Having a toenail fungus can be frustrating and embarrassing. The toenail turns various shades of brown and yellow and becomes brittle, leaving you without the ability to wear sandals without feeling self-conscious. There are many home remedies rumored to be effective, including the use of a bleach pen on the affected toenail. Understanding the underlying cause and progression of toenail fungus can help you decide whether or not to try using a bleach pen to treat it.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a toenail fungus is caused when there is an infection under the toenail by fungi. Toenail fungus can affect one toe, or several toes at the same time. Toenail fungus can be spread from one nail to another and can also be transferred to the fingernails if precautions are not taken when touching the affected area. The Mayo Clinic reports that toenail fungus typically starts as a white or yellow spot under the nail. As it progresses, toenail fungus spreads more deeply into the nail and causes it to become brittle and crumble. It can also cause the entire nail to become discolored and thicken.
One of the chief complaints of people with toenail fungus is the duration of the problem. Once the infection begins, it can last for months, years or indefinitely if it is not properly treated. Treated toenail fungus infections can go away only to return at a later date.
Toenail fungus is caused by organisms that thrive in moist, warm environments. The fungus can be picked up in a swimming pool, shower, hot tub or by sharing shoes with someone who has toenail fungus. The fungus gets into the nail through a tiny cut, scrape or abrasion on the skin near the toenail.
Risk factors for the development of toenail fungus include aging, having psoriasis, wearing footwear that is not conducive to letting your feet and toes breathe, and being barefoot in places that are constantly damp and are accessed by the public. Having athlete's foot also sets the stage for a toenail fungus to develop.
Bleach Pen Treatment
The Mayo Clinic reports there are many anecdotal stories about the success of using a bleach pen to cure toenail fungus. According to the Mayo Clinic, a bleach pen used alone or along with a bleach/water soak has been recommended by those who do not want to use prescription medications. A bleach pen is a pen shaped tool that can be purchased anywhere that laundry detergents are sold. The pen is used to rub over stains in clothing before the clothing is washed. In the case of toenail fungus infections, the Mayo Clinic has received many reports that using the bleach pen to cover the entire toenail and surrounding skin can help eradicate toenail fungus.