Tips on How to Treat Toenail Fungus
If you look up how to treat toenail fungus on the web you’ll see thousands of treatments being offered, an indication of how prevalent the condition is. Toenail fungus is common and affects 10% of the population, but fortunately there are many ways to handle this ailment.
Usually people use antifungal drugs for treatment, with itraconazole and terbinafine among the most frequently prescribed. While these can be effective, results take a long time to appear, and you’ll need to wait weeks or months before the infected part is replaced. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that these drugs don’t have any side effects.
There are a number of other antifungal drugs available and they’re used for 6 to 12 weeks, but you won’t see results until the nail grows back again, and depending on the condition might take four months or more to complete.
You can take either oral or topical treatments or a combination of both depending on your condition, but keep in mind that most medications lose their efficiency in people over 65 years of age.
Medicated Nail Polish
Medicated nail polish may also work, though products like ciclopirox and others require prescription. To use, you just paint the infected toenail and skin around it with the polish once a day. Leave the paint there for a week and then wipe it with a clean cloth and some alcohol. Reapply the nail polish, leave it there for seven days and repeat. While the process is easy, it might take a year to see any positive results.
Medicated Nail Cream
You may also be prescribed medicated nail cream, which you apply on the infected toenails after washing them clean. These creams may be applied as is, but it’s better to thin the infected toenails first prior to application. If you thin the nails, it will be easier for the medication cream to pass through the nail surface and attack the infection. Thinning nails isn’t hard as you just need to buy an OTC lotion with urea, or you can use a file or similar utility.
Of course you can always have the infected nails surgically removed, but this is expensive.
While the treatments above can be effective they take a while to produce results, so if you’re looking for a quick and permanent solution, try ZetaClear. Unlike other treatments of toenail fungus, ZetaClear is all-natural and includes ingredients such as tea tree oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E, all of which have been proven effective in treating toenail fungus.
The problem with other toenail fungus treatments is they don’t explain how it works or how to treat toenail fungus. With ZetaClear you have a choice between a topical solution and a homeopathic spray which is sprayed in the mouth. All you need to do is follow the directions on the label and you should see improvements in a matter of days.
Effective Treatments for Getting Rid of Toenail Fungus
A toenail fungus can cause more than an unsightly discoloration of your toenails. If not properly treated, toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, can lead to an odor and discharge coming from your toenails to infected toenails dropping off your toe. Fortunately, toenail fungus is curable and you can either see your physician about a prescription to get rid of toenail fungus or you can try one of the many effective home remedies used to treat toenail fungus.
Seeking Treatment from a Doctor
There are several indications that you may have toenail fungus if you have a nail that looks dull, nails that are discolored, they may be thickened or distorted in shape and nails that are infected are often brittle. If you spot any of these signs, you should make an appointment with your doctor right away. The quicker you get toenail fungus treated, the more likely you can keep it from reoccurring and keep from losing your toenails.
Common Treatments for Toenail Fungus
There are several treatments that can be help cure toenail fungus, including over-the-counter medications, prescription medications and homemade remedies. Persistence is needed for any toenail fungus treatment you try because even the most effective treatments can take several weeks to work. Correctly using these treatments will help improve their effectiveness, so you should carefully follow your doctor’s instructions.
- Topical medications, which include creams and lotions, are often used in the treatment of toenail fungus and they should be applied as directed by your doctor.
- There are several oral medications used to fight fungal infections. However, some of them can cause medical complications, so the doctor treating you should be aware of your medical history to avoid prescribing the wrong medication.
- Antifungal lacquers that can be directly applied to the infected toenail(s) are often used for treating toenail fungus. It is applied like toenail polish and it is an easy solution to the problem, but it does require a prescription from your doctor.
It cannot be emphasized enough, but you should be persistent when using a toenail fungus cure because starting then stopping it could make the infection worse. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions about treating toenail fungus and do not use more than one treatment for the fungus unless you discuss it with your doctor.
Over the Counter Medications
Along with prescription medications that are available to fight and cure toenail fungus, there are over 60 over-the-counter products made to cure it. While you won’t find 60 products for toenail fungus on the shelves of your favorite pharmacy, they are available online. Among the most effective solutions include:
Purnail – This treatment includes FDA approved ingredients to help combat and eliminate fungus, along with oils that help penetrate the nail bed. This effective solution is made to eliminate fungus infecting the skin, the cuticles, finger and/or toenails by penetrating deep into the infected areas. Independent evaluations of this product have found it to be 20% more effective than similar products and it cures toenail fungus up to 10% faster.
