My fungal nail infection journey and how it affected my Lupus disease
— WARNING —
This post contains some details and images of how my fungal nail looked which some might find disturbing. All photos are added at the end of the post incase you just want to read without looking. Fungal nail infections are more common in people with lupus and other autoimmune conditions or people taking immunosuppressants. Read here on the Lupus UK website to find out more!
How the fungal nail infection began:
In October 2019, I had red shellac nails which were overdue to be taken off. Underneath the nail began to turn an off-white colour, so I decided to take it off myself as I had done in the past before.
After removing the shellac, it uncovered the extent of the discolouration. It had spread to the whole underneath of where the shellac was. From a side view, I could see that my nail had split into two sideways. I was of course worries and so I contacted my nail tech who advised that it should grow out itself.
A visit to the walk in centre
It was not causing me any pain so I left it alone and carried on with life. After some time, the white discolouration had spread down toward my nail bed. It wasn’t until early 2020 that I decided to see a doctor about it, I only decided this because it began to turn black. I attended a walk in clinic as it was the weekend and also the beginning of Covid-19 meaning it would be nearly impossible to get a GP appointment. The nurse had no idea, my nail bed looked fine so again I was advised that it would grow out.
May 2020 there has still been no improvement, I booked an appointment with the GP who took clippings and prescribed me with a topical anti-fungal nail lacquer. I used this religiously for weeks however there was no improvement. The results of the clipping had not been received, so they prescribed me with an oral anti-fungal medication stating that this is the most common form of fungal nail infection.
Dermatology’s view on the fungal nail infection
Between all of this I had informed my nephrologist and rheumatologist who said to see how the medication goes and in the mean time referred me to dermatology (I had a hair loss and thinning issue at the time anyway). The new medication didn’t change anything, and thankfully after a few months I received my first dermatology appointment.
The dermatologist saw that the GP results were inconclusive and he was also confused as to why it wasn’t investigated further. He took a large nail clipping and sent it off (basically half my nail was gone, not actually as bad as it sounds – completely painless).
It took a few weeks but we finally got results and it turns out the anti-fungal medication I had been prescribed was for the wrong type of fungus which explains why it didn’t do anything. The GP should not have given me the medication without knowing which is the correct one as that medication can be damaging to the liver and kidneys.
I also began to apply Dr Organic nail solution to the nail every day which helped get rid of the black colouring and made my nail feel healthier and stronger.
Finally, the right medication!
The dermatologist prescribed me with Itraconozole and it worked like a charm, I saw results after just a few weeks! It was amazing to watch my nail slowly grow back and re-appear as good as new!
I am very, very relieved to say that my nail is back to normal and you wouldn’t of even known I had an issue with it, the human body and treatments today are amazing!
The end of my fungal nail journey
I thought i’d share this journey incase anyone else is suffering from a fungal nail infection like i did. It is possible for the nail to re-grow and be back to normal, even after over 1 year! The human body is amazing. Also, take this advice from me – make sure you push to find out the correct diagnosis before taking any medication so avoid further damage to your body.
I am now back on track to figuring out the right medications for me, my lupus and living life to the fullest!
— WARNING – FUNGAL NAIL PHOTOS BELOW —
That’s all for todays post, hope everyone is doing well.