Mail (August, 1998)

Nail "P" Was Really Fungus!
from Arty

Dear Ed: I was told by my derm (no less) that my nail problems were related to the P and so never thought to do anything. I watched them crack and split down to the nail bed. Then, on a routine visit to an ordinary doctor, he put me on some anti-fungal pill (Lamasil?). Nine months later I still have P, but my nails are perfectly clear. -Arty


Ed's Response: Oh I hate to hear that, Arty.... Not that I'm sorry your nails have cleared up! But because I've been told the same thing and stubbornly stick to my derm's claim that my nail problems are P.

All my nails have, at one time or another, been corrupted by P, but for the past year the real ugly stuff has been hitting my toenails. My derm says "P," but I've had two other doctors (so far) ask me to have my derm confirm that and suggest the problem might be fungus. I think the reason I've been so accepting is that the toenails show the same symptoms as my fingernails when they're at their worst; i.e., excessive cell growth in the nail bed, under the nail, that lifts the nail. I've got several fingers that are doing it right now, but not so severely as to "warp" the nail. (You can only really see what's going on when you look at those fingers straight on and see the gap, filled with crud, between nail and finger.)

Now, this toenail fungus business that's been getting so much attention in the advertizing community lately is NOT supposed to affect fingernails, is it? So, if what's happening to my toenails is so similar to what's happening to my fingernails, and fungus isn't a fingernail problem, then isn't it logical to assume BOTH problems are P?

Well, now you've got me wondering all over again. My reluctance to go on the antifungal regimen is the extraordinarily long time it takes. One doc told me it could take as long as six months to see an improvement, and a year for all signs of fungus to disappear! How long did it take you to see results, Arty? (And how expensive was the antifungal regimen?) -Ed

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