Those looking for an absolute cure for nail fungus may be frustrated. Many of today's medical cures have received mixed reviews from those seeking treatment and there's no concrete scientific proof to back the many alternative therapies out there. In addition, it actually may take months to completely clear up an infection. While prevention is easier than clearing up fungus, with the proper treatments, you will have success.
Possible Methods to Cure Nail Fungus
There are a few medications and therapies available for those seeking an absolute cure for nail fungus, which is also known by the scientific name Onychomycosis.
If you consult a medical professional about your nail fungus, there are a few different options available for you to treat the condition. You'll likely be prescribed an antifungal cream, foot powder, or an oral prescription such as Sporanox, Lamisil or Diflucan. Any of these treatment options will immediately go to work to treat and rid you of your fungus. Topical prescription treatments may include Amorolfine or Ciclopriox.
Antifungal medications usually come as a liquid or as a pill to be swallowed and treat the illness from the inside out. For some people, these medications work quite well. For others, there are either unpleasant side effects or varying results. Talk to your doctor about your concerns with taking oral antifungal medications.
Topical medicines are administered externally to the affected area. Sometimes, a medical professional will choose to combine topical treatment with oral medications to knock out the infection.
- Lamisil: Lamisil is an antifungal drug with an active ingredient called terbinafine. This topical ointment disrupts the fungus activity by breaking down its cell membranes. Repeated applications undermine the strength of the offending disease and eventually kill it. Lamisil is approved by the FDA specifically for fungal treatments. This product also comes in tablet form but to acquire it you need a prescription. Be aware that some people report alarming side effects with this product, like nausea or fatigue. Liver damage is also a possibility if you take this drug.
- Amorolfine: Amorolfine is a topical product that shows promise in the treatment of white-colored fungal infections known as subungual onychomycosis. Amorolfine is sold under the brand name, Loceryl. Sold as a nail lacquer or a roll-on solid, this drug can often treat the problem within a week. In the United Kingdom, this product is available without a prescription, but a prescription is required in the United States. At $100, a five milliliter tube is an expensive but effective option. Some patients report stinging or a burning sensation in the area of application. If this sensation persists or redness occurs, contact your physician immediately. This toenail fungus treatment has a strong smell during application, but the odor will fade in a few minutes.
This surgery occurs less often now since podiatrists report so much success with antifungal drugs. However, when all else fails, a doctor may suggest the removal of the nail completely or, at the very least, some minor surgery to trim the nail. The podiatrist has an electric tool called a burr that sands down the thick yellow nails and makes them easier to care for.
In every society, there are always a number of home remedies that many people swear by but don't achieve the scientific backing to become mainstream. Nonetheless, many people swear by home remedies for all kinds of ailments, from colds to dry skin to nail fungus. Here are a few circulating as purported home cures for nail fungus.
- Tea tree oil: Apply the oil directly to the affected area or soak your fingers or toes in the oil every night before bedtime.
- Thyme oil: Another oil, thyme oil can be applied directly to the area or as an addition to a foot soak to relieve symptoms.
- Vinegar: Plain vinegar is an acid known as acetic acid that may kill the fungus causing this irritating problem. Soak your fingers or toes in a solution that includes one part vinegar and two parts water daily before bedtime.
- Mouthwash: Some believe that the powerful antiseptic solution we use to kill germs in our mouths will also help cure nail fungus. Soak the affected area in a powerful mouth wash, like Listerine, once daily.
- Beer: Many home brewers swear by a beer and acidophilus mixture for treating fungus. Acidophilus is a strong bacteria that eliminates fungus. You need four cups of white vinegar, two pints of dark beer, and one sachet of acidophilus. Mix the ingredients together in a plastic tub and soak your feet for 30 minutes at a time. Do this twice a day for three months to see results. You can find acidophilus at your local health food store.
Prevent Further Infection
Once you've cured your ailment, it's important that you protect yourself to prevent future problems. Below are tips for how to protect yourself.
- Be careful in public places. Public pools or other places where you might be barefoot are breeding grounds for these types of infection. Be sure to wash your feet and hands well after being in such places and wear shoes wherever possible.
- Let your feet breathe. Wearing 100 percent cotton socks is one of the best ways to prevent fungi from growing, as they like warm, humid environments.
- Don't share towels. The fungi that cause nail fungus like wet, warm places, like towels, so be sure to use a fresh, clean towel when drying your feet, hands, or body.
Treatment Takes Patience
To get beautiful feet or fingernails again, consider these remedies for your nail problem. Often times fungus can be caused by a combination of medications. A simple step such as switching a few prescriptions may lessen your chance of future outbreaks. However, if you have this kind of infection, prepare to treat it for several weeks or months before seeing the results you want. With patience, you will completely eradicate the infection. For more information on ways to protect yourself and your family from this condition, talk to your doctor or other medical professional.