How To Treat Nail Fungus Naturally
Science Based Amy Myers, MD
Amy Myers, M.D. is a functional medicine physician, trained and certified by The Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Myers earned her Doctor of Medicine at the LSU Health Science Center, and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Dr. Myers retired from her functional medicine clinic, Austin UltraHealth, where she served thousands of patients, to empower those who were failed by conventional medicine. Shes a 2x New York Times bestselling author, and the founder and CEO of the health & lifestyle e-commerce brand, Amy Myers MD®.
Do you deal with pesky and persistent nail fungus? Have you tried everything in your health arsenalfrom prescription antifungals to expensive creams and lotions to nail polishand still had no luck in eliminating the fungal infection? If so, you are not alone.
What Else Do You Need To Treat Toenail Fungus The Urgent Fungus Destroyer
Now, many people must be wondering if the foot soaks for toenail fungus treatment are enough or not. So, there is a clear answer, which is NO. Alone foot soaks cannot do any good. You need to focus on the foods you eat, and supplements you take while suffering from toenail fungus.
Worry not, we have got your back in this regard. The Urgent Fungus Destroyer is a complete package, it is a supplement that would support your body, particularly the immune system to kill toenail fungus.
It has the mushroom complex, catâs claw, and a lot of ante-oxidants which are pretty important to kill the stubborn toenail fungus. You need to have these supplements for at least two to three months to see some results provided that you have tried all the effective foot soaks too.
Ways To Safely Treat Toenail Fungus At Home
Stocksy/Design by Cristina Cianci
Toenail fungus sounds funky, but believe it or not, its much more common than you think. Thats because the pesky foot issuewhich most often presents as yellowing, cracking, and thickening of the nailscan be caused by everything from slower-growing nails and excessive sweating to athletes foot and walking barefoot in communal areas such as pools, shower rooms, gyms, and the like.
Most infections are caused by tinea species, but can involve harder-to-treat species of dermatophytes,” says Francisco Oliva, DPM. He adds that infections usually occur when theres a combination of issues affecting the toenail. Sometimes there is an injury to the nail at some point, he explains. The effects can be delayed for months and years. Once the fungus invades the nail, the keratin layer of the nail becomes a difficult barrier to penetrate.
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The Best Foot Soaks To Treat Toenail Fungus
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Whilst prescription treatments are available to treat toenail fungus, the complete cure rate is relatively low and the cost is high .
Many people suffering from toenail infections look for a cheaper and more convenient alternative. Homemade foot soaks tick both boxes.
Below we will look at some of the most popular foot soaks for treating fungus.
These are not clinically proven, but many users have reported positive results for a fraction of the price spent on prescription medication some of which can have some nasty side effects.
First, lets address an important issue:
How Fungus Forms On Toenails
Usually toenail infection develops when the nail or surrounding skin has a small crack or cut and the area is exposed to fungus in the environment.
Warm, moist conditions allow fungus to grow. Walking barefoot in locker rooms or shared showers can increase your risk of coming in contact with fungus. Having sweaty feet or wearing non-breathable shoes can help the fungus take hold and spread.
Diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and a weak immune system can increase risk for toenail fungus.
Its also more common in older adults. Up to half of adults over the age of 70 may have toenail fungus, according to the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. A previous toenail injury, psoriasis, hyperhidrosis, and smoking can also increase risk. Children are rarely affected.
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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.
Antifungal Tablets Or Capsules
- Antifungal tablets or capsules are more effective than paints, especially if the entire nail is infected or if the nail is thickened. Examples of oral medications are terbinafine and itraconazole.
- Antifungal medicine is taken for 6 weeks for fungal infections of the fingernail and for 3 months for fungal infections of the toenail.
- They are not suitable for people with certain conditions like liver disease or if you are pregnant. They also interact with many other medicines which can increase your risk of side effects. Tell your doctor about all medicines and herbal products you are taking so they can check for interactions .
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Treatments Options Fortoenail Fungus
Toenail fungus should be treated. Onychomycosistreatment is especiallyimportant for those with complicating factors, and more severe cases. Moreserious consequences, such as deformed nails, can lead to damage in surroundingtissue as well as secondary bacterial infections. A study in the journal Diabetes Care suggests that fungal nail infections are associated withan increased risk of foot amputation in people with diabetes.
