Treatments For Toenail Fungus
The best way to start treating your toenail fungus is to have an appointment with your doctor so that you can receive proper diagnosis. Other nail conditions can look similar to fungus, such as post-injury changes to the nail plate, so often your physician will take samples of the nail to be evaluated prior to recommending therapy.
There are several over-the-counter ointments and medications that you can try to treat your toenail fungus. Your doctor can also prescribe oral and topical prescription medications. Surgery to remove the nail and Laser treatments are also available. The goal of most of these treatment options is to attempt to kill the fungus and allow the uninfected nail to grow out. It takes approximately 10 to 12 months for toenails to grow out. The choice of treatment modality will vary considerably depending on severity and extent of the disease, coexisting medical conditions, patient medications, physician and patient preference.
How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus
Theres no way to guarantee that you wont get toenail fungus. But you can take several steps to help prevent it:
- Avoid going barefoot in communal areas such as hotel rooms / showers, public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. Most people pick up fungus in these situations. It helps to wear flip flops in these public areas.
- If you have a family member with foot fungus or nail fungus, try to use different shower or wear flip flops in the shower to avoid coming in contact with it.
- Trauma due to accidental or aggressive clipping of the nails can turn into portals of entry for the fungus.
- Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
- Do not tear or rip your toenails on purpose.
- If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider.
- Keep your feet dry. Make sure to fully dry your feet after a shower.
- Soak toenails in warm water before cutting them. Or you can cut your nails after a shower or bath.
- Trim toenails straight across .
- Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.
Treatment Options For Nail Fungus
Most of my conversation is usually discussing medical therapy, so things that are available by prescription only. And those come in two main forms, which are topical antifungal medications, and then oral antifungal medications. There are other surgical or procedural options, so you can remove nails as well. And then there’s starting to be more interest in technologies like lasers for nail fungus.
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When Are The Different Treatments Considered
Most doctors recommend treating nail fungus with nail polish or cream if
- not much more than half of the nail is affected by the fungus,
- the base of the nail is not infected, and
- only some nails are affected.
Topical treatment is also usually recommended for children. One reason for this is that most oral medications arent suitable for children. Another reason is that children have thinner nails that grow more quickly, so its assumed that treatment with nail polish or creams is more likely to work in children than in adults. White superficial onychomycosis is also often treated with a nail polish or cream.
If several nails are infected by the fungus, or if the infection has spread out more on the affected nails, its usually necessary to take oral medication. And if the infection started at the base of the nail, its highly likely that only tablets will help.
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Clean Socks And Shoes
Regularly changing your socks and shoes can also cut down on the growth of unwanted foot fungus. Both socks and athletic shoes can also be washed in hot water to rid the growth of yeasts and fungi that may be growing on the fabric. Some shoes can be machine dried. Drying shoes in the sun is another option when cleaning footwear.
Adding a half-cup of baking soda or one cup of vinegar to the washing machine can help eliminate bacteria or fungus on socks or shoes.
Boots and other footwear that are not machine washable could be wiped out with a vinegar and water solution or sprayed with an over-the-counter antifungal spray. Medicated powders are also helpful in treating shoes for foot fungus.
Allowing the feet to breathe by taking off shoes and socks when possible can prevent fungal growth. Protect your feet by wearing breathable footwear and clean socks. Antimicrobial socks and shoes made from bamboo, copper, or specialty fabrics are also available. They can help reduce unwanted bacteria and yeast from growing in your footwear.
A proactive approach to keeping your feet clean and dry can prevent the spread of toenail fungus. You can wash or soak feet with warm soapy water or a foot bath using everyday household items. Soaking your feet in an all-natural, homeopathic concoction can be beneficial in reducing or eliminating toenail fungus.
How Do You Prevent Nail Fungus
Prevention is important to minimize your risk of getting a first nail fungus infection, but it is also important during treatment to increase your chances of a successful treatment and reduce the chances of subsequent nail fungus infections.
- Public spas, swimming pools, showers and locker rooms are all high-risk areas where fungi are more likely to be picked up. Avoid these high-risk areas during treatment if possible and, if you do visit these areas, protect yourself by wearing flip flops, washing your hands and feet thoroughly and drying them afterwards.
- Wash your feet frequently and keep them dry. Wear cotton socks to absorb the sweat from your feet. Change your socks frequently to keep them dry and fresh.
- Wear shoes that are comfortable and allow adequate air circulation.