Curanail – This is a powerful product in the treatment of toenail fungus, but it is only available for those in the United Kingdom and Ireland. If used correctly, it is fast acting and will help clear up fungus quicker than most other topical products on the market.
Zetaclear – This is a topical treatment for toenail fungus that is made from natural ingredients. It contains the active ingredient undecylenic acid, which comes from ricinoleic acid that is in castor oil. Some of the other ingredients included in Zetaclear are jojoba oil, tea tree oil, lemongrass oil, almond oil and vitamin E. Many of the oils are known for their antifungal and antibacterial qualities, which help to fend off toenail fungus.
Properly Caring for Infected Toenails
Along with the treatment suggested by your doctor, you need to care for your infected toenail(s) as well. The first thing you need to do is to allow air to get to the infected toenail(s). You can do this by going barefoot as often as you can or by wearing sandals as often as you can.
Sweaty socks and shoes are a breeding ground for fungal growth, so you need to let your feet breath. Also, don’t wear socks or hose more than once without washing them. Wearing white socks is a good way to go because you can bleach them and wash out any potential fungal problems.
Don’t wear shoes that are too tight because they push toes together and, if you have an infected toenail, the fungus can easily by passed to non-infected nails. The close proximity of the toes also helps create a moist atmosphere in your shoes in which fungus likes to thrive.
If you are wearing heals, take an occasional break to let your feet relax and breathe. Also, avoid wear tight hosiery because it can create similar problems for your feet. Wear more comfortable shoes or shoes made from more breathable materials. For instance, real leather shoes are preferable to manmade materials because leather allows your feet to breath and the leather conforms to your feet better.
When your feet do get wet, whether it is from bathing, swimming or an activity that causes them to sweat, you need to dry them afterwards. Keeping them dry will help control the infection and keep it from getting worse. Try to avoid being swimming in public pools or keep your feet covered if you do swim in them.
Alternative Treatments for Toenail Fungus
It is important that toenail infections are treated correctly because they can be difficult to clear up. If they are not treated properly, they can easily reoccur or worsen. Before consulting a doctor about your toenail fungus, you can try alternative treatments to being the healing process and to take care of any pain associated with the infection.
Take Off Excess Nail
Before beginning a treatment for toenail fungus, you should cut off the excess nail(s). Begin by soaking the affected toes for 20 to 30 minutes in warm water because the nails have been softened and are easier to trim. Then use a clean toenail clipper or scissors to trim the nails and gently scrape away any of the fungus that you find, which may look thick and flaky.
You may see areas on your toenails that are no longer attached to your toe because of the fungus. Be sure to push the cuticles back as it is a vital area that needs consistent treatment to effectively get rid of toenail fungus.
Types of Alternative Ingredients
Vick’s VapoRub – This thick substance is used to help clear up nasal congestion, but it can be effective for treating toenail fungus as well. Use a small amount of the salve to any infected toenails and toes before you put on socks. Your nails and toes need to be completely dry before using the VapoRub, otherwise you could seal moisture under the nails. Although it will take a while to clear up the fungus with this treatment, it is an inexpensive alternative to fungal medications.
Vinegar and Water Solution – Another home remedy for toenail fungus is to soak your toenail(s) in a solution of vinegar diluted with water each night. This remedy works well because the vinegar helps to lower the pH of the toenails so the fungus cannot survive. To be most effective against toenail fungus, you will need to be committed to it because it needs to be repeated it for at least three to six months to produce positive results.
Borax Powder and Baking Soda – This combination works against toenail fungus because boric acid, the active ingredient in borax powder, helps to kill many types of fungus. Not only will it help cure toenail fungus, but it is also a natural cure for athlete’s foot. To use this remedy, mix borax powder with baking soda and water to make a paste. Wet your feet and toenails, and then rub the paste on the affected toenails twice a day. Like most home remedies, this solution will take commitment for it to be effective because it won’t cure toenail fungus overnight.
When using any toenail fungus solutions, you will need to keep using them until the toenail infected with the fungus has completely grown out. If you stop using the remedy upon seeing improvement, but the fungus is still present in the nail, then the fungus can grow back and it can be worse the second time around. Allow the solution, whether natural or a prescription medicine, time to work so you can be permanently rid of toenail fungus.
Before resorting to an over-the-counter or homemade remedy for toenail fungus, have your doctor or a podiatrist examine your feet to see how far along the fungus has grown. If it is a mild case, then you may be able to eradicate it fairly quickly, but if you have a more severe case of toenail fungus, then a prescription medication may be your best solution for getting rid of it. Hope this post helped you how to treat toenail fungus the best way.