About Fungal Nail Infection
Many people develop a fungal nail infection at some point in their life. It’s not usually serious, but can be unpleasant and difficult to treat.
The infection develops slowly and causes the nail to become discoloured, thickened and distorted.
Toenails are more frequently affected than the fingernails.
The medical name for a fungal nail infection is onychomycosis.
Nail Polish And Contaminated Equipment
A 2018 study found evidence that fungi may be able to live and multiply in some nail polishes. It may be a good idea to avoid sharing nail polish.
Contaminated equipment at a nail salon can also expose you to types of fungi that may lead to an infection.
Your fungal infection may not cause any symptoms in the beginning, until it progresses.
As the infection gets worse, you may experience:
Fingernail infections often clear up on their own or with home remedies. Antifungal medications are used for more serious infections.
What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Toenail Fungus
If you have toenail fungus, you may find it helpful to ask your provider:
- What type of infection do I have?
- Do you recommend I treat it? Why or why not?
- How long will I need treatment?
- What steps can I take to stop it from coming back?
- Should I be aware of any potentially serious complications or treatment side effects?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Toenail fungus is an incredibly common infection that can be difficult to treat. The condition usually isnt painful, but it may make you feel self-conscious about how your foot looks. If it bothers you, talk to your provider about your treatment options. A trained specialist can provide guidance on whats most likely to address your concerns while protecting your overall health.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.
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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.
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.
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How To Use Diy Cuticle Oil:
Ive been using this DIY cuticle oil for a while and have been happy to have my strong nails back. I have much less splitting. However, its hard for me to commit to not wearing nail polish so if your nails are really brittle and bothersome, I would stay clear of any polishes and use this serum daily for at least 3 weeks.
Baking Soda And Vinegar For Toenail Fungus
There is no particular difference in apple cider vinegar and acetic acid when comes to the formation of a neutral compound.
Mixing it with baking soda will give the neutral salt.
- Take a tablespoon of baking soda, level it.
- Mix a teaspoon of vinegar in it.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Add 1 Â½ glass of water.
- Soak cotton pads in it and apply on the infected toenail.
- Clean it after 30 minutes.
- Repeat this twice a day for fast results.
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Terbinafine For Toenail Fungus Treatment
The best pill for toenail fungus is terbinafine. Evidence suggests it works better than the alternatives with the fewest side effects. Terbinafine results in resolution of toenail fungus 76% of the time. Common side effects may include headaches, skin rash, and vomiting. It is taken once a day for 6 to 12 weeks.
Nail Changes In People With Cancer
Some treatments for cancer can cause damage or changes to nails. Usually the treatments that cause nail changes are medications, but radiation can also cause nail changes. Different treatments can affect normal cells, like nail cells, in different ways. And their side effects can also affect nails differently. One, two, a few, or all of your nails could be affected by changes. Some changes occur soon after you begin treatment, but others may happen weeks or months after treatment begins. Some might be temporary and others might be long-lasting or permanent.
Remember that while some cancers and cancer treatment can cause changes in your nails, non-cancer conditions and medications can also cause them. Its important to talk to your doctor about all medical problems you might have and about the medications, vitamins, minerals, and supplements you are taking so your risk can be discussed and you know what to expect.
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Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a really nasty condition.
Perhaps the only positive thing about it is that it’s easy to diagnose. Even you can notice the discoloration of the toenails, which may turn white, yellow, or brown. The condition is mostly visual, but if left untreated, there is a good chance that it will affect other toenails as well.
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Nail Fungal Infection Treatment
Prescription medicines can treat a fungal nail infection. Oral antifungal medicines help a new nail grow. This will replace the infected nail. You may need to take antifungal medicine for 6 to 12 weeks. Some oral medicines are not safe for people who have liver problems. They are not safe for people who have a history of congestive heart failure. Tell your doctor if you have one of these conditions. Your doctor will decide which medicine is right for you.
Apply topical treatments to the top of your nail. Topical medicines usually do not cure fungal nail infections.
In severe cases, a doctor might remove the nail completely. It can take several months to a year for the infection to go away.
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Can You Travel With Spray Sunscreen
TSA has determined that liquids, aerosols and gels, in limited quantities, are safe to bring aboard aircraft. If you want to travel with your full-size aerosol containers of antiperspirant, hairspray, suntan lotion, shaving cream, and hair mousse, you can do so by packing them in your checked baggage.
Toenail Fungus Home Care
Sometimes itâs possible to treat your toenail fungus at home. You can try:
- Over the counter antifungal creams or ointments. File or cut off any white markings on your nails. Soak your nails in water and dry off before you put on the medicated cream.
- Special nail care. If you keep your nails trimmed, it can reduce the pressure and pain you feel. You can also thin your nail bed by filing it down. This can help antifungal creams get to the problem easier.
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Oil Of Oregano For Toenail Fungus
Oregano herb, the pleasantly smelling culinary delight, can also get you rid of fungal infections like Candida, athletes foot and toenail fungus. This oil is one of the best natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. The component of this oil, carvacrol, is the germicide agent that eliminates fungi and bacteria.
- Carrier oil like jojoba or olive oil â 1 tsp
- After washing and drying your feet properly, take oregano oil drops in a cotton ball.
- Apply this to your fungus affected nail.
- You can also directly pour the oil over nail but try not to use too much. 2-3 drops is only what you need for treating fungus.
- If the undiluted oil feels strong or you experience redness or itching, dilute the oil in your carrier oil and then apply this to your toenail fungus.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day.
- You may need to continue doing this for 2-3 months or till you dont grow a new nail on your toe.
If you suffer from recurring toenail fungus due to compromised immunity, you may also take it internally. For this, add 2-3 drops of oregano oil in a glass of water and have it twice daily. This will help strengthen your immune system.
Do You Really Have Nail Fungus Signs And Symptoms
Symptoms of diseases like psoriasis also look like nail fungus. Symptoms of nail psoriasis are:
Nails infected with fungus often show one or more of the following visible symptoms:
- Light or dark yellow streaks in the skin under the nail, or nail bed, and on the underside of the nail
- A gradual accumulation of bits and pieces of skin and nail fragments under the nail
- Discolored and thickened nail that may separate from the skin under the nail
- Brittle, broken, and thickened nails
- White spots or a long, thin line or mark of a different substance or color from its surroundings on the nail surface
- Soft and powdery nail surface, which starts to show as the infection worsens
- Crumbly, and brown or gray nail surface showing physical damage with or without separation of the nail from the underlying skin.
Nail fungus infection can cause permanent deformity of the finger and toenails, which can interfere with your being able to put on slippers/shoes, walking, running, and other day to day activities.
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Make An Antifungal Foot Soak
Soaking your feet can also be a useful technique in reducing or eliminating toenail fungus. Many common household items can be used to make a healing antifungal foot bath. Mix one or more of the following with warm water and soak feet for 15 to 20 minutes. After foot bath, rinse feet with clean water and pat dry.
- Hydrogen peroxide
Soak In Listerine And White Vinegar
The combination of Listerines antifungal ingredients and vinegars acidity makes an inhospitable environment for fungi. This treatment is effective for green nails which may have whats called atypical organisms, says Dr. Goldenberg. If you have true toenail fungus, its less likely to work, though.
How to use it: Combine the two in equal portions and soak your toes in the solution, ideally for 45 to 60 minutes daily.
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Mixing With Baking Soda
This is the most complex method on our list. You will need half a cup of baking soda, 1 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 4 cups of warm water, one-quarter cup of vinegar, half cup salt, and 1 tub. The whole process takes about 10 minutes. You start by mixing all the ingredients together. There is no particular order just make sure you add soda, peroxide, salt, vinegar, and water into the tub. You will have to stir them together in order to create a proper mixture. Again, you will have to be very attentive regarding the substances. Most of this stuff is really strong, so you will have to watch how your skin reacts. If there is a negative impact on the skin, you should stop the treatment. In fact, the third method is perhaps the riskiest because of how many things are involved. Lastly, make sure to wipe your feet after each therapy.