In addition, at least one study review has emphasized the psychological and social impact of toenailfungus, an aspect that is not always given enough consideration by healthcareprofessionals, but one that negatively affects those who suffer from it.
While there are extensive lists of over-the-countertreatments and home remedies for toenail fungus, attempting to solvethe problem on ones own can lead to even further difficulties. And while some ofthese methods may temporarily work, the condition may still come back.
A qualified podiatrist can more expertly diagnose the problem,determine its cause and thus treat most effectively. After all, toenail fungusis an infection and should be treated by a doctor, like all other infections.Treatment may take up to a year to fully clear the infection, so its importantto start as soon as possible.
Surgery: Chronic and painfulnails that have resisted other treatment may be permanently removed tofacilitate a cure and prevent the regrowth of deformed nails.
Preventative Steps To Take
While you cant always help your risk factors for toenail fungus, there are some preventive steps you can take:
- Bring your own sterilized instruments, such as nail clippers, to a nail salon.
- Keep your toenails short and clean to prevent nail trauma that can lead to cracking. If you have difficulty trimming your own toenails, your doctor may recommend seeing a podiatrist to help.
- Dont share personal care items like fingernail clippers or pumice stones with another person.
- Throw away or treat potentially infected footwear.
- Wear clean socks and wash socks after use.
- Wear sandals when walking in a locker room, public shower, or any other places where fungus is likely to grow.
Toenail fungal infections have a high rate of recurrence, even after youve treated them. Thats why its important to couple treatment measures with preventive ones to give yourself the best chance for keeping your toenails healthy in appearance.
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Epsom Salt For Toenail Fungus
You must have heard about Epsom salt if you love to use the bath bombs.
The Epsom salt is a compound of Magnesium and Sulphate and it is an amazing detoxifier.
It kills all the toxins residing on your body.
The magnesium in Epsom salt is fantastic to kill the itchiness and the redness on your skin.
The next main ingredient is the sulfate ion, what will it do for the nail fungus?
It simply reinforces the effects of the min magnesium ion.
If you are someone who does not want the bad looking and damaged nail, this is the treatment for you.
It can be the best home remedy for nail fungus. It is easily available, and you do not need a prescription for it.
The Epsom salt can be added to the daily routine if you want presentable nails, it is not very effective for a ruined nail, you can use it as the onset treatment for nail fungus.
How to use Epsom salt for nail fungus?
Pros of using Epsom salt for nail fungus as a homemade remedy
- It works fine for the healthy skin.
- It also helps in reduces stress.
- Cleans the infected spots nicely.
Cons of using the Epsom salt
- It can cause irritation on sensitive skin when used in higher concentrations.
- Will take so many months to treat the toenail fungus.
Note: For a detailed guide on using the Epsom Salt for treating the toenail fungus and also to know how did it perform for one of the patient with toenail fungus, you can check our complete case study and review guide below:
Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak
Tea tree oil has antiseptic and antifungal properties that can be combined with various salts to make for an effective antifungal foot soak treatment.
It is most commonly used with Epsom salt and sea salt. This creates a super-healing solution that is ideal for tackling toenail fungus and Athletes Foot.
The foot soaks can be picked up with some pretty good deals .
- Fill the basin with warm water and add 1 ounce of foot soak .
- Mix with hands until the Salt & Msm dissolve.
- Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes.
- Add additional salts for a more stringent or aromatic foot bath.
Tea tree oil comes with the added benefits that it reduces odour, itching, burning and inflammation.
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How Effective Are Tablets In Treating Nail Fungus
Tablets for the treatment of nail fungus have been tested in several studies. All participants had an infection on their toenails caused by a skin fungus. Overall, the study results showed that tablets are considerably more effective than nail polishes or creams.
One year after a three-month treatment with terbinafine:
- About 17 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 76 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with terbinafine got rid of the fungal infection in about 59 out of 100 people.
Itraconazole also proved to be effective. After one year,
- 7 out of 100 people who didnt have this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
- About 43 out of 100 people who had this treatment no longer had a detectable fungal nail infection.
In other words, the treatment with itraconazole got rid of the fungal infection in about 36 out of 100 people.
Some studies directly compared itraconazole and terbinafine with each other. They confirm that terbinafine is somewhat more effective than itraconazole.
Treatment with breaks is thought to be about as effective as continuous treatment. But that has only been looked into in a few studies.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection may not cause any obvious symptoms at first.
As it progresses, the infection can cause:
- discolouration of the nail it may turn white, black, yellow or green
- thickening and distortion of the nail it may become an unusual shape or texture and be difficult to trim
- pain or discomfort particularly when using or placing pressure on the affected toe or finger
- brittle or crumbly nails pieces may break off and come away completely
Sometimes the skin nearby may also become infected and be itchy and cracked or red and swollen.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover
You need to be consistent with the treatment in order to see results. It usually takes a few months for the nail to heal completely. Healing time depends on how severe the infection is and how quickly your body responds to the treatment.
The fungal infection is cured when youve grown an entirely new nail thats free from infection.
You can continue the tea tree oil treatment after the nail has healed to ensure that the nail fungus doesnt return.
Its important that you use a high-quality tea tree oil for best results. Here are some things to look for when buying tea tree oil:
- The oil needs to be 100 percent pure.
- Buy an organic oil, if possible.
- Look for a tea tree oil that has a 10 to 40 percent concentration of terpinen. This is one of the main antiseptic and antifungal components of tea tree oil.
You can buy tea tree oil online or at a local health store. Always buy from a brand that you trust. The supplier should be able to answer any questions you have about their product.
Research your brands and manufacturers. Essential oils can have issues with purity, contamination, and strength. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate essential oils, so its important to purchase from a supplier you trust.
The Best Nail Fungus Treatment: What Really Works For Yellow Crumbly Nails
Nail fungus isnt pretty. The nails can become misshapen, thick, crumbly and brittle. They may turn a nasty color yellow, green or brown. Fungal infections of the nail can also produce a slightly foul smell. If youve developed toenail fungus or fingernail fungus, youre no doubt searching for the best nail fungus treatment, one that will restore your nails to normal as quickly as possible.
So, how to get rid of nail fungus fast? Unfortunately, its not easy. It may take trial and error to find the best nail fungus treatment for you, and no treatment for nail fungus can get rid of it overnight.
There are many over-the-counter nail fungus medicines available, but they may take two months or longer to work, if they work at all and the nail fungus may return. Topical medicines treat the fungus on the skin surrounding your nail but arent as effective at killing fungus in the nail bed.
If you think you have nail fungus, see you dermatologist to make sure. The dermatologist can make an accurate diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan.
Your dermatologist will likely trim the infected nail and scrape away any debris under it, which helps get rid of some of the fungus. The doctor may take a sample of the fungus to identify which type is causing the infection, which helps them decide the best treatment. Your nail fungus treatment plan may include any of the following.
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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.
Doctors Weigh Best Treatments
The best treatment for fungal nail infections is a prescription that your dermatologist can prescribe that you take every day for two-to-three months. The pill is not for everyone, since oral antifungals can interact with other medications and can affect the liver.
Fortunately if you dont want to or cant take a pill, there are topical solutions to treat nail fungus. Although topical medications are desirable because of the low risk of side effects and interaction with other medications, they have much longer treatment regimens. Generally, topical medications have a lower clearance rate compared to oral pills.
Newer topical antifungals including Efinaconazole and Tavaborole have better penetration of the nail plate and so they work better compared to older topical medications, says Dr. Ng. She says the topical medications work best if you only have partial nail involvement.
Lasers are approved by the FDA to temporarily increase the amount of clear nail. However, the cure rates are lower than oral medications and topical solutions.
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How Do You Get A Fungal Nail Infection
Most fungal nail infections occur as a result of the fungi that cause athlete’s foot infecting the nails.
These fungi often live harmlessly on your skin, but they can sometimes multiply and lead to infections. The fungi prefer warm, dark and moist places like the feet.
You’re more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you:
- don’t keep your feet clean and dry
- wear shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty
- walk around barefoot in places where fungal infections can spread easily, such as communal showers, locker rooms and gyms
- have damaged your nails
- have a weakened immune system
- have certain other health conditions, such as diabetes, psoriasis or peripheral arterial disease
Fungal nail infections can be spread to other people, so you should take steps to avoid this if you have an infection.