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Do Toenail Fungus Creams Work

Sets With Creams And A Nail Scraper

Do Topical Treatments For Nail Fungus Really Work?

Treatment sets that contain two creams and a nail scraper can also be used for the topical treatment of nail fungus:

  • One cream has urea in it, which softens the nail so it can be removed.
  • The other cream contains bifonazole, which has an antifungal effect.

For this treatment, the affected toe or finger first has to be soaked in warm water for ten minutes and then dried. After that, the urea-based cream is applied to the nail, and the nail is covered with an adhesive bandage. After 24 hours, the bandage is removed and the toe or finger is held in warm water again. The softened layer of the nail is then scraped off using a spatula, the cream is applied again and the nail is covered with a new bandage. This treatment is carried out over 14 days. Once the infected part of the nail has been scraped away completely, the skin beneath is treated for another four weeks with a bifonazole cream.

Stop This Skin Infection In Its Tracks With These Over

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Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

Toenail fungus is a common fungal condition that often starts after a rash on the foot spreads to the nails. When mild, it looks like white and yellow spots growing under the nail beds. But if left untreated, the fungus can grow severely by hardening the nails and spreading to other toes.

The fungus often begins in the form of athlete’s foot between the toes or on the soles of the feet. At this stage, the fungal infection is easier to treat with over-the-counter medication. But Shari Lipner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, told Verywell Health toenail fungus can be difficult to treat because of how slow the nails grow. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies, she says.

Diagnosing the fungal infection early is key to make treatments effective. Dr. Lipner recommends visiting a board-certified dermatologist to properly treat the infection if it grows to be too severe.

Here are a few of the best over-the-counter toenail fungus treatments on the market.

To Use Ciclopirox Topical Solution Follow These Steps:

  • Be sure that you have trimmed your nails properly before your first treatment.
  • Use the applicator brush attached to the bottle cap to apply ciclopirox topical solution evenly to all affected nails. Also apply the solution to the underside of the nail and the skin beneath it if you can reach these areas.
  • Wipe off the bottle cap and neck and replace the cap tightly on the bottle.
  • Let the solution dry for about 30 seconds before you put on socks or stockings.
  • When it is time for your next dose, apply ciclopirox topical solution over the medication that is already on your nails.
  • Once a week, remove all the ciclopirox from your nail with a cotton square or tissue soaked with rubbing alcohol. Then, remove as much of the damaged nail as possible using scissors, nail clippers, or nail files.
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    Do Oral Medications Help

    Taking a course of oral antifungal medication is likely your best treatment option. Like topical treatments, oral medication can require the patient to commit to a lengthy treatment time. Dr. Wagenseller explained, Oral medication is most effective, but it requires at least three months of treatment. Unfortunately, the most effective pill has possible systemic side effects. Its important for patients to work closely with the dermatologist and/or a general physician throughout the treatment process to ensure safety and avoid long-term damage from the potential side effects of antifungal medications.

    What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors

    Natural Cure for Toenail Fungus  How Do Remedies Work?

    In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athlete’s foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.

    Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.

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    Some Side Effects Can Be Serious The Following Symptoms Are Uncommon But If You Experience Any Of Them Call Your Doctor Immediately:

    • irritation, itching, burning, blistering, swelling, or oozing at the place where you applied ciclopirox
    • pain at the affected nail or surrounding area
    • discoloration or change in shape of nail
    • ingrown nail

    Ciclopirox topical solution may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

    If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .

    What The Experts Say

    The most common presentation of toenail fungus is a white/yellow discoloration of the nail that is thick and filled with yellow/white keratin debris. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies.” Orit Markowitz, MD, founder and CEO of OptiSkin treatment center in New York City.

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    Is It Possible To Prevent The Recurrence Of Nail Fungus

    Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot or foot fungus, can cause recurrence of fungal nails. Therefore, it is important to manage this condition. One can apply over-the-counter antifungal medicines such as clotrimazole or terbinafine cream as directed to affected skin. Keeping footwear and socks clean can be helpful. You can also use portable UV light sanitizers to disinfect shoes.

    What Real Users Are Saying

    The Best Treatment for Toenail Fungus, According to a Podiatrist

    There is a lot of talk about using VICKS for toenail fungus and a lot of people recommending it online, HOWEVER, there is a lack of information coming from people who have actually used it to treat such.

    Most of the information I have found comes from sources saying things like “it can be used for this”, “it has been used for that”, and things like this.

    It would be nice to see some more good evidence of it working, but at the same time, the lack of good evidence doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work.

    I was able to find a small number of reviews on Amazon. Of course there weren’t many because most people’s reviews talk about other things since treating toenail fungus isn’t the reason most people buy it.

    *If you do have your own success story with VICKS VapoRub be sure to leave it in the comment section below for others to see!

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    Do Over The Counter Topical Ointments Work

    While a search for toenail fungus treatment is likely to recommend the use of topical ointments you can buy from any pharmacy, according to Dr. Wagenseller, Toenail fungus rarely responds to treatment with these topical creams. In order to experience any improvement at all, patients may need to use the over the counter topical creams for years, and once they discontinue use, patients will likely develop toenail fungus again.

    Treatment Options For Fungal Nail

    Treatment options, some of which can be prescribed by your GP and the others found at your local pharmacy, include:

    Antifungal nail creams or paints

    These are applied directly to the nail over several months and are most effective when used at the early stages of the infection. They aren’t generally considered to be as effective as tablets because it can be difficult for the product to reach the deep layers of the nail. Some people choose them over tablets because side effects are less common. These are available over the counter.

    Nail-softening kits

    A paste is applied to soften the infected area. This is then covered with a plaster for 24 hours. The next day, the paste is washed off and the softened nail gently scraped away.

    This process has to be repeated every day for two to three weeks. When no more of the infected nail can be removed, an antifungal paint is applied to prevent re-infection as the nail grows over the next few months. These kits are available from your pharmacist.

    Antifungal tablets

    These are only available on prescription and need to be taken for several months, before the infection has completely cleared up. Some tablets are unsuitable for people taking certain medicines, and some people may experience side effects. Always see your doctor or pharmacist for advice about medicines.

    Laser treatment

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    What Is A Fungal Nail Infection

    Fungal nail infections are a common problem that can affect any nail, but most often affects the toenails.

    They’re caused by the growth of fungal spores that make their way between the toenail and the skin underneath the nail bed. The spores feed off the skin or the keratin in the nail.

    The type of fungi responsible for athletes foot, another common foot condition that affects the skin mainly between the toes, can cause the infection to spread to the nails.

    More rarely, fungal nail infections can be caused by other types of fungi, usually yeasts, which tend to attack nails that are already damaged because they are easier for the fungi to invade.

    Other Options For Toenail Fungus Infections

    Removal of the toenail is only used when just one nail is infected, but it does work. Light therapy and lasers are also being studied as possible toenail fungus treatments. Laser therapy has shown promise when combined with oral or topical antifungals. A multicenter trial investigating the efficacy of a device, the Pinpointe FootLaser, is currently underway, so stay tuned to that.

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    How Is Toenail Fungus Diagnosed

    Do Laser Treatments For Nail Fungus Really Work?

    Nearly 3 million people in the United States are diagnosed with toenail fungus each year. Men are up to three times more likely to develop toenail fungus than women. You are also at a higher risk for a toenail fungus infection if you smoke or have diabetes. Also, individuals with compromised immune systems may experience toenail fungus that can turn into an infection.

    When feet remain moist or damp, the fungus can grow, causing discoloration and thickening of toenails. Infection can cause discomfort and pain. The spread of fungus and infection can go from toe to toe, hand, fingernails, or skin on other parts of the body.

    The toenail may become warped, cracked, or loosen itself away from the nail bed. Often the nail appears yellowish and may have white spots. Your doctor will examine your feet and potentially take a small sample of skin or nail to be sent off to a laboratory for testing. Your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist, podiatrist, or other healthcare professional if your condition is unusual or needs special care. Other foot conditions such as psoriasis can look similar to a fungal infection. Lab reports can indicate if the problem is fungal, helping the doctor prescribe the best medication for effective treatment.

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    How Effective Are Tablets In Treating Nail Fungus

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    Tablets for the treatment of nail fungus have been tested in several studies. All participants had an infection on their toenails caused by a skin fungus. Overall, the study results showed that tablets are considerably more effective than nail polishes or creams.

    One year after a three-month treatment with terbinafine:

    • About 17 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
    • About 76 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.

    In other words, the treatment with terbinafine got rid of the fungal infection in about 59 out of 100 people.

    Itraconazole also proved to be effective. After one year,

    • 7 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
    • About 43 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.

    In other words, the treatment with itraconazole got rid of the fungal infection in about 36 out of 100 people.

    Some studies directly compared itraconazole and terbinafine with each other. They confirm that terbinafine is somewhat more effective than itraconazole.

    Treatment with breaks is thought to be about as effective as continuous treatment. But that has only been looked into in a few studies.

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    What You Need To Know About Antifungal Creams

    Suspecting that you have a fungal infection is never fun.

    Luckily, for many fungal infections involving the skin, you can pretty easily handle them with over-the-counter products and a quick chat with your friendly local pharmacist.

    But, if what you are dealing with seems to involve the fingernails or toenails, that is a different story.

    Nail fungal infections may need some more intense prescription medications, like those found in our Strut Nail Formula.

    In this article, we will go over the basics of topical antifungal creams, how they work, how to use them, and where to find them.


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