Hey look, don't feel bad. It happens to most of us at some point.
And yes, toenail fungus is unsightly and unpleasant.
But did you know that there's a really simple, cheap way you can treat it at home - and that it's also the most effective toenail fungus treatment there is?
Ballet dancers can sweat up to half a pint of perspiration in each ballet shoe over the course of an hour's warm up at the barre. How lovely.
Add to this that there's no ventilation in a ballet shoe, and you have a veritable Petri dish of germs and fungus just waiting to happen.
Needless to say that a lot of dancers suffer from fungal toenail infections.
As do lot of athletes, fitness aficionados and in fact anyone who regularly dons a pair of sneakers or running shoes and gets sweaty feet - you're all at risk since toenail fungus absolutely loves dark, damp conditions.
And if you've ever experienced it, you'll know that over the counter
pharmacy products are extremely expensive (some are up to $40 for a tiny
bottle) and these expensive treatments aren't very effective.
Don't worry, we can help you get rid of toenail fungus cheaply and quickly using… vinegar.
In fact, it's a few drops of vinegar that are usually the active ingredient in those costly drug store treatments. Curiously, most of them don't list their ingredients - probably because they don't want to have to admit that simple vinegar is the main star of the show, and they're charging you a fortune for it.
Ordinary store cupboard vinegar will work, but for the absolute best results, we use organic cider vinegar (also sometimes spelt 'cyder' vinegar, or known as apple cider vinegar or ACV).
Follow this simple regimen to get the very best results.
You need to use a fine emery board to gently file off the top layer of
the affected nail. Don't go nuts here. You should just take off a tiny
top layer, enough to ensure that the solution gets soaked into the nail
and doesn't just run off.
Do this once per week for the first four weeks of treatment.
After the filing, dab the affected nail generously with the vinegar using either a cotton pad or Q-Tip.
However you choose to apply the vinegar, don't be mean - drench the nail. And try to get some of the vinegar under the nail, too.
Do this at least once a day, after you've washed.
If you can do twice a day
(particularly at the end of the day when you take off your shoes and
socks), it's better. And dabbing three times per day is best, if you can
Try to delay dressing with socks or hose until the solution has soaked in and the nail is dry (this doesn't take very long).
And that's it. At least once but up to three times per day with the vinegar, and once per week for four weeks with the filing.
And then continue with the daily vinegar until the filed area has grown out. This bit will take several months and there's no getting away from it. The only way to finally get rid of a toenail infection is for it to grow out.
But you should notice a definite improvement from using the vinegar after just a few applications - it really does work.
It's basically exactly the same routine that you'd do if you were using an expensive specialist product, but without the price tag and just as (if not more) effective.
Remember that during the growing out phase - it'll be a long wait, it could be a year - you mustn't wear nail varnish on the affected nail(s).
And one final great tip is to air your tootsies. Make sure that the nail gets lots of fresh air - whenever you're at home, take off your shoes and socks and go barefoot.
The light and air will help the nail to heal as much as anything else. No matter how powerful the treatment or how diligent you are with your vinegar applications, if you then stick your feet into socks and shoes and never expose your toes to the air, the infection will never heal.
However, when you do wear socks, stick to pure cotton - ditch the lycra / elastic sports socks.
So there you go. A little bit of filing to get things started, liberal amounts of apple cider vinegar every day, and fresh air. And patience.
Next up, a totally different subject about feet. What happens if you've got two left ones..?