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This isn't a very pleasant thing to read about so if you are eating or are just about to eat then I wouldn't advise reading this review.
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I noticed a while ago that the nail on my big toe on my right foot was looking a little discoloured. On the left hand side of the nail there seemed to be some slight discoloration and I thought this was due to me cutting too much off the nail when previously cutting it. It wasn't until recently that I realised that it might be a fungal nail infection so I thought I would pop to my local Boots store to see if I could find any information about fungal nail infections. When looking at the products in my local Boots store the pictures of the nail on the fungal nail treatment looked exactly like my nail. This prompted me to purchase some treatment for it so it would go away.
Fungal Nail Infections
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Fungal nail infections normally start along the outside rim of the nail which can turn white, brownish and even green. This then spreads under the nail plate, which causes it to thicken. This means the nail can become brittle and may separate from the nail bed and in some cases can cause a lot of pain. This can also cause permanent loss of the nail as well. Fungal nail infections often occur in places such as gyms, swimming pools, Turkish baths, etc. Quite often fungal nail infections will appear to look like white spots or patches on your nail. If this turns yellow, becomes thicker or brittle then you are most likely to have a fungal nail infection which needs to be treated otherwise it can spread to other nails. My nail started off with white spots on it & I thought this was nothing, how-ever it gradually turned into a patch and I noticed that my nail started to become rather brittle and the back of the nail was rather thick. I didn't have any other symptoms such as pain or smelly feet, thankfully. If the fungal nail infection is left untreated then you can lose the nail permanently. Luckily looking at the picture on the packaging my infection look mild and the patch was in the top corner of the nail so I was hoping that with treatment this would go away and I would have nice looking nails for the summer. I'm not really sure how I got the infection as I am very clean when it comes to feet anyway. I change my socks every day and quite often change them twice a day especially during the summer. I always ensure my socks are washed on a hot temperature to kill any bacteria or sweat in the socks. I also spray my shoes with anti-bacterial foot/shoe spray to ensure they stay clean and smell free and I never walk about bare foot at my local gym or anywhere else. I wanted to get rid of the infection as soon as possible so I went to my local Boots store to purchase some treatment which would hopefully help to clear it up.
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To treat a fungal nail infection can be a lengthy process but it needs to be done in order to prevent you from losing the nail permanently and to prevent it from spreading. There are many different products available, and whilst some are cheaper than others, you may find that the more expensive ones are quicker and more effective than the cheaper one's. I actually spoke to a staff member in my local Boots store about treatment and they suggested the one I purchased. Although the treatment I purchased was rather expensive and I was shocked at the price of it, I wanted something that was going to work and work slightly quicker than a cheaper brand. If you are unsure whether you have a fungal nail infection or what treatment to go for you can get an appointment with your GP or ask your pharmacist for some advice/more information. It normally takes a few months before an infected nail looks completely healthy again.
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The product I am reviewing is by Excilor which is a brand I am not familiar with. Due to the price of this product I presumed this meant that the product was of very good quality and that it would work well to treat the fungal nail infection. This product comes in an easy applicator pen so can be applied in seconds and dries within 1 minute. Unlike most treatment there is no need to file the nail before applying the product to the nail. This treatment is one course which makes it less time consuming than other products and easier to use. The applicator is designed to treat the whole nail rather than just the infected area. The product works by controlling the micro-environment of the nail by acidifying the nail bed. The product is able to penetrate the nail, so that it's treated from the inside out. The product also helps to lower the pH of the nail, which creates an environment hostile to fungal growth. This product has been proved affective at clearing up fungal nail infections in clinical trials. The product is a pen applicator which makes applying the product convenient and also very easy to use. The pen comes in a bright blue box and on the front of the box it states what the product is for and how it treats the infection. It also gives you some information on the back of the box as well about how it works and how to use the product. Inside the box is the applicator pen and also a large leaflet about the product. As with all medicines and treatment I read this before using the product. The leaflet gives you information about how you can get fungal nail infections, how to prevent them and what the treatment contains to help prevent and clear up the nail infection. All this information is in a number of different languages. You can also find a list of ingredients in the leaflet as well. The product sounded pretty simple and easy to use.
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You can purchase this from Lloyds Pharmacy and Boots stores. I purchased this from my local Boots store for £22.99 which I thought was very expensive for this product. How-ever it was much better than the other choice available which meant filing down the nail with each application. This product looked and sounded much easier and convenient.
Using the Product
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I would recommend reading through the leaflet before using this product.
