Studies show that taking antifungal pills and applying medicine to your nails can be more effective than using either treatment alone. Nail removal: If you have a severe infection or other treatments just don't work, your dermatologist may recommend removing the nail(s) to get rid of the infection.
Articles On Fungal Nail Infections
There are procedures that use lasers or light therapy to kill the fungus, but doctors need more research to find out how well they really work. So, at this point, your doctor may suggest surgery to remove the nail. It's not a common surgery, but it's an option when all else fails.
If your fungus doesn't clear up at home, you should check in with a dermatologist (a skin, hair, and nail specialist) or podiatrist (a foot doctor.) They may gently scrape under your nail to get rid of some of the fungus or send it to the lab for diagnosis.
Effective products include efinaconazole (Jublia), tavaborole (Kerydin) and ciclopirox (Penlac). All require daily applications, and it may take as long as a year to see noticeable improvement. These products may work for early, superficial fungal infections because they kill fungi on the surface of the nail.
Even before that, a study of some of the essential oils in Vicks VapoRub showed that they are active against five different species of fungus that infect nail tissue (Phytotherapy Research, April, 2003). Camphor, menthol, thymol and oil of eucalyptus are effective against these organisms.
Nail fungus can be resistant to treatment and nails take a long time to grow out, so it can take several weeks or months for an infection to be fully resolved. You will know that the treatment is working and the infection is clearing up when you see growth of a new, healthy nail from the base of the nail bed.
Nasty Nail Fungus and the Yuck Factor:
As the nail gets thicker and more brittle, it may become a darker shade of yellow. As the fungus advances, the color may change from yellow to brown.
Although designed for cough suppression, its active ingredients (camphor and eucalyptus oil) may help treat toenail fungus. A 2011 study found that Vicks VapoRub had a “positive clinical effect” in the treatment of toenail fungus. To use, apply a small amount of Vicks VapoRub to the affected area at least once a day.
Hydrogen peroxide also works as a great bleaching agent and it has antifungal and antiseptic properties which will definitely help anyone with the toe nail fungus to get rid of it.
These drugs are often the first choice. One option is itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part. You typically take this type of drug daily for 6 to 12 weeks.
Though the ingredients in Listerine are thought to possess antifungal properties, no studies have proven that the mouthwash is a surefire way to get rid of foot and nail fungus. One study stated that Listerine could prevent fungal infections in people with autoimmune diseases.
A small study of 20 patients reported 83% improvement after six months of applying Vicks daily (Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, January-February 2016). They concluded: “Vicks VapoRub was shown to be an effective and safe treatment of onychomycosis (nail fungus) …”
Nail polish gives fungus an environment to thrive in. Non-medicated nail polish can be applied over antifungal nail polish. But it is best to avoid non-medicated nail polish entirely when you want your fungal infection to clear up. Non-medicated nail polish will make the antifungal treatment penetrate the nails slower.
Fungal nail infections can be caused by many different types of fungi (yeasts or molds) that live in the environment. Small cracks in your nail or the surrounding skin can allow these germs to enter your nail and cause an infection.
A severe case of nail fungus can be painful and may cause permanent damage to your nails. And it may lead to other serious infections that spread beyond your feet if you have a suppressed immune system due to medication, diabetes or other conditions.
The antifungal properties also make vinegar soaks a good idea for people who have toenail fungus. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes daily in a vinegar bath until the infection subsides. You can increase the length of time in the soak gradually. It may take two to three weeks or longer to see improvement in symptoms.
Epsom salt and warm water soaks can help drain all the infection and quicken the healing process. You should also cover it with an antibiotic or neosporin and band aid to protect the area while you are waiting for your nail to grow back.
Sunshine heals the fungi that lingers on simply because fungus hates light. Fungal nail can be tough to treat but Foot First Podiatry understands podiatric treatment and has plenty of remedies to make sure your toe nails are healthy.
Applying alcohol, tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide, or Vicks VapoRub to the nail regularly may solve the problem. Your podiatrist might also recommend soaking your toenails in a gentle bleach solution. Anecdotal evidence suggests that vinegar and Listerine may also be effective when used as a soaking solution.
Yes, many types of toenail fungi, including tinea unguium, are quite contagious. You can spread the fungus to someone else through direct contact. You can also get toenail fungus by touching an infected surface.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular remedy for toenail fungus due to its antifungal properties. If you want to treat your fungus using ACV, you can soak your feet in a mixture of warm water and the vinegar for about 15 minutes, twice a day.
Results of treatment
Antifungal treatments are thought to be effective in treating about 60-80% of fungal nail infections. It can take between 6 and 18 months for the appearance of the affected nail to return to normal, and in some cases the nail may not look the same as before the infection.