Fungal Nail Infection Treatments
Early treatment of fungal nail infections may prevent damage to or loss of the nail and treatment at any stage may reduce discomfort and improve the nails appearance. However, fungal nail infections can be difficult to treat, and can recur following successful treatment.
Also, because nails grow slowly, it can take up to a year for the appearance of the nail to return to normal, even if treatment is successful. To check if your fungal infection has been successfully treated, your doctor may make a small scratch on the normal-looking new nail growing from the nail bed. As your nail grows, the appearance of the new nail growing behind the scratch is monitored. If the nail behind the scratch remains normal-looking, the infection has been treated and no further treatment is needed the abnormal nail in front of the scratch just needs to grow out.
Fingernail infections can generally be cured more quickly and effectively than toenail infections.
When Should I Call The Doctor
In rare cases, toenail fungus can cause an infection called cellulitis. Without prompt treatment, cellulitis may pose a serious danger to your health.
You should seek treatment guidance from a trusted healthcare provider if you have:
- Circulation problems.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Toe Fungus Diy
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: How Do You Get Fungus Out Of Your Toenails
Treating Toenail Fungus Medically
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.
Don’t Miss: What Does Fingernail Fungus Look Like
Toe Fungus Chlorine Shock Treatment S Soaking Feet Nail Fungus Badd
Nail Fungus Self Care Using Vicks On Nail Fungus How To Treat Severe Nail Fungus. Best Nail Polish Color To Cover Toenail Fungus Laser Therapy For Toenail Fungus Milwaukee. What Home Remedy Kills Toe Fungus Does Gold Bong Help Toenail Fungus. Nail Fungus White Yellow Mail Foot Fungus Taxonomy.
Skin Fungus Treat With Medicated Gold Bond Will Hot Water And Detergent Kill Athletes Foot Fungus On Sheets And Clothing. What Other Oil Is Used For Toe Nail Fungus Toenail Seperating From Bed Of Nail Fungus Iral Med For Toe Nail Fungus. Scrap Foot Fungus How Many Laser Treatments To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus.
How To Prevent Fungal Nail
Suffering from athlete’s foot? Make sure you treat it as soon as possible as foot fungus can spread and affect your toenails, causing fungal nail.
Keep your toenails short and trimmed. The correct way to cut or file them is straight across, not in a rounded or v shape to prevent an infected toenail.
Do not share toenail clippers. Clippers, files and nail accessories can contribute to spreading toenail fungus when not properly sterilised.
Avoid wearing tight-fitting shoes. They can damage the nail and also create a moist environment in which fungi spores can thrive.
Avoid sharing your towels, shoes and socks with other people.
Wear flip flops in public places e.g. swimming pools and changing rooms to avoid catching toenail fungus.
Recommended Reading: Does Tolnaftate Cure Toenail Fungus
Pills For Toenail Fungus Treatment
Oral medications, or those that come in pill form, generally work more quickly than topical medications for toenail fungus treatment. They have higher cure rates and the overall treatment time may be shorter than topical options. Pills to treat toenail fungus, however, will require a prescription. It is also important to note that improvement will continue AFTER oral therapy is stopped, and it may take 9 to 12 months for you to see full results.
The top treatments for toenail fungus are:
Fungal Nail Infections Can Be Unpleasant & Sometimes Painful But If You Treat It Early It’s Much Easier To Get Rid Of The Infection That Causes It Read Our Guide For The Best Treatment Options
What is a fungal nail infection?
Fungal nail infections are a common problem that can affect any nail, but most often affects the toenails.
They’re 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.
How do you get a fungal nail infection?
This type of infection is highly contagious and flourishes in warm, moist environments. You can pick it up by:
Walking barefoot in places such as communal swimming pools, showers, gyms and changing rooms
Not keeping your feet clean
Not drying between your toes
Wearing shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty
Having athlete’s foot, where the infection can easily spread to the nail, or simply having a damaged nail can also increase your risk
Do fungal nail infections occur on both hands & feet?
Fungal nail infections tend to affect toenails far more than fingernails. This is because the feet are more often exposed to the kind of environments and surfaces where this type of infection thrives.
Who is most at risk from fungal nail?
You May Like: What Is The Best Toenail Fungus Medication
Dangers Of Using Bleach For Toenail Fungus
Bleach may actually cause toenail fungus to worsen and increase the likelihood of a toenail infection.
According to an article in the Asian Journal of Research in Dermatological Science, use of topical bleach can increase the risks for fungal infections because it can damage the skin and nails. This allows opportunistic fungus to come in through the damaged skin or nail and cause an infection.
Essential Oils And Ozonized Oils
Tea tree oil has anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health cites some small-scale clinical studies suggesting that tea tree oil might be an effective home remedy for toenail fungus. Plus, these are the best essential oils for combating foot odor.
Oils such as olive oil and sunflower oil contain ozone gas. A small study published in the Brazilian Journal of Microbiology in 2011 showed that small doses of this kind of ozone, applied over a short period, can eliminate fungus in rabbits. A different study, conducted at the National Center for Scientific Research, Cuba, found that sunflower oil was more effective than the prescription drug Xolegel in treating foot fungus.
Read Also: Will Tea Tree Oil Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus
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.
Other Options For Toenail Fungus Infections
Removal of the toenail is only used when just one nail is infected, but it does work. Light therapy and lasers are also being studied as possible toenail fungus treatments. Laser therapy has shown promise when combined with oral or topical antifungals. A multicenter trial investigating the efficacy of a device, the Pinpointe FootLaser, is currently underway, so stay tuned to that.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Fungus Grass
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.
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.
Read Also: Will Painting Your Toenails Kill Fungus
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.
What To Do If Your Toenail Is Falling Off
Firstly, stay calm! This happens to the best of us.
If your nail is falling off but is still attached — donât rip it off. This can invite a pretty nasty infection. Just let the nail naturally detach itself or see a doctor for the removal.
If itâs bleeding, apply pressure and cold water until the bleeding stops.
Also Check: Where Can I Buy Fungus Clear
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.
What To Watch For When Taking Oral Medication For Toenail Fungus Treatment
All of the pills for toenail fungus can cause liver toxicity. This is rare and is reversible after the medication is stopped. Still, liver function blood testing will be done before you start your treatment and again midway through your treatment.
Medications like Terbinafine and Itraconazole can also interact with certain drugs. Your healthcare provider will look at your medication list to make sure there arent any drug interactions.
Read Also: What Kind Of Dr For Toenail Fungus
So How Long Does It Take For A Toenail To Regrow
A good long while.
After losing a toenail to fungus, or an injury, it can take up to a year or a year and a half for it to fully grow back. But youâll start to see the nail beginning to grow back in after a few months.
This new growth is vulnerable to the fungus that remains on the area so treating this new growth is important to avoid recurrence.
Tea Tree Oil Has Soothing Properties That Can Help In Pain Management
- Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is a natural oil that comes from Australias Melaleuca alternifolia plant. Not only does tea tree oil possess antifungal properties, it also relieves itchiness, discomfort, and inflammation. There are many topical anti-fungal solutions that carry this natural ingredient in their product. An example is EmoniNail, which is an FDA-approved effective treatment for onychomycosis. If you choose tea tree oil and remedy it on your own, one must be reminded that it needs to be diluted. Direct application of tea tree oil is not ideal. This can easily be fixed by diluting it with coconut oil.
You May Like: Will Toenail Grow Back After Fungus
How Are Fungal Toenails Treated
As a starting point, we have to mention that you can find over-the-counter products that advertise as being able to help with this condition. The fact of the matter, though, is that they are not effective.
Many of those OTC use natural ingredients that arent proven to work. When you want the fungus to be eradicated, you need the right kind of medication, which is where our office can help.
Dr. Scudday can prescribe oral and topical medications to target the fungus and restore your nails back to a healthy, clear state.
The oral medications target the infection from the inside-out. They travel through the bloodstream and can reach dermatophytes residing underneath nail tissue. Conversely, topical medication is applied to affected toenails and works to eradicate fungus residing on the surface.
If you have a case of fungal toenails, come in and see Dr. Scudday for treatment at the earliest opportunity. The infection will only continue to worsen the longer it is left untreated.
Donât Miss: How To Cure Fungus On Feet Naturally
When To See A Doctor About Toenail Fungus
If you are experiencing persistent toenail fungus or pain is present, you may need to see a specialist. A dermatologist or podiatrist may be able to assess your symptoms and send a small sample of the affected toenail or flesh to a laboratory to be analyzed as there are various types of fungi and yeasts that cause onychomycosis. Knowing the specific cause of your foot fungus can help identify what route to take to treat your condition.
Nail changes can also be caused by underlying conditions, like psoriasis and diabetes, so its important to seek professional medical advice if your condition persists or worsens. Bacterial and fungal infection of skin in diabetes patients often result in hospital admissions, and in severe cases, can result in amputations. If you are at a higher risk for infection, you should skip home remedies and seek professional medical treatment.
Also Check: How Effective Is Laser Fungus Removal
Apple Cider Vinegar And Hydrogen Peroxide
Vinegar cure for toenail fungus is very popular. It is recommended to soak the feet in vinegar and water for at least 30 minutes, twice a day or more in order to help kill the fungus.
It is explained that the acidity of vinegar restores pH balance of nails and helps in soothing the discomfort caused due to toenail fungus. Though most types of vinegar can be used in toenail fungus treatment, the recommendation is to use apple cider vinegar as it is known to be the most effective.
You can also soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it directly to the nail, but ensure that vinegar stays on your nails for a significant amount of time. Apple cider vinegar is the most commonly used solution for curing fungal infections.
It is a strong astringent and has anti-fungal properties. It is also known to reduce inflammation and pain linked with some stages of fungal infections. It is also recommended to combine vinegar with hydrogen peroxide to form an even more effective solution in wiping out bacteria and viruses.
Soak toes or fingers in a 50/50 solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar every day and fungus will be history in no time. Find here more information on how apple cider vinegar can revolutionize your health and about 11 amazing uses for hydrogen peroxide.