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Diabetic, high BP, fungal infection in toe nail. Suggest home remedy to clear the toe nail infection?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2272 Questions
Hi Doctor,
This query is regarding my father who is a diabetic person and is also suffering from high BP.

The problem I need your advice on is relating to toe nail fungal infections. This is a very old problem he has had, on both his feet (possibly years). Due to his nature of job of working in mines, and general carelessness, his toe nails have been neglected since many years. Cutting and polishing nails has not happened in many years. And this has resulted in nails becoming very very hard and dirty and growth of tissue has happened inside toe nails.

Presently, the appearance of toe nails is really very poor and since the nails have become so hard, it is very difficult to cut them using nail cutter etc. Plus there is a risk of cutting the toe-thumbs because those 2 toe nails have seen some skin growth inside the nail (the surface of the nail is not clean and the nail surface is tightly attached to the skin).

In this circumstance, I am faced with two challenges :
1. how to clear the toe nails of the infection - fungal is something I suspect, and prevent future infection etc.

2. How to cut the nails and polish them to an extent that is possible to give a neat appearance to toe nails.

There is no pain/discomfort otherwise to his feet; however I feel that the toe nails are infected.

Pls suggest any home-made remedy / clinical approach to this problem.

I am also not aware which doctor I should consult for this symptom .. Should we consult dermatologists ? or should we consider any other specialists for this ?

I am staying at Gurgaon (NCR). Request you to pls advise of any clinic/doctor/hospital department, where we can get solution to this problem, if it requires a hospital visit.

Appreciate any help in this regard,

Posted Wed, 1 Aug 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 20 minutes later
The problem you have narrated is probably Tinea unguinatum.
In presence of diabetes it can lead to diabetic foot and can cause damage to limb.
First of all I would advise you to get a test called KOH Smear for fungus, the laboratory people would take scrapings and nail piece for this.
This will show what fungus is this if at all.
This problem is chronic and needs 3 months oral and local treatment with antifungals continuously which may need to extend a month or two depending on response. The drug and dose would be decided after an examination and evaluation by a physician
The cleanliness and good basic sanitation would help stop recurrence.
Policing is not recommended till the problem comes under control.
You can consult a dermatologist/physician for this.
There are good hospitals in gurgaon- Medanta, Artemis, XXXXXXX
You can review him there.
I wish a great health for your father.
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