i’ve had toenail fungus since i was a sweaty, greasy teenager. i’ve tried a lot of treatments to get rid of it over the years. i tried oral antifungals when i was 20 or so and they almost worked — one toenail was still affected by the time i finished the meds — but i neglected to get more meds and continue treating the fungus till it was completely gone so it wound up slowly coming back, full force. since then, i learned that oral antifungals are hard on your liver and kidneys, and can affect your heart, so i now don’t want to take them for a cosmetic issue like this.
i tried various home remedy stuff, like tea tree oil, different topical antifungals, mixtures of those things, grinding the nails down with a die grinder before applying any of that stuff…none of it did a damn thing.
i heard good things about laser treatment for toenail fungus a few years ago but it was way out of my price range so i didn’t give it any further thought until i got extended medical coverage through my employer. at that point, i decided to give it a try. what i read said it was quick and easy, painless, and had an 85% success rate.
that turned out to be bullshit.
it was quick but that’s about all i’ll give it. it actually hurt a lot. basically, the laser tech points a scorching laser at a toenail until it gets painfully hot, at which point you say “it’s too hot,” and then they move on to the next toenail. for me, this happened about 25 times per visit to the quack, and i had 6 visits so that’s approximately 150 experiences of unbearable heat on my toes. i wasn’t weeping in their office or anything but let’s be honest about it: the treatment is far from pain-free. i’d rate the pain at a 4 or 5/10. it was substantial. i don’t think kids, seniors, or anyone with a low pain tolerance could stand it.
but the worst part is that it was completely ineffective. i followed all the advice of the podiatrist, applying topical antifungal cream every day, using antifungal foot spray — i even bought a UV light for my fucking shoes to disinfect them regularly — yet after all those painful, expensive treatments, all 10 of my toes look exactly the same as before.
so a few weeks ago i decided to do some more reading online about laser treatment for toenail fungus, and guess what. it turns out that the studies that claimed great success were paid for by the laser companies, whereas subsequent independent studies found very little, if any, effect from the treatment. it turns out laser treatment is a total fucking sham.
bearing that in mind, i want to warn people to stay away from dr. mirchoff in victoria, bc.
he’s the clown behind my whole awful experience. when i initially met him, the first thing he did was try to sell me $500 orthotics, even though i’ve never had foot problems and was only there about my toenail fungus. then he tried to sell me on the laser treatment but i told him i was apprehensive about that and was actually there to ask him to surgically remove my toenails so that i could treat the nail beds with topical antifungal creams while the nails grew back healthy, since that is an accepted treatment for severe cases like mine. he said no way, that’s way too invasive and painful…instead, he’d rather burn each of my toes for a total of 60 minutes with painful, ineffective laser treatments. that makes much more sense. then he used a die grinder on my toenails to make them look a little more presentable, but when i said i had a die grinder at home and might try doing that myself, he said “i have a paint brush at home but that doesn’t make me a painter,” as if i need to go to med school to use a simple tool on my toenails? give me a fucking break.
so here i am, several years after that initial meeting, and about a year past thinking my extended medical coverage was going to be the magic ticket to finally beating my ugly toenails, and i’m no better off. i’m still hopeful about finding a doc to pull my toenails off though. it just won’t be that corny liar, mirchoff.
fuck it, maybe i’ll do it myself.