Onychomycosis can be really uncomfortable and embarrassing. If you have yellow discolored toenails, then chances are you are a victim of toenail fungus.
This fungus spreads in dark, damp environments and can cause some issues to occur on your toenails.
Poorly fitted shoes are often to blame for toenail fungus. The sweat from your feet can dampen the shoe and if it’s not ventilated properly or there is extra space between the shoe and your foot, the fungus can develop quickly.
This fungus has a tendency to spread easily through direct contact. This is why public places like swimming pools or saunas have a higher risk of infection.
About Toenail Fungus
Sometimes determining whether you have toenail fungus or if your nails are simply misshapen due to previous damage can be difficult.
Generally, the fungus is determined through discoloration of the nail with white or yellow spots. As the fungus continues to grow, you might see the nail become thicker and start to crumble easily.
Over time, you might even see the toenail raise up from the toenail bed due to the buildup of fungus underneath.
This can become very uncomfortable and needs to be dealt with quickly. If left untreated, the fungus will continue to grow without stopping.
Even with proper treatment, there are chances that the fungus will come back and start growing again.
What Types of Remedies and Medicines Are There to Treat Toenail Fungus?
There are three major categories of treatment for toenails that you can expect to come across.
The first is the prescription medicine which can be prescribed by your doctor specifically to treat the fungus infection depending on the determined depth of the infection.
Generally, the farther the yellow tint goes along the nail the harder the infection will be to remove. The second way is through the do-it-yourself method.
The DIY category consists of several proven ways to remove toenail fungus through either chemical treatment or other natural ointment or oils.
Lastly, there are also some over the counter medications which can be bought in many pharmacies.
These are usually topical cream or ointments, and sometimes they can even come in a form of a lacquer.
Obviously, the prescription based treatment is usually more effective, but at the same time, it can be quiet expensive.
Not everyone is willing to pay for 18 months worth of prescription medications to get rid of toenail fungus.
Over the counter medicine can be effective as well, but it does take a bit longer to work than prescribed medications.
The price for over the counter medications are a bit lower than prescriptions and are usually much more affordable.
The DIY solutions usually take a much longer time to go into effect and require constant applications. The price of at home remedies are usually lower and aren’t as expensive as the doctor prescribed solutions.
Deciding which method to go with is completely up to you. Most insurance companies will refuse to pay for toenail fungus removal unless it’s causing a physical discomfort or pain.
They consider onychomycosis to be a cosmetic issue and often deny any claims regarding it. So if there is physical discomfort associated with your toenail fungus problem or if you are willing to pay out of pocket, then prescription based treatment is the better choice.
If you don’t have insurance or don’t have the money to dish out for the traditional medical treatment of the fungus, then the DIY solution is your best choice.
Let’s take a look at some prescribed medication that might help you as well as the DIY solutions that are most likely to alleviate your toenail fungus.
What Are Some Doctor Prescribed Medicines Against Toenail Fungus?
The number one go to for nearly all toenail fungus conditions is Terbinafine. This is an oral drug in the form of a pill which is dubbed as an antifungal medication designed to stop fungus growth in toenails and fingernails.
Generally, the prescription will require you to take one pill per day for about a month, after which you will see your doctor again and either get another monthly prescription to be ordered for a change in how often you take the drug.
Sometimes pulse dosing can be suggested by your doctor. This is when you take an increased amount of the drug for the first half of the month and then stop.
Dosage and its length will be determined by the condition of your infection and how you respond to the medicine.
Generally, you have to continue taking the drug throughout the whole duration of your new nail growth.
Fluconazole and Itraconazole are both very similar drugs that can also be chosen by your doctor to counteract the effects of your toenail fungus.
These medications belong to what’s called the azole antifungals group and are designed to stop the growth of certain fungus infections and yeast infections.
More often than not, these azole antifungal medications are prescribed to those who have weak immune systems due to cancer treatment, bone marrow transplant, or diseases such as AIDS and diabetes.
Just like our previous drug, Fluconazole and Itraconazole will both have specific instruction for when to take the pills and how long to take them for. Usually, it can take up to 18 months before any results are seen from taking one of these medications.
Griseofulvin is another medication designed to completely eradicate fungal infections. In some cases, it can be used for other infections such as those of the skin, like athlete’s foot.
Predominantly, Griseofulvin comes in the form of a pill or a capsule but it can also be in the form of a liquid.
In most situations, it will be suggested for you to take it twice per day for the full duration of fungal presence and even afterward to completely eliminate the chance of the fungus coming back. It is not unusual to continue taking Griseofulvin throughout an 18 month period.
Which Over the Counter Medications Can Help With Toenail Fungus?
There are many products out there that are designed to help with fungal infections. Most of these creams, sprays, ointments, and lacquