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:
What Is The Treatment For Nail Fungus
The best treatment for nail fungus is to have your doctor prescribe an oral antifungal to you. There are many different antifungals on the market with 1-2% being more expensive than the others. Your doctor will pick which one is right for you based on your medical history and other medications that you are taking. In most cases, your doctor will prescribe Lamisil as it is very effective in treating nail fungus.Your doctor may also recommend applying a topical antifungal to the infected nails twice a day for 2 months. Topical antifungals may be somewhat less effective than oral antifungals, but they still provide good cure rates for milder infections. The most commonly used topically is Ciclopirox nail lacquer, which has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of finger or toenail fungus that does not involve the white portion nail in people with normal immune systems.In some cases, nail removal may be necessary to treat severe fungal infections or infections in patients who cannot take oral medications due to their underlying health conditions.
Fortunately, there are at-home treatments you can do to get rid of nail fungus. We listed four of them below.
There Is A Wide Range Of Options With Varying Success Rates
Other than keeping your toenails trimmed and perhaps painted, you may not pay much attention to them unless a problem develops. Healthy toenails are pink, shiny and smooth, but a fungal infection can cause them to become discolored, thick, brittle and even painful.
Toenail fungal infection, known as onychomycosis, is a common but challenging condition toenail fungus treatments include a wide range of options with varying success rates.
Causes of toenail fungus
Fungal nail infections are usually caused by fungi called dermatophytes that infect the skin beneath the nail yeast is another common culprit. Toenails are especially vulnerable to infection when your bare feet contact damp surfaces such as showers, swimming pools and locker rooms. If you have athletes foot, the infection can spread to the nails.
Wearing closed shoes such as athletic shoes for extended periods also can contribute to infection if your shoes and/or socks are damp from perspiration or heat. Moreover, if your shoes fit snugly enough to put pressure on your toes, they can damage the nail bed, making it more susceptible to infection.
People with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or circulatory problems, also may be more prone to toenail infections.
Symptoms of toenail fungus
Toenail fungus symptoms can develop slowly over time and may go unnoticed at first. Symptoms can include:
Toenail fungus treatments
When to see a doctor for toenail fungus
Preventing toenail fungus
Don’t Miss: What Are The Causes Of Nail Fungus
Thyme Oil For Toenail Fungus Treatment
Thyme/thymol oil is a very effective essential oil. If you are suing the oregano oil for nail fungus but want to have a change as both these oils can take months to show some results, you can alternate these two oils.
The reason why we are suggesting you alternate these two is the similarities in construction.
The oregano oil and thyme oil have an 85% similar structuring. Both have the strongest compounds for fungus and bacterial infections. They have the carvacrol, and thymol.
Along with it, the thyme oil has camphor, borneol, and linalool.
To use the thyme oil, you need to find a carrier oil, the best carrier oil for thyme oil can be the mustard and coconut oil.
However, if you feel annoyed by the mustard oil, you can try the olive oil or any other pleasant fragrant oil.
How to use thyme oil remedy for nail fungus treatment?
- Apply it directly, take a few drops of thyme oil and rub it on your entire foot. Many people think that applying it on the infected spot is enough, which is not. You need to detoxify the entire foot, because a lot of times the bacteria residing on the skin can support the growth of the nail fungus.
- Mix it in a foot soak. If you are making a foot soak of baking soda/Epson salt/ Hydrogen per oxide, mix a few drops of the diluted thyme oil in it.
- Make a paste with baking soda and thyme oil. It is a least known treatment and is mainly applied with clove oil, but you can shuffle the clove oil with thyme oil as well.
Cons of using thyme oil
Facts You Should Know About Fungal Nails
Many changes in fingernails or toenails may cause people to think they have a fungal infection of the nails, medically known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium.
Fungal infection of the nails sometimes makes the condition sound contagious or related to poor hygiene. In fact, up to 10% of all adults in Western countries have fungal infection of the nails. This percentage increases to 20% of adults who are age 60 or older. Toenail fungus is much more common than fingernail fungus.
In reality, abnormal-looking nails may be caused by a number of conditions including, but not limited to, fungal infection. There are many other reasons why your nails may look different.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Severe Nail Fungus
Treatments For Fungal Nail Infections
Treatment isn’t always needed for a mild fungal nail infection because it’s unlikely to cause any further problems and you may feel it’s not worth treating.
Whether you decide to have treatment or not, you should still practise good foot hygiene to stop the infection getting worse or spreading to others.
Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you’re bothered by the appearance of the affected nail, or it’s causing problems such as pain and discomfort. They’ll probably recommend:
- antifungal tablets tablets taken once or twice a day for several months
- antifungal nail paints special paints applied directly to the nail over several months
- nail softening kits where a paste is used to soften infected parts of the nail, before they’re removed with a scraping device
A procedure to remove the nail completely may be recommended in severe cases. Laser treatment, where a high-energy laser is used to destroy the fungus, is also an option. But this is only available privately and can be expensive.
You can reduce your risk of developing a fungal nail infection by:
Nail salon equipment can sometimes be the source of fungal nail infections. If you regularly visit a salon, make sure any equipment used is properly sterilised between uses.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
J Dermatolog TreatMed MycolDiabet MedN Engl J MedJ Am Board Fam MedJ Eur Acad Dermatol VenereolBr J DermatolBr J DermatolJ Eur Acad Dermatol VenereolTrichophyton rubrumMed MycolBr J DermatolJ Pharm SciJ DermatolMycosesJ Eur Acad Dermatol VenereolTrichophyton rubrumTrichophyton rubrumActa Derm VenereolMycosesJ Clin Pharm TherBr J Dermatol
You May Like: Can Toe Fungus Go Away On Its Own
What Is The Prognosis Of Fungal Nails
Curing fungal nails can be difficult and treatment can take up to 18 months. Relapse and reinfection are common. Trying to remove or modify your risk factors, if possible, is essential to preventing reinfection. People who have medical illnesses that predispose them to fungal nails can have an even more difficult time eradicating the fungus.
Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus
Nail fungus can cause thick, discolored nails, and, for some patients, it can even be painful. An Internet search will bring up plenty of ways to treat the condition, but which ones are best? Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Hull discusses what nail fungus actually is, why its so hard to get rid of, and which treatments work best.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Toe And Foot Fungus
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.
Fungal Nail Infection Prevention
Itâs a good idea to wash your hands and feet often. Use soap, and make sure you get between your fingers and toes.
Keep your fingernails and toenails short and trimmed straight across.
Wear socks that wick away moisture. If your feet sweat a lot, change your socks once or twice a day, or take off your shoes and let your feet cool when you have the chance.
Use antifungal powder or spray on your feet as well as in your shoes. Throw away old pairs of closed-toe shoes since fungi might be living in them.
If you get manicures at nail salons, visit only the ones that disinfect tools after each client. You can also bring your own file and clippers from home. Ask them not to cut your cuticles, since this can cause tiny breaks in the skin that let germs in.
Donât share towels if someone else in your family has nail fungus. This will pass around the infection.
Don’t Miss: Does Kerasal Cure Nail Fungus
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 To Treat Fungal Nail Effectively
Owing to the high recurrence rate of fungal nail infections, pharmacy professionals should be able to advise patients on effective treatment and preventative and appropriate self-care strategies to avoid re-infection.
Fungal nail infection is a mycotic infection caused by fungal invasion of the nail structure and is one of the most common nail disorders, representing half of nail abnormalities in adults. Its prevalence in Europe is around 4.3% over all age groups and 15.5% of all nail dystrophies in children. OM is more commonly diagnosed in men and older people, affecting 2050% of people aged over 60 years. An increased incidence among older people may be attributed to multiple factors, including reduced peripheral circulation, diabetes, inactivity, relative immunosuppression, and reduced nail growth and quality. Toenails are affected more commonly than fingernails.
This article will cover the causes, types and treatment of OM, practical information to help guide patient consultations and when to refer to podiatry.
Also Check: What Oral Medication Is Used For Toenail Fungus
Nail Fungus Treatment At Home
When you go to the beauty salon to get your nails done, you expect everything to be clean and sanitized. But if you notice your manicurist cutting the cuticles with a tool that appears dirty, or if shes not wearing gloves, these could be signs of unsanitary practices that can lead to an infection.
Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, signs and symptoms of nail fungus include:
- Thickening of the nails
- Brittle, crumbly or ragged nails
- Distorted shape of the nails
- A dark color, caused by debris building up under your nail
It can affect several nails but usually not all of them. If your condition is mild and not bothering you, you may not need treatment. If your nail fungus is painful and has caused thickened nails, self-care steps and medications may help. But even if treatment is successful, nail fungus often comes back.
Fungal Nail Infection Symptoms
Symptoms are different depending on which type of fungal nail infection you have. They usually start mild and get more serious.
- At first, you may only see a white or yellow spot under your nail. Over time, this spreads and can turn your whole nail white, yellow, green, or black.
- The nail may thicken and could be hard to trim.
- It may start to curl up or down or loosen from the nail bed.
- Your nail could become brittle and crumble when you touch it.
- Your nail may become misshapen.
- You may notice a bad smell.
Itâs easy to ignore fungal nail infections at first, since you may not have any pain. But if you donât treat them, it can hurt to put any pressure on the area. If an infection gets bad enough, it could even become hard to walk.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Head Fungus
Coconut Oil For Toenail Fungus
Coconut is one of the most amazing moisturizing oil. As far as the toenail fungus is concerned coconut oil is one of the amazing remedies.
It has been known for its anti-fungal and anti-microbial attributes.
How to use coconut oil for nail fungus treatment?
- Apply it directly twice a day.
- Apply coconut oil mixed with an essential oil.
- You can use coconut oil with baking soda as well, but it will not be as effective as the separate remedies.
- Mix coconut oil with honey and apply every day for 30 minutes.
- Mix garlic cloves with coconut oil, heat the mixture, and apply twice a day.
Pros of using coconut oil for nail fungus
- Very affordable remedy.
- Softens the skin around the fungal nails & nail itself too.
Cons of using vinegar
- Takes so many months or even more than a year to cure the fungal nails.
- Will not cure the toenail fully.
Note: For a detailed guide on using the Coconut Oil in order to treat your toenail fungus in the best possible and safe way and also to know how it performed for one of the patient, you can check our complete Case study and review guide below:
Read Our Ultimate Guide on Using Coconut oil for Toenail fungus.
So, these were all the best 15 treatments to kill and cure the toenail fungus which include the best supplements and the best of the natural and home remedies for toenail fungus.
But now, the big Question that would arise in your mind is that What is best treatment for toenail fungus?
How Is Toenail Fungus Treated
Toenail fungus is notoriously tricky to treat. You may need to treat the condition for several months to get rid of the fungus. Still, toenail fungus often comes back.
A dermatologist or podiatrist can explain your treatment options. If you have a mild case that doesnt bother you, your provider may recommend no treatment.
Toenail fungus treatment options include:
- Oral antifungal medication: You take prescribed medication, such terbinafine , itraconazole and fluconazole , to treat the fungi. You will need to take this medication every day for several months . Your provider may use blood tests to check for potential medication side effects. These medications can affect the liver and interact with other medications, so oral antifungals are not for everyone.
- Topical medication: You regularly apply a medication right on the nail. The medication treats the fungi over time. Topical medications are most effective when paired with oral medications.
- Laser treatments: Your provider directs a high-tech laser beam and special lights at the toenail to treat the fungus. Lasers are FDA approved for temporary increase of clear nail in nail fungus but is not a cure. Cure rates for laser treatment are lower than oral and topical mediations so they are not typically used as first-line treatments for nail fungus.
You May Like: How To Get Fungus Off Fingernails