Top 5 Ways of Treating Unsightly Nail Fungus
Nail fungal infection (onychomycosis or tinea unguium) is a very hard to cure problem. Because the fungus thrives in the nail plate, nail bed, edges and root of the nail it is impossible to get rid of without effective medical intervention. Furthermore, in the absence of early diagnosis and treatment, one runs the risk of transmitting the infection to other healthy finger or toe nails and cause permanent damage.
There are many anti fungus products available in the market, but it can be quite difficult determining which option would just not mask symptoms. All of the prescription medications and over the counter preparations claim to use maximum strength formulas, but how can you know what will really help you cure it once and for all?
That’s where we come in. ToenailFungusTreatmentReviews.com is the web’s leading website for information on the best treatments. To help you avoid frustrating trial and error attempts that most suffers go through, our online experts have thoroughly researched the market and picked the most popular and top rated solutions. These remedies help treat crumbly, discolored, brittle nails effectively and prevent complications in both male and female sufferers.
To find unbiased information on the best options available we follow this method:
Expert Investigation: Our panel of experts carefully analyzes each therapy and then rank it based on the following six-point criteria:
|1. Level of Effectiveness||4. Side Effects|
|2. Quality of Ingredients||5. Time Taken To See Results|
|3. Reputation of the Manufacturer||6. Value for Money|
So which therapy for fingernail or toenail fungus scored the highest?
Below you will find our top recommendation along with other options that did not worked to provide above average results.
#3 Prescription Strategies
After examining and identifying the abnormalities as nail fungus your doctors will often prescribe medication, particularly if it’s a severe case. Here are some your dermatologist or podiatrist may recommend that you use:
- Clotrimazole: Known primarily by the brand name Lotrimin, clotrimazole is an antifungal medicine prescribed to eliminate various fungal infections including ringworm, yeast infections (candida), and athlete’s foot. Clotrimazole stops the growth of fungus by breaking and dissolving the cell walls of the organisms. While effective, we found this drug to cause unpleasant side effects such as itching, redness, swelling, hives, and blistering in some people.
- Terbinafine: This is the generic name for Lamisil, which is a well-known over-the-counter fungus medication. It comes in a variety of forms including as a cream, lotion and tablets. This is another effective tinea remedy, but like clotrimazole, there are side effects which include gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and nausea, headaches, fatigue, irregular rashes, and hives. It typically requires blood samples to be sent to the laboratory for regular liver function tests .
- Itraconazole: This is a broad spectrum antifungal medicine that is approved to eliminate harmful bugs in addition to other similar infections in the lungs and throat. It’s known by several brand names including Onmel and Sporanox. Common side effects associated with this drug includes diarrhea, mild itching, joint pain, headache, and cold-like symptoms. Ciclopirox (Penlac), ketoconazole (Nizoral ), oxiconazole are some other medicinal approaches.
While pharmaceutical drugs can get rid of the disease, they can cause unpleasant side effects as noted above and are therefore contraindicated for pregnant or nursing women, adults and children with suppressed immunity. Some of these meds can interfere with the effectiveness of other drugs like for Diabetes, Cellulitis, Psoriasis, Cancer and AIDS. Additionally they do nothing to prevent the fungal infection from reoccurring. If you choose to use these, it’s important to consult with a physician before and during treatment.
You may need surgery if your suffer from unbearable pain or ingrown nails, or in instances where the problem is not manageable and is not responding to any type of therapy:
- Surgical excision. Your doctor may use special instruments to scrape nail surface and remove the decaying nail under which fungi survive. You’ll need local anesthesia for this procedure to reduce pain. Later the exposed tissue would be covered with medicated bandage to stop blood flow from where the nail has separated.
- Lasers. This approach, which uses an intense beam of light, can be expensive and is usually reserved for very extensive and tough-to-treat infection. Laser therapy does offer satisfactory success rate but is not widely used in absence of long-term successes data.
#5 Alternative Regimens
If you don’t want to deal with the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs or the expense and risk of surgery, you may want to try these alternative options.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): While this vinegar can be used for cooking, it’s primarily used for medicinal purposes. It can be applied directly to the split nails three times per day or you can soak the affected nail in a mix of apple cider vinegar and water for 30 minutes. You can also take ACV as a supplement, but be certain to follow the manufacturer’s directions to avoid side effects.
- Nail Polish/Paint: This is an unusual treatment for fungal infections of the skin and nails. However, it is believed that the polish will trap and suffocate the fungus, eventually killing it. Use only small amounts of clear polish and apply one coat every day for five days on dry nails, remove, and start the process over until the infection goes away. That said, scientific literature specifically states to not use it as there is evidence of worsening of deformed nails.
- Vicks VapoRub: This simple and cheap formulation is typically used to alleviate cold symptoms. However, it contains thymol which has antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties. To use, trim the nail completely and rub Vicks into and around the nail bed. Continue until signs of healthy nail layers begin to appear.
Although clinically unproven alternative remedies are often safer to use and gentler on the body than pharmaceutical drugs. However, it takes a long time to see results that are temporary. Additionally, some of these can be a hassle to use. If you are looking for an easy way to get rid of the infection fast, you may want to consider the better options detailed above.
Self-Care Tips to Compliment Any Treatment plan:
- Make minor lifestyle changes like washing your hands, feet and skin between the toes daily with soap water in the morning and at bed time.
- Use disinfected scissors, nail clippers and filers and don’t share it with anyone if you have a family history of nail fungus.
- Sprinkle anti-fungal spray or powder inside your old shoes as they may harbor spores or mold. Keeping them in sunlight occasionally is also suggested.
- Don’t wear non breathable socks and hosiery. Fabrics made of wool, cotton, nylon and polypropylene are good at absorbing excess moisture.
- Manicure or pedicure at nail salons must be done with sterilized tools as they can be contaminated. Dead debris or bits should be removed after softening the nails with alcohol, urea ointment or soaking in water for few minutes.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public places like gyms, shower rooms and swimming pools.
- Cut short and thin down the nails from top, sides and front for topical lacquers to reach entire nail matrix.
- Wear rubber gloves for wet jobs like dish washing, cooking or house cleaning.
- You won’t benefit from any extra vitamins. No need to buy them.
- Don’t wear heels as it stresses nerve supply.