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Nail Removal Home Remedies And Laser Treatment
In the most serious instances of toenail fungus infection, the toenail may be removed surgically or dissolved with acid. This can be done to just a portion of the nail in the hope that the remaining nail will grow back healthy. In cases where the entire toenail has to be removed, artificial nails and products using light-cured resins to form a temporary covering can be used to protect the underlying tissue until the nail grows back.
If you prefer to go the home-remedy route, such as applying tea tree oil or Vicks VapoRub to your nails, keep in mind that the effectiveness of these products for treating toenail fungus hasn’t been well studied, and they are not recommended by podiatrists.
Finally, the Food and Drug Administration has approved several laser devices for temporary increase in clear nails in patients with onychomycosis. But while laser treatments are vigorously marketed, clinical trials of lasers have reported mixed results, and the treatments may not be covered by health insurance. If you wish to try laser treatment of toenail fungus, speak to your doctor about what to expect from the treatment, and call your insurance carrier to find out whether the treatment will be covered.
Additional reporting by Susan Jara.
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Lemon Essential Oil For Toenail Fungus
Lemon essential oil is also a great treatment for toenail fungus. It has citric acid.
This will change the pH of the toenail many fungi cannot survive in an acidic environment. It will ultimately kill the toenail fungus.
How to use it?
You can apply the essential lemon oil to treat toenail fungus. Mix the lemon oil with a carrier oil and it is ready to be applied on the toenail fungus.
It can be mixed with coconut oil if it is the door of the infected nail that irritates you.
So, here is the best essential oil of Lemon to kill toenail fungus.
What Side Effects And Drug
The possible side effects of itraconazole include headaches, dizziness, stomach and bowel problems, and rashes. Itraconazole can also interact with a number of other drugs. These include cholesterol-reducing and blood-sugar-lowering medications, as well as certain sleeping pills. It is therefore important to let your doctor know about any medication you take. Itraconazole is not an option for people with heart failure . It also isnt suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Terbinafine can cause gastrointestinal problems and a temporary loss of taste and smell. It can also interact with certain antidepressants and heart medications. Overall, terbinafine has far fewer drug-drug interactions than itraconazole. Nevertheless, its still important to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication. As a precaution, this medication should not be taken during pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding.
The studies only rarely reported on how often the different side effects occurred. But most people tolerate nail fungus medications well. Only a few people in the studies stopped treatment because of side effects.
But there is a very small risk of liver damage from taking itraconazole or terbinafine. For this reason, people with a liver disease are only given these medications if its absolutely necessary.
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What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Nail Fungus
With treatment, many people can get rid of nail fungus. Even when the fungus clears, your nail may look unhealthy until the infected nail grows out. A fingernail grows out in 4 to 6 months and a toenail in 12 to 18 months.
To clear the fungus, its important to:
Use the treatment exactly as prescribed
Apply the medicine for as long as prescribed
Keep all follow-up appointments with your dermatologist
Nail fungus can be stubborn. If you had a severe infection, its possible to clear the infection. A healthy looking nail, however, may be unrealistic, but you can expect the nail to look better and feel more comfortable.
Even with clearing, nail fungus can return. Youll find steps to reduce your risk in Tips: 12 ways to prevent another nail infection.
ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
Top 5 Best Spices To Kill And Cure Toenail Fungus
We all know that toenail fungus infections are very stubborn, and it is quite difficult to get rid of it. Unless you are going for laser treatments, all the other treatments, be it some oral ones, or medical ones, would take more than three months to get rid of the toenail fungus.
Thus, you should bear in mind that trying any of these methods will take almost 100 days, and one is supposed to stick to the method until the removal of the toenail fungus.
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