Before each application ensure any traces of nail polish have been removed. I only tend to wear nail polish during the summer when wearing open toed shoes so I didn't actually have any nail polish to remove from the nail. Using the pen applicator, coat the whole nail and the underside of the nail rim with the product. Apply generously twice a day (once in the morning & once in the evening). For best results, treat the infected area for a minimum of three months. They recommend continuing the course of treatment until the nail has recovered completely. Allow the nail to dry before putting on shoes or socks. You can use nail polish after each application but it will need to be removed before the next treatment. I thought it was pretty pointless applying any nail polish if you had to keep removing it to apply more of the treatment! As soon as new growth appears trim the nail back. The applicator contains enough product for approximately 400 applications. The product sounded pretty easy and straight forward to use so I decided I would start using it when I got home in the evening after having a bath.
After washing and ensuring that my feet were totally dry, especially in between the toes I got ready to apply the product. The pen is quite thick but is easy to hold. You need to pull the lid quite hard in order to get it off. It states not to press down on the nib when using the pen on the nail. The nib to the pen is slanted and is white in colour. As I used the pen to cover the nail I could see that the treatment was clear and it looked slightly glossy as I applied it. There was a slight smell to the product but it wasn't too strong or overpowering. I ensured I covered the whole of the nail generously and did the edge and under-side of the nail as much as I could. I then ensured I replaced the cap back on the pen to stop the nib from drying out. The lid simply clicks back onto the pen. I allowed 1-2 minutes for the nail to dry before putting clean socks on. As soon as the nail has dried the glossy look disappears and you can't even tell that any product has been applied to the nail. The pen was really easy to use and was also quick and convenient. I would use this twice a day for the next 4 weeks and then would record my results. I don't think there is any point in recording the results after two weeks as it can take a least 1 month to notice any real difference in the nail. By the 3rd week of using the pen applicator the slanted tip on the nib had now actually worn away to the nib was now more rounded. This didn't really make it any harder applying the product though. I would like to add that if you do need to trim your nails at any point be careful as a fungal nail infection causes the nail to become brittle which means parts of the nail can snap off leaving sore toes and a slightly exposed nail bed. I would just like to add to not apply the product after a bath when your nails have softened. I did this and the following morning my nails looked rather dry.
Results after 4 weeks
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After using the treatment for 4 weeks, I could actually trim the nail back now. I took some nail scissors and careful trimmed the nail. I had to do this carefully as the nail would still be brittle from the fungal infection. I could still see that the infection was there; how-ever I don't think it was as big as it was and the rest of the nail looked very healthy. I was positive that this treatment was doing a good job at helping to clear up in the infection but it would be another few weeks at least before the fungal nail infection had totally gone and my nail would be looking healthy and back to normal again. I would continue applying the product every morning and night as directed in the leaflet and just as I had done for the past 4 weeks. Even once the fungal nail infection had gone I would use the product for a few more weeks just to ensure that the infection had totally gone. It did mention on the leaflet that this was a lengthy process and it was one that I was willing to stick to, to ensure the infection clears up ready for me to wear open toed shoes. (If we get some warmer weather). I have actually started treating the other toe nail on the opposite foot as I could see the start of a fungal nail infection there as well.
Results after 6 weeks
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The 6th week of using the treatment I was starting to get a little worried as I initially thought the infection was clearing up, how-ever on closer inspection I couldn't decide whether the infection had got smaller or not. My toe nail was actually becoming a little painful at times as well which wasn't something I was experiencing before. One thing for sure was that the infection hadn't got bigger which was good. I didn't want the infection to get any worse so I now decided that I would stop using this product and try something else instead. The following day I would visit my local Pharmacy to see what they suggested.
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I don't really know how I got the fungal nail infections as I keep my feet very clean, use anti-bacterial sprays in shoes and socks and also always ensure my feet have been dried properly after a shower or bath. I guess it's one of those things that anyone can get no matter how hard they try to avoid getting it. Although I only had a mild infection which was at the tip of my nail this treatment didn't seem to help in reducing the infection or appear to make it look smaller over the course of the 6 weeks I was using it. I was really disappointed by this as I had been using the product as suggested twice a day and the product wasn't exactly cheap either. The product was really, very easy to apply and due to it being in a pen style applicator it was more convenient to use. It does state on the leaflet that if you don't see results within 4 weeks then contact your GP for other treatment options. I wouldn't recommend this product to anyone to use as I personally think it's a waste of money and will make no difference to the infected nail at all. I am now using different treatment for the infected nail and hope to see better results within the next 4 weeks.
(review also on ciao)