Medicines For Toenail Fungus: What Is The Best Option
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Many people are interested to know the best medicines for toenail fungus. Its a common condition in the toenails caused by the growth of a fungus. Different fungi species can trigger skin problems such as bumps and rashes. However, its more common in the toenail. The fungus that causes the toenail infection thrives on damp surfaces, such as public showers and swimming pools.
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The bestmedicines for toenail funguswill depend on the type of infection you have. Thats why proper diagnosis from the doctor is a must. Your doctor can examine your fungal nails and take a sample by scraping some portions. The specimen will be sent to the lab to check your infection type. Once the doctor receives the result, your doctor will decide the best treatment. Sometimes, the condition may only be due to psoriasis and is only mistaken as a fungal infection. Therefore, its always a good idea to get tested with your doctor.
What Is the Best Treatment for Toenail Fungus?
To determine the best med for toenail fungus, seek medical advice from health professionals. There are different medications that the doctor can prescribe for the treatment of toenail fungus. But the type of medication will depend on the kind of nail fungus you have and the severity of the infection.
Over the Counter Medications
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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 Fungi Infect The Nail
Onchomycosis, or toenail fungal infection, is an invasion by a microscopic organism that thrives in warm, damp environments. Fungal spores are in the air, and they will grow if they land on a receptive surface like your toenail. They feed off the nail tissues, burrowing into the skin under the nail. Over time the nail thickens and may lift off the nail bed as fungal debris accumulates. Once your nail is raised off the nail bed, it won’t reattach, and a new nail won’t grow from that part of the nail bed. However, your nail will continue to grow from the root at the base.
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What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors
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.
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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Nail Fungus: Polish Cream Or Tablets
Nail fungus can be very persistent. Topical treatment with nail polish may take up to one year. Tablets for treating fungal nail infections usually have to be taken for several weeks or months. They are much more effective than topical treatments, but they have more side effects.
Brittle nails and a whitish-yellowish or brownish discoloration are typical signs of nail fungus. The nails may also become thicker and change shape. The affected part of the nail sometimes detaches from the nail bed. The treatment options for nail fungus include nail polishes and creams as well as tablets. Nail polishes and creams are available in pharmacies without a prescription.
What Types Of Treatments Are Available For Toenail Fungus
Until recently, toenail fungus treatment had been limited to topical anti-fungal creams/nail lacquer and oral medication. With limited success and many downsides, these treatments have become secondary to the more effective laser treatments.
The antifungal cream/lacquer has the lowest success rate, ranging from 5-12% . Unless you have extremely mild toenail fungus, topical treatments are very unlikely to effectively penetrate into, underneath, and around the affected toenail.
Prescribed oral medications work somewhat better . Howeverand this is big, however oral antifungal medications have significant medical risks and often interreact with other prescription drugs. Oral medications should not be prescribed without consulting a primary care physician, in order to ensure safety and protection during the months you would be taking these pills.
Side effects might include liver failure, rash, loss of taste, or change of taste , headaches, stomach discomfort, and lupus-like symptoms.
Topical medications require daily applications for at least a year, and often longer. Even then, a lifetime of application on some level is required to prevent a recurrence. Oral medications, similarly, require several months of pills and are usually associated with recurrence at some point afterward.
Studies show the success in clearing fungal infection through laser treatment was good enough for laser treatment to be FDA cleared and is now considered the ideal method to treat onychomycosis.
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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.
What Is A Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal nail infections are a common problem that can affect any nail, but most often affects the toenails.
Theyre 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.
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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.
What Are Treatments For Toenail Fungus
Do you need to treat your nail fungus? Maybe it doesn’t hurt, and the yellow, thick nails don’t bother you.
But nail fungus doesn’t go away by itself. And if you don’t treat it, there’s a chance it could get worse. It could spread to other nails or through your body. It could cause pain when you walk.
There are a number of ways to take care of it, including:
Nonprescription options. You can buy antifungal creams, gels, and nail polish at the store and online without a prescription. You might want to try one of them first if the infection doesn’t look bad. Some people also swear by home remedies like menthol rub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, or snakeroot extract — but studies show mixed results.
Prescription polish and creams. Your foot doctor will likely trim your nail and file away its dead layers. They may also take a piece of your nail and send it to the lab to make sure itâs really a fungus and to find out what type it is.
The doctor might suggest an antifungal drug that you paint on your nails. This may work on its own, or they may suggest you take it with antifungal pills.
Prescription medications. One of several antifungal pills may help. They work, but it may take many months to do the job. They also come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headaches. They may cause liver damage too, so your doctor will watch you closely while you take them. Be sure to tell them about any other meds youâre taking — some antifungal pills might not work well with them.
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How Soon Will I Be Able To See Improvement To My Toenails Or Fingernails After Treatment
It usually depends on the origin of the fungal infection. If it was at the root of the nail, improvement can be seen as early as 3 weeks. A continuous improvement will be gradual as the nail continue to grow out. Typically, a significant overall improvement will be seen after 3 months. As a rough estimate, toenails may take 9 12 months to grow out completely, and fingernails may take 6 9 months.
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Apple Cider Vinegar For Toenail Fungus
Treating toenail fungus with apple cider vinegar is also a common practice. Apple cider vinegar is a common kitchen staple available in almost every house.
Many people wonder how the apple cider vinegar can kill toenail fungus? well, the apple cider vinegar has two acids, the maleic acid and the acetic acid. Both these acids are meant to disturb the pH of the toenail fungus and ultimately kill it.
Having apple cider vinegar as a treatment of nail fungus is quite long. It will take almost 6 to 7 months to kill toenail fungus. To get fast results you need to add it in your diet as well to strengthen your immune system.
All its ingredients are very common, and you can have them whenever needed, but instead of taking each antifungal and immunity booster you must have a single supplement for it.
Ways to use apple cider vinegar to treat toenail fungus
- Make a foot soak, making a foot soak is quite easy and it will only take a few minutes. Add two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in two liters of water. Soak your feet in it for almost 30 minutes a day.
- Mix apple cider vinegar with baking soda. As baking soda is already a home remedy for nail fungus, mixing it with apple cider vinegar will only reinforce its effect. You need to make a paste of the two and apply on the nail fungus with a Q-tip.
Pros of using apple cider vinegar for nail fungus
Cons of using the apple cider vinegar as a remedy for nail fungus
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Sets With Creams And A Nail Scraper
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.
What Is Best Treatment For Toenail Fungus
As far as the OTC for nail fungus is concerned the Urgent Fungus Destroyer is the best as it comes with several pro-biotics to kill the toenail fungus more rapidly.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a home remedy then the Apple cider vinegar, Bleach, H2O2 and Tee tree oil are the best home remedy for nail fungus.
And the best is to go for a combination of a medicine and a home remedy as we have discussed in the above section.
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Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus can be treated at home by simply using natural ingredients, available in your kitchen.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is considered to be an excellent antiseptic, and it works great on fungicide infections. Take pure tea tree oil and add a few drops of olive or thyme oil to it. Apply it on the affected area with the help of a cotton ball and keep it for ten minutes. Eventually, gently rub the nail with a soft toothbrush. This remedy will work affirmatively if the infection is not too old.
To cure toenail fungus, blend half cup of baking soda with a one-fourth cup of peroxide, half cup of Epsom salt, and four cups of hot water. After making this mixture, add a one-fourth cup of white vinegar to it. Soak the affected toe first into vinegar for a few minutes and then, apply this paste on the affected nail. Wrap it with a bandage or tape. For about four weeks, repeat the process in every ten hours. If this remedy is followed properly, the toe nail fungus will disappear quickly.
To get rid of toe nail fungus, orange oil is also a good option. It can be applied with the help of a dropper between toes and on and under toe nails, daily. Let it sit for at least one hour. Orange oil can also be used with an equal amount of any carrier oil.
Note- It is advisable to test some diluted orange oil on a small part of skin before applying it to the infected area as it can cause allergic reactions and can have side-effects.
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Toenail Fungus Treatment Options
Toenail fungus treatment can vary based on the infections severity. If caught early enough, oral or topical medication may be effective. However, these medications may need to be taken or applied for at least three months.
If medication is not effective, and for more severe cases, temporary or permanent removal of the toenail may be necessary. One of the easiest and safest ways to remove the infection is with a toenail fungus laser treatment. During this painless procedure, the laser targets the fungus under the nail bed. It quickly alleviates the associated pain, prevents the spread of the infection to other areas, and restores healthy nail growth. Some clients require only one treatment to completely remove the fungus, while others may need multiple treatments.
A benefit of the laser fungus removal treatment method is that there is no downtime. It may take a few months for the nail to return to its healthy, normal state, but you can resume normal activities right after the appointment.
To learn more about laser fungus removal and to determine if this treatment is right for you or your family, contact the professionals at Arizona Foot Doctors.
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