- Keep your nails cut short and avoid using nail polish while you have an infection.
- Avoid sharing towels, shoes and other items. This is especially important to prevent transmission to family members.
- Stay healthy and keep your immune system strong.
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Why Is The Treatment Necessary
Onychomycosis, leads to discoloration and deformation of the nails. Particular problems include thickening, which may cause pain and make basic nail cutting difficult. In patients with complicating factors, deformed nails can lead to surrounding tissue damage and once again promote secondary bacterial infection. Furthermore, a recent study has highlighted the psychological, social and occupational effects of the condition which appear to have been underestimated by health care professionals for treating the condition.
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.
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Bill Of The Month: For Toenail Fungus A $1500 Prescription
During Anne Solovievs semiannual visit to Braun Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., in January, the physician assistant diagnosed fungus in two of her toenails. Soloviev is vigilant about getting skin checks, since she is at heightened risk for skin cancer, but she hadnt complained about her toenails or even noticed a problem.
The assistant noted some unusual discoloration where the nail meets the skin. They took a toenail clipping and said, yeah, you have a fungus, Soloviev recalled.
So the PA called a prescription into a specialty pharmacy with mail-order services, which would send medication to Solovievs Capitol Hill home.
It seemed like an easy fix to an inconsequential health issue. I did not ask how much it cost it never crossed my mind, ever, said Soloviev, a former French teacher, who still works part time.
Then the bill came.
Patient: Anne Soloviev, 77 on March 18, of Washington, D.C.
The Bill: $1,496.09 for Kerydin, a topical medication that treats toenail fungus. Originally produced by Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc., it is now a product of Sandoz, a Novartis division.
Service Provider: My Express Care Pharmacy, plus Braun Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center
The Medical Treatment: Shortly after the physician assistant phoned in the prescription to My Express Care Pharmacy, in Maryland, the pharmacy contacted Soloviev for her health insurance information.
She thought little of it.
What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Toenail Fungus
If you have toenail fungus, you may find it helpful to ask your provider:
- What type of infection do I have?
- Do you recommend I treat it? Why or why not?
- How long will I need treatment?
- What steps can I take to stop it from coming back?
- Should I be aware of any potentially serious complications or treatment side effects?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Toenail fungus is an incredibly common infection that can be difficult to treat. The condition usually isnt painful, but it may make you feel self-conscious about how your foot looks. If it bothers you, talk to your provider about your treatment options. A trained specialist can provide guidance on whats most likely to address your concerns while protecting your overall health.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.
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Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
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Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, is a common nail condition affecting millions of people in the United States. Fungal nail infections can develop on the nail from various organisms such as molds, yeasts, and fungi. This usually occurs after these organisms come into contact with a cracked nail or skin surrounding the nail as the opening provides a portal of entry for these organisms.
Nail Fungus Can Be Resistant To Treatment And Nails Take A Long Time To Grow Out So It Can Take Several Weeks Or Months For An Infection To Be Fully Resolved
How to know if toenail fungus is healing. Zeta toe fungus cream rubbing alcohol kill toenail fungus big toe nail almost lost to fungus. These medications are weak, and often dont penetrate the nail well enough to kill the fungus. You go to the internet and google nail fungus treatment, you’ll come up with 10,000 hits, i bet.
Treatment fungus toenail foot fungus peroxide how to know toenail fungus is healing. A new nail grows in its place that may take 12 months to 18 months. Treat fingernail fungus dr ishiguru toe nail fungus cure.
how to know when nail fungus is healing toenail fungus treatment over the counter cvs jublia toenail fungus medicine homemade hand fingernail fungus. You can work at slowly trimming off. Nail fungus can be resistant to treatment and nails take a long time to grow out, so it can take several weeks or months for an infection to be fully resolved.
While less entrenched infections can be successfully treated with over the counter treatments, always check to make sure the fungus isnt coming back with a vengeance, requiring more aggressive care. The discoloration may cause your nails to crack or thicken. You will know that the treatment is working and the infection is clearing up when you see growth of a new, healthy nail from the base of.
Its a fungal infection that can affect your toenails. Foul odor in the nail. Healing of toenail fungus can be a long process, but it will be worthwhile in the end when your nails are finally clear!
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Nail Fungus And Oral Treatments
Nail fungus infections could last a lifetime if they are just left alone. They can be just an unsightly presence in a persons daily life, but they can also bring pain and a lot of harm if the infection worsens and spreads.
This is where treatment comes in. People who suffer from finger and toenail fungus have different treatment options, the most popular of which is perhaps oral medicine. Oral treatments are medications taken by mouth. As such, the medicines work from the inside of the body to heal the outside, supposedly killing the nail fungus infection. These are usually considered when the nail fungus infection is from moderate to severe because they have systemic effect and are able to reach different parts of the body.
Oral anti-fungal treatments are said to have high effectiveness rate. However, they also have high risks. They may also come with side effects, and therefore they are not recommended for some nail fungus sufferers.
Creams & Topical Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Over-the-counter fungal creams like clotrimazole dont work well for treating toenail fungus. Prescription nail polishes are available, but they take longer to work and arent effective for severe cases. Thats because they dont penetrate the nail very well. That said, they are still a good option for people with mild cases of toenail fungus, or for those who cant take the oral antifungals. Examples include:
Side effects are usually minor and include redness or burning at the application site.
You might hear or read about medicated chest rub as a treatment for toenail fungus, but its mostly hype. Its a tempting option because its so safe, easy to use, and cheap. But its not likely to help.
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Doctors Weigh Best Treatments
The best treatment for fungal nail infections is a prescription that your dermatologist can prescribe that you take every day for two-to-three months. The pill is not for everyone, since oral antifungals can interact with other medications and can affect the liver.
Fortunately if you dont want to or cant take a pill, there are topical solutions to treat nail fungus. Although topical medications are desirable because of the low risk of side effects and interaction with other medications, they have much longer treatment regimens. Generally, topical medications have a lower clearance rate compared to oral pills.
Newer topical antifungals including Efinaconazole and Tavaborole have better penetration of the nail plate and so they work better compared to older topical medications, says Dr. Ng. She says the topical medications work best if you only have partial nail involvement.
Lasers are approved by the FDA to temporarily increase the amount of clear nail. However, the cure rates are lower than oral medications and topical solutions.
Terbinafine For Toenail Fungus Treatment
The best pill for toenail fungus is terbinafine. Evidence suggests it works better than the alternatives with the fewest side effects. Terbinafine results in resolution of toenail fungus 76% of the time. Common side effects may include headaches, skin rash, and vomiting. It is taken once a day for 6 to 12 weeks.
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Treatment Challenges: What To Expect And What To Do
Treating nail fungus infections is challenging. From a patients point of view, one of the main frustrations is that nail fungus infections take considerable time to clear, even when the treatment is working. Typically, topical treatments are prescribed for a year and oral treatments require several months of treatment before your nails return to normal.
Having realistic treatment expectations is very important
Its important that you speak with your physician and the pharmacist so that you understand the expected outcome and duration of treatment, as well as possible side effects of the treatment. Unrealistic expectations often lead to dissatisfaction, poor compliance or failure to continue the treatment as instructed.
Nail fungus infection takes a long time to treat
The appearance of the damaged nail will not return to normal even after the fungi are cleared, until the damaged nail grows out and is replaced by the healthy nail. It takes fingernails about six months to re-grow completely, and toenails require 12-18 months.
The cure rate for nail fungus infection treatments is not 100%. Understand that your treatment may fail and you may need to try again, or use a different treatment regimen. Recurrence is common with this condition.
Side Effects Of Toenail Fungus Medication
One of the many benefits of using a homeopathic remedy is that there are little to no adverse side effects. Topical treatments often prescribed to treat toenail fungus can potentially burn or blister the skin. Oral medications for treating onychomycosis can cause liver or gastrointestinal damage. Be sure to read your medications list of potential side effects. Consult your pharmacist, physician, or specialist if you are concerned about side effects of prescription drugs.
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How To Use Them
A person interested in trying a blend of essential oils can buy the oils online or from a health food store. Mix the oil with a carrier oil before applying the mixture to the affected nails.
Ozonized oils are oils infused with ozone gas. Examples of oils that are available in ozonized form include sunflower oil and olive oil.
According to , ozonized oils show positive effects similar to a traditional medication called terbinafine cream in treating one type of fungus. In this study, the researchers used rabbits to test the effectiveness of the treatment.
Another study carried out on 400 people tested how ozonized oils affected fungal infections. In this 2011 study , researchers used ozonized sunflower oil to treat toenail fungus.
Their results indicated that ozonized oils cured up to 90.5 percent of the total infections with only a 2.8 percent relapse rate after 1 year. The researchers concluded the ozonized sunflower oil works more effectively than ketoconazole cream, which is an antifungal medication.