal solution and antifungal pills are effective in treating the condition but they require a prescription from a doctor and are often not covered by insurance. The antifungal pills have to be taken for an extended period of time and may cause liver toxicity. Laser treatments are also available but can also be expensive. So is there anything else to do for this condition? Well, you can try Vicks VapoRub. Yes, applying the product to toenail fungus may be effective.
Treat your fungus by rubbing some Vicks on the nail each day. It contains ingredients that have antifungal properties, which is why it can work for this condition. Apply the product to dry toenails, under the nail and the surrounding skin. It is important to try and get as much of the product under the nail since that is where the fungus starts growing. In addition to making sure the toenail is dry before application, trim the toenail as short as you can. I have also heard that tea tree oil can treat toenail fungus but personally have not seen the results. I have seen the benefits of Vick VapoRub on a few of my toenail fungus patients. The Vicks treatment can take time, so don’t expect resolution in a few days. It may take weeks to months. It may not work for everybody, but it is a generally harmless way of treating the condition without using expensive and potentially liver toxic medication.
Vinegar can also help with fungus on the nails. Soak your feet in a mixture of half white vinegar, half water. The vinegar kills fungus and gets rid of stains under the nail.