As many as 25% of the population age 60 years and older may be affected by onychomycosis, a chronic infection that is difficult to cure. Onychomycosis can cause pain and soft tissue injury that can lead to infection affecting gait from discomfort. Current oral medications available for the treatment of onychomycosis are costly and can pose the risk of serious side effects. The purpose of this study was to determine if the use of Mentholatum was an effective and cost-efficient means to treat onychomycosis of the toenail in elders. The Neuman Systems Model was used as the theoretical framework: specifically, Neuman's secondary prevention interventions to support system stabilization. The null hypothesis of this study was stated as follows : There will be no effect on the onychomycosis of the toenails in the elderly treated with Mentholatum. A quasi-experimental design was used to compare photographs of the toenail prior to treatment and photographs of the toenail at completion of the treatment. The subjects were drawn from three nursing homes in a southern state. Permission was obtained from residents and 1 1 1 their responsible party for participation in the study. The 33 subjects ranged from 65 to 96 years. The Mentholatum was applied twice daily by a nurse researcher assistant. Digital photographs of the elder's toe were graded by a panel of experts, three physicians and a podiatrist. The nail changes were graded on a 5-point Likert scale. The outcomes of the study revealed 90% of the subjects experienced some positive change in the nail growth, which indicated a statistical significance. Therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected. Because of the limitation in the length of the study, there was no determination if nail cure could be achieved.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Sheila Adams

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons