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.
Are There Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
The Internet is filled with anecdotal information on how to cure toenail fungus using home remedies. Vinegar is a commonly recommended home remedy. Some people apply various oils such as tea tree oil, coconut oil, essential oils, and oil of cedar leaf to their nails as well. The effectiveness of these home remedies is highly doubtful. Application of household bleach and hydrogen peroxide is also not recommended due to lack of evidence that these treatments work. These agents can also cause unwanted skin irritation. Thickened nails that have been affected by fungus can be difficult to trim. Using topical urea cream will soften the nail and make it easier to trim. These creams do not require a prescription.
How Effective Are Topical Treatments
So far, only a few studies have looked into topical nail fungus treatments with nail polishes or creams. Because these studies had weaknesses, the results should be interpreted with caution. Amorolfine has not yet been well studied. Ciclopirox polish and treatment sets with urea and bifonazole cream were tested in a few studies.
Research on the effectiveness of nail polish containing ciclopirox showed that, after one year:
- About 10 out of 100 people who did not use ciclopirox no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 32 out of 100 people who used ciclopirox no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, treatment with ciclopirox got rid of the fungal infection in about 22 out of 100 people. But even if the fungus had gone away, the cosmetic result wasnt always satisfying. The nails only looked healthy after treatment in 7 out of 100 people.
Treatment with sets containing urea and bifonazole cream was tested in one study. It was compared with a treatment in which only urea cream was applied and the nail was removed, but without applying bifonazole cream afterwards. Three months after treatment was completed, it was found that:
- No fungus was visible or detectable in about 41 out of 100 people who only used urea cream.
- No fungus was visible or detectable in about 51 out of 100 people who used both urea and bifonazole cream.
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What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Toenail Fungus
The most effective toenail fungus treatment for you will largely depend on your symptoms and situation. Your provider will consider several factors before recommending a treatment plan thats customized to you.
Overall, oral antifungal medications may offer the most treatment potential. Pairing oral drugs with topical antifungal medication may make treatment more effective.
Top Home Remedies To Treat Toenail Fungus
While fungal toenail infections tend to be fairly common in all ages, older adults are more frequently diagnosed. Toenail fungus occurs when fungi are allowed to enter small cracks in the toenails or the surrounding skin. Walking barefoot in high-risk environments, like gyms, pools, and salons is the most common reason for being diagnosed with a toenail fungus infection.
There are certain situations in which youre more likely to get toenail fungus, such as when you have a toenail injury, athlete’s foot, diabetes, a weak immune system, and/or blood circulation problems.
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Softening And Scraping Away The Nail
As it can take a long time for antifungal medication to work, some people may prefer to use a treatment that involves softening and removing infected parts of nail over a few weeks.
Treatment kits are available from pharmacies that contain a 40% urea paste, plasters and a scraping device. The paste softens the infected parts of the nail, allowing them to be scraped away so they can be gradually replaced with healthy nail.
To use the treatment:
A Pharmacist Can Help With Fungal Nail Infections
Speak to a pharmacist if the look of your nail bothers you or it’s painful.
They may suggest:
- antifungal nail cream it can take up to 12 months to cure the infection and does not always work
- nail-softening cream it’s used for 2 weeks to soften the nail so the infected part can be scraped off
The infection is cured when you see healthy nail growing back at the base.
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What About The Cost Of Oral Medications For Fungal Nails
A further consideration is cost. Because newer oral antifungal agents are very expensive, some insurance companies balk at paying for what they consider a “cosmetic issue,” unless nail fungus causes pain or other functional symptoms. Terbinafine and fluconazole are now available as generic drugs and are quite inexpensive.
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How Effective Is Apple Cider Vinegar For Toenail Fungus For Those Not Diabetic
There have been many researches to show that using vinegar foot soaks will help clear off toenail fungus infection with regular use. However, it is important to note that although the remedy works for many people, there have been reliable researches proving that the treatment only works on those whose fungus infection is mild. This means if your toenail fungus infection is very bad, this treatment may not work for you.
Who Apple Cider Vinegar Will Not Work For
If you are diabetic, chances are that your toenail fungus infection is as a result of diabetes and not a fungus per se. People who are diabetic often have the fungus infection known as onychomycosis. This infection affects their toenail. If you are in the class of these people, using ACV will amount to a total waste of your time.
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What Does Soaking Your Feet In Apple Cider Vinegar Do
First, it is important to note that you have toenail fungus infection as a result of the pH of the surrounding skin and nail becoming very basic, or alkaline. It is proven that fungus of any kind thrives in an alkaline environment. This means to get rid of toenail fungus, you need to ensure the surrounding skin and or nail turns from basic or alkaline to acidic as fungi dont survive in acidic environments.
This is why apple cider vinegar is useful. ACV is acidic enough to get rid of fungi but not acidic enough to cause harm to humans hence it is used as a preservative. Researches show ACV has antifungual qualities that help in slowing down the growth of all types of foot fungus which makes it ideal for toenail fungus infection treatment
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Top Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
There are many home remedies available nowadays for getting rid of toenail fungus, which means you have many choices. When it comes to which ones you should try, it’s really a matter of experimenting to see which home remedies may or may not work for you.
So what are some top home remedies for toenail fungus people use to address their fungal infection? See below for some of the more popular home remedies for treating toenail fungus.
Foot Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors
A foot fungus is a fungal infection of the skin, better known as athletes foot, says Sundling. The fungus enters through cracks in the skin. Its known as athletes foot because athletes or anyone who is more active and sweats a lot is more at risk. Kids are also more at risk, because they dont tend to wear different shoes, and changing your shoes is one way to avoid foot fungus.
Foot fungus is very common. It does not mean that someone is dirty or didnt bathe, and if you have a compromised immune system, you may be more susceptible, says Sundling.
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What Is The Treatment For Fungal Nails
Oral antifungal therapy has a high cure rate, depending on the medication. It can take nine to 12 months to see if it has worked or not, because that is how long it takes for the nail to grow out. Even when therapy works, the fungus may come back. Currently, an oral antifungal therapy is considered the best treatment for toenail fungus because of higher cure rates and shorter treatment duration compared to topical therapy.
Prescription oral medications that are effective against nail fungus include the following:
There are several innovative treatments that are still being tested:
- Laser therapy or uses application of light-activated agents onto the nail followed by shining light of a proper wavelength on the nail.
- Use of electrical current to help absorption of topical antifungal medications into the nail: This is also called iontophoresis.
- Use of a special nail lacquer that changes the micro-climate of the nail to make it inhospitable for the fungus to grow: If this works, it may be an inexpensive way to treat this problem in the future.
One way to definitively get rid of toenail fungus is by surgery. Surgical treatment of onychomycosis involves nail removal. However, this often only provides temporary relief, and recurrence is common unless additional antifungal medication is simultaneously used. However, surgical removal may be warranted when the affected nail is associated with other factors such as trauma and or infection.
How To Use It
Apply mentholated ointment directly to the affected nail. Do this about once a day for several weeks or until the nail shows noticeable improvements.
Vinegar is a common household product found in cooking and some home cleaning solutions. Though no clinical evidence exists to date, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that vinegar is an effective tool to help treat toenail fungus.
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Apple Cider Vinegar And Epsom Salt
Another foot soak method, this is said to work really well for toenail fungal infections. Apple cider vinegar has a number of healing and antibacterial properties if its organic, making it a go-to for many homeopathic treatments.
- 1/3 cup full strength ACV
- 2 cups hot water
- 1/3 cup Epsom salt
Mix and soak your toes/feet for at least 30 minutes every day. Apple cider vinegar is also a good supplement to take internally for overall health and to promote healing of fungus and bacteria from the inside out.
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How Do Dermatologists Treat A Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment usually begins with your dermatologist trimming your infected nail, cutting back each infected nail to the place where it attaches to your finger or toe. Your dermatologist may also scrape away debris under the nail. This helps get rid of some fungus.
To completely get rid of the infection, most people also need one or more of the following treatments:
Medicine you apply to the nail: If you have a mild infection, a medicine that you apply to your nails may get rid of the infection. This treatment helps keep new fungus out while the nails grow. Fingernails typically grow out in four to six months. Toenails take longer, usually takes 12 to 18 months.
Probably the most difficult part of this treatment is remembering to use it as often as prescribed. Some treatments must be applied every day. Others you apply once a week. To get the best results, its essential that you apply these medicines exactly as directed.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the following medicines that you apply to the nail to treat nail fungus:
Side effects from these medicines are generally mild. Possible side effects include redness and swelling, an ingrown toenail, and stinging or burning when you apply the medicine. In clinical trials, none of these side effects caused patients to stop using the treatment.
The FDA has approved the following systemic medicines to treat nail fungus:
How Apple Cider Vinegar May Help Treat Toenail Fungus
If you notice that your toenails are starting to thicken or change color, there is a chance you may have onychomycosis. Onychomycosis is the medical term for the condition commonly known as toenail fungus. If you are in the early stages of developing toenail fungus, you may notice a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. Afterward, you may notice that the fungus will travel deeper and start to discolor, thicken, or distort the edge of the nail. Nevertheless, there are items you likely have in your kitchen cabinet that can aid in fighting toenail fungus. Apple cider vinegar is a popular remedy for toenail fungus due to its antifungal properties. If you want to treat your fungus using ACV, you can soak your feet in a mixture of warm water and the vinegar for about 15 minutes, twice a day. When purchasing the ACV, you should make sure it is raw, unpasteurized, and organic. For further assistance with treating toenail fungus, please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Gordon Fosdick of Affiliated Foot Care Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
- Warped or oddly shaped nails
- Yellowish nails
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How Does Vicks Vapor Rub Work
Vicks VaporRub contains camphor, thymol, and menthol, which can fight off toenail fungus. It is very effective in treating the infection, and many people can vouch for its cure. It also shows zero side effects with continuous usage.
It can get rid of the fungal infection for good. Some may experience some warm feeling, but thats only because of the menthol cooling effect. It is the safest remedy there is compared to other prescription drugs, which have a side effect that can lead to death.
Signs And Symptoms Of Foot Fungus
Itchy skin is an early sign of foot fungus, or scaly, peeling skin, or tiny blisters on the skin that will pop at times, says Sundling. The skin tends to break out in the shape of a moccasin, or the area of the foot that a moccasin would cover. You dont see foot fungus on the top of the foot very often. Its common to get a fungal infection between the toes as well, she adds.
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How To Apply Apple Cider Vinegar For Toenail Fungus Infection
For good result when using apple cider vinegar for toenail fungus treatment, you want to make sure you buy raw, unpasteurized, and organic vinegar. To use Apple cider vinegar for toenail fungi infection, all you need to do is to soak your feet in a bowl of warm water and vinegar for a between 20-30 minutes. Do this twice a day till the fungus clears from your toenail.
- Step 1 Fill a bucket or basin or a foot tub with water enough to completely cover your feet. You could add the water using cups for measurement purpose.
- Step 2 If for instance 4 cups of water was used in step one, use two cups of ACV here. You want to make sure the apple cider vinegar added is at least half of the water to be used.
- Step 3 Immerse your feet in the bowl of water and leave them there for at least 20-30 minutes. Note that it is important that your feet are completely immersed in the water, if the water is not enough, you must add more water and ensure half the quantity of water added as extra is also added in form of Apple cider.
Once done you can then wipe your feet properly and repeat the process for at least two times per day in order to see better results.