You don't have to put up with nail fungus infections any more. Thanks to advances in modern medicine, there are plenty of treatment options out there that may help reduce the severity of this condition or even eliminate it entirely! We're taking a look at some of the most popular options out there to help you get your search started for the best nail fungus treatments. Want more information on what this condition is and how these treatments work? Hop on down to our buying guide below.*
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Athlete's foot, ringworm, jock itch. . . all of these skin conditions can be downright irritating. Fingernail and toenail fungus, though, are especially annoying. Brittle, cracked, and sometimes itchy nails? Nobody wants to live with that! If you have nail fungus, it is important to compare treatment options and work toward getting the condition under control. Otherwise, it can spread, making treatment of your toenail fungus or fingernail fungus even more difficult than it was previously. For this reason, going through all of your options—including talking to a medical provider for professional diagnosis and treatment—is critical.
Before you can decide what sort of options are best for you, it is important to understand what nail fungus is, what causes this common condition, and how certain treatment methods work.
Nail fungus is a common fungal infection. It often starts as nothing more than a yellow or white spot underneath the tip of a fingernail or toenail. As it progresses, a fungal nail infection can discolor the nail, thicken it, and even make it fall apart at the edge. The most obvious symptom of this condition is the discoloration, which can range from white to yellow-brown. Other symptoms include brittleness and distorted shape.
Various kinds of fungi, yeast, and other varieties of mold are capable of causing nail fungus, which often affects toes more than fingers. This condition can happen to anyone regardless of their age, but older adults tend to get these infections more often. This is because nails may become dry and brittle as they age, and cracks easily allow fungi to get into the nail.
There are many treatment options for fungal nail infections, including home remedies as well as professional ones.
One of the most common home remedy treatment options is pretty simple: soaking your feet in vinegar. This may sound strange, but many use vinegar as a natural disinfectant for treating various conditions. Soaking feet in vinegar might only work during the earlier stages of the infection. Why is that? Well, if the nail has already separated due to this condition, this method will not only be ineffective, but it can also cause a great deal of pain. While many recommend vinegar, just know that research hasn't conclusively proven its positive effects on nail fungus treatment.
Over-the-counter commercial treatment options are also common.
If you visit a physician, they will likely recommend several treatment options for your condition based on how long you have been infected. In the event you notice the infection quickly, your doctor will probably prescribe a clear nail medication that you can paint directly onto the infected area. However, this treatment option might not always clear up the condition effectively.
In this case, you might get a prescription for an oral medication. You should only pursue this treatment option if your doctor is closely supervising your treatment, because antifungal oral medications can cause serious side effects.
No matter which treatment option you choose, each one might work differently depending on the severity of your infection.
Now that you know more about the various options that you have for treatment, examining the common ingredients found in these treatments is your next step.
Tea tree oil is one of the most common ingredients you'll find in over-the-counter treatments. Tea tree oil comes from a small tree that is native to both New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. There are several ways you can use this oil, too. You can apply tea tree oil itself to the affected area or you can mix it with an equal amount of coconut oil before applying it. One study found that 60% of people who used tea tree oil for six months partially or completely got rid of their fungus-causing infection. Other expert groups, however, continue to debate the efficacy of this oil in treating fungal infections.
Olive leaf extract is another common ingredient in antifungal treatments today that has a history of use in folk medicine. Like tea tree oil, research has yet to conclusively prove the positive effects of olive leaf extract in treating fungal infections.
Many antifungal treatments also contain eucalyptus, and some research indicates that topical treatment with this oil may help some people find relief from certain types of fungal nail infections. One method to apply eucalyptus oil is to soak your feet in it and let it go to work. Another way to apply the eucalyptus oil is soaking a piece of cloth or gauze in the oil, then wrapping it around whichever toe or finger is infected with the fungus. If you decide to use gauze, leave it on your affected area overnight and remove it once you wake up. You should make sure that the nail is totally dry after you take the gauze off.
You may also frequently come across clove oil, which can contain quite a bit of eugenol; research suggests that they both present antifungal activity. In addition to soaking your feet in a mixture containing a few drops of clove oil, you can also apply 6 drops of it directly to the affected area.
Deacetylated chitin is also often found in antifungal treatments. This substance, also known as chitosan, is found in nature as part of the exoskeleton of crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. Research suggests that topical application of solution with hydroxypropyl chitosan may help protect nails against certain types of infections.
O-hydroxybenzoic acid, also called salicylic acid, is often used in conjunction with other ingredients in an antifungal treatment. Some formulas use this acid because it can help deliver antifungal ingredients to the affected area, according to some research.
Angelica dahurica is a root many people used historically to treat various skin conditions. It is easiest to put cream made from the Angelica dahurica root directly on the area affected by the infection, and it supposedly treats fungus-causing infections by going deep into the skin and killing all of the fungus in the affected area. It is currently unclear just how effective Angelica dahurica is in terms of its antifungal properties.
Nail fungus can be quite irritating and unpleasant; how long does it take to treat this condition? Well, it depends on the severity of your condition and the treatment plan you choose.
A prescription antifungal medicine typically works over a period of 3 months. Prescription antifungal medication, while not the most affordable option, is certainly potent and gets rid of the fungus fairly quickly. Other treatment options, such as creams and polishes, can take longer to treat the nail fungus. While these options are incredibly affordable, they may take up to an entire year before positive results start showing. Of course, these are only general time frames for the different kinds of nail fungus treatment options. Remember: Several factors, such as the severity of the infection, can affect how long it takes a certain treatment option to take effect.
The most effective method for treating your nail fungus? It depends on several factors, including the severity of the infection and what exactly caused it. Before you buy a nail fungus treatment option, make sure to fact-check whether it is proven to remove fungus and restore a healthy nail glow. After all, you want to make sure you find something that works for you and helps you get this condition back under control. Your health is important, so be sure to treat your toenail fungus right.