Ways To Safely Treat Toenail Fungus At Home
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Toenail fungus sounds funky, but believe it or not, its much more common than you think. Thats because the pesky foot issuewhich most often presents as yellowing, cracking, and thickening of the nailscan be caused by everything from slower-growing nails and excessive sweating to athletes foot and walking barefoot in communal areas such as pools, shower rooms, gyms, and the like.
Most infections are caused by tinea species, but can involve harder-to-treat species of dermatophytes,” says Francisco Oliva, DPM. He adds that infections usually occur when theres a combination of issues affecting the toenail. Sometimes there is an injury to the nail at some point, he explains. The effects can be delayed for months and years. Once the fungus invades the nail, the keratin layer of the nail becomes a difficult barrier to penetrate.
Why Is Laser Therapy Better Than Other Therapies
Among other reasons, laser therapy is better than other therapies because it is safe. It doesnt have any of the side effects that come with the antifungals. It also doesnt have the drug interactions that the oral antifungals can have.
Its a great option for people that are taking the drugs that interact with the orals or that cant tolerate the side effects.
The treatment is pain-free and easy. Expect to spend 12 minutes on treating each of your feet once you arrive in our office.
And the best perk of all is that the laser can get in through your nail to where that fungus is hiding and get rid of it quickly.
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Do Vinegar Soaks Help Toe Fungus
In short, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest vinegar foot soaks can help you to get rid of fungal toenail infections over time and with repeated use.
There are further benefits to a vinegar soak. It could remove dry, cracked or dead skin cells from your feet. Its also thought that giving your feet a vinegar bath could help tackle other fungal infections, like athlete’s foot.
But will vinegar kill toenail fungus? Theres no concrete clinical evidence to suggest that soaking feet in vinegar will definitely work, though some users do report that the treatment can work on mild cases of fungal infections. It is also a low-risk treatment, so it is unlikely to cause you any harm if you do decide to test out this home remedy.
Usually, your doctor will recommend using medication to treat toe fungus rather than relying on a home remedy.
There are two main types of medical treatment that are normally recommended for fungal nail infections: nail paints and tablets.
Amorolfine nail paint is available from our online pharmacy for the topical treatment of fungal toenail infections. The antifungal nail paint works by stopping the growth of fungus that causes infections. It also breaks down the fungi cells and removes the fungus as the nail grows out. Amorolfine is the cheaper generic version of the branded Curanail antifungal treatment. You could also use Loceryl 5% nail lacquer, which is a prescription treatment you apply directly to your infected nail.
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Home Remedies To Treat Toenail Infection
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common toenail infection. If not treated promptly, this contagious disease can be excruciatingly painful and even spread to other parts of the body.
It can be difficult to treat, especially if it is severe and affects the majority of the nails. Before applying any treatment, the nails should be trimmed and preferably debrided . Change your socks on a daily basis and wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe.
The following home remedies can be effective for toenail fungus.
Vicks VapoRub is a topical ointment. Although it is intended to treat coughs, its active ingredients may also aid in the treatment of toenail fungus. According to a 2011 study, Vicks VapoRub had a “positive clinical effect” in the treatment of toenail fungus. Apply a small amount of Vicks VapoRub to the affected area at least once per day.
Listerine original mouthwash has antifungal and antibacterial chemicals such as thymol, menthol, and eucalyptol, and Listerine footbaths have been used to treat sports foot and other fungal foot illnesses such as fungal toenails. Soaking feet in a Listerine foot bath for 20 to 30 minutes softens the nail plate, allowing natural antifungal chemicals in the mouthwash to penetrate the nail and kill the fungus.
Soak Your Feet In Vinegar
Heres another pantry item that can deliver optimal results for toenail fungal infections. According to Hayag, applying white vinegar to the fungal-infected areas can prove worthwhile, thanks to its antibacterial properties.
Similar to oregano oil, applying white vinegar topically on fungus-infected toenails has some anecdotal evidence that supports its antibacterial benefits. Soak your foot in one part vinegar to two parts warm water for up to 20 minutes daily, she suggests, saying that this can help with the fungus, help with just the discoloration, or it may not help at all, depending on how your toes react.
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Ask About Antifungal Pills
If topical treatment isnt doing the trick, your doctor may prescribe one of the following antifungal pills:
How to use it: Antifungal pills work faster than medicine applied to the nails, the AAD says, but you should still expect a few months of consistent use, per your doctors instructions.
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Remedies And Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Antifungal remedies help to stop the growth of the fungus. Over-the-counter options do not claim to cure toenail fungus, but they can help to improve the look of the affected nail. These products do not work as well as prescription medications. To cure toenail fungus, a remedy has to penetrate the nail and nail bed. Most over-the-counter remedies for nail fungus are topical and do not penetrate deeply enough.
Trim, Buff, and Thin the Affected Nail
Keeping your nails trim, buffed, and clean helps to prevent the spread of the fungus to other nails. Additionally, buffing the nail can allow topical antifungals to penetrate more deeply. Make sure to wash your hands promptly after touching the affected nail, especially before touching other nails.
Vicks VapoRub is a product marketed for people with coughs. However, it may also be effective against toenail fungus. One small study showed that after applying it topically each day for 48 weeks, 27.8% of participants fully cured their nail fungus â and 55.6% of participants saw partial improvement. However, more study is needed.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil comes from the Australian tea tree. It is an essential oil traditionally used as an antibacterial and antifungal treatment. Early research shows that it may help with nail fungus when used topically. However, more research is needed. If you do use tea tree oil for toenail fungus, only use it topically.
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Cover The Affected Area In Oregano Oil
Believe it or not, the tasty herb can also work wonders for treating toenail fungus at home. According to a 2020 study published in the Journal of Skin Appendage Disorders, researchers found that oreganos antibacterial properties are able to inhibit fungal growth in nails when included in an essential oil blend.
While the effectiveness of oregano oil has only been known anecdotally, thymola common component of oregano oilhas been reviewed to be an effective antibacterial and antifungal agent, Hayag says. People with toenail fungus can apply the product to affected areas twice daily and can expect no improvement, partial improvement, or complete improvement of their toenail fungus after using oregano oil. That said, she mentioned that oregano oil is quite potent and can cause an adverse reaction if you have particularly sensitive skin. For this reason, she recommends starting with a patch test. Additionally, to prevent an adverse reaction, consider mixing oregano oil with a carrier oil, such as olive or avocado oils, to dilute its potency.
Frequently Asked Questions About Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus Infections
Not all Vinegar can kill toe fungus, but apple cider vinegar is effective. This is due to the antifungal properties. All you need to do is soak your feet in apple cider vinegar for 15 minutes a day.
- Which Bleach Kill toenail fungus?
To kill toenail fungus using bleach, soak your feet in bleach water for 15 minutes at night. You can make bleach water, ass a tablespoon of bleach in half-gallon of water.
It is evident that you can take creative steps to treat toenail fungi infection right from the comfort of your home. This article has discussed the causes and risk factors. However, if you want the best nail fungus treatment that is certain to clear your nail fungus in record time, then check out our review of the best nail fungus treatments.
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Toenail Fungus Prescription Medications
Sometimes prescription medications are needed to treat a toenail infection that just wont go away with natural remedies or over-the-counter medication in a few months. In this case, prescription-strength antifungal medication can eradicate stubborn onychomycosis.
Topical medications often are effective in treating mild to moderate toenail fungus. Topical solutions may include medicated nail polishes or liquid medications. Loprox , Penlac , Kerydin , and Jublia are among the top prescription drugs for toenail fungus.
Natural Cures For Fungal Nails
Do you have a fungal infection, a particularly bad one perhaps? Has your nail turned yellow and brown and is it flaking and chipping easily? Turn to the World Wide Web and you will find a multitude of natural cures for your fungal toenails. But do they work? Today I will give you the low down on what actually works, and absolutely does not work for your fungal toenails!
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Smooth On An Antifungal Cream
Look for antifungal creams at your local drugstore that contain ketoconazole or terbinafine as active ingredients, Rodney says. Just make sure to use them at night or whenever your feet can breathe, she explains, You should not use these when wearing sneakers or boots because they may just add moisture to your already sweaty feet.
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At Home Treatments For Toenail Fungus
As a society, many of us take for granted how the internet affects our lives. If you want to do it yourself for things like building a new bookcase or using at-home treatments for toenail fungus, you only need to use a search engine to pull up instructional videos and webpages. Kids might have a hard time believing this, but it used to take a trip to the library to achieve the same results!
A clear example of this are the tips and advice we provide right here on our website. If you are looking for information or the latest in health news, be sure to connect with us on social media . Now, when it comes to something like a case of fungal toenails, you might want to try home treatment and see if it will help first.
Regarding at-home treatments for fungal toenails, options you might consider include:
If at-home treatments for toenail fungus are not delivering the results you want to see, consult our professionals here at Fixing Feet Institute! We provide comprehensive foot and ankle care, so simply give us a call at 584-5556 or take a moment to fill out our online form and connect with our Surprise, AZ office right now.
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Why Trust Verywell Health
As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.
Additional reporting for this story by Jennifer Nied
For over 10 years, Jennifer Nied has reviewed products, interviewed experts, scrutinized ingredients, and pored over research studies and claims, to help readers like you understand what works for your specific conditions. Every product in this piece was selected taking into account recommendations from doctors, published research, and real customer reviews.
Preventive Measures To Check Toenail Fungus
- Dont share your socks and shoes.
- After touching infected nail, wash your hands properly.
- Make sure that the tools, you are using for the purpose of pedicure or manicure, are sterilized.
- Wear sandals or shoes in public pools and places.
- Dont bite the nails.
- Make use of anti-fungal powders or sprays.
- Instead of trimming your nails with your fingers, use a clean nail clipper.
- Change your socks daily.
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When To See A Doctor
In most cases, toenail fungus is considered a cosmetic problem. Still, it may cause serious complications for some people.
If you have diabetes, toenail fungus may lead to foot ulcers or other foot problems. According to a 2012 study, chronic toenail fungus is a significant risk factor for bacterial cellulitis of the leg.
If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, you shouldnt use home remedies for toenail fungus. Contact your doctor for the appropriate course of action.
How To Heal Your Toenail Fungus At Home
HOW TO HEAL YOUR TOENAIL FUNGUS AT HOME
If you have mild toenail fungus, theres a very good chance that a home remedy can help you get rid of it. Though you can definitely try these with moderate to severe toenail fungus, too, as long as youre healthy, it is recommended that you see a specialist if its a bad case of fungus.
As always, if your immune system is compromised or you have diabetes, its always best to see a podiatrist so you dont risk making things worse or needing surgery.
Without further ado, here are several home remedies you can try to heal your toenail fungus.
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Luxuriate In Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is known for being incredibly calming for the senses, sure, but its also a great option for calming toenail fungal infections. According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, lavender provides a powerful antifungal punch. Lavender essential oil shows a potent antifungal effect against strains of fungi that are responsible for toenail fungus and other skin fungal infections, Hayag explains. When using lavender oil to treat toenail fungus, it is best to apply one to two drops of lavender oil to the affected nail and allow it to soak for 10 minutes. After soaking, she suggests gently scrubbing the area with a clean toothbrush and repeating the process daily until the infection has been resolved.
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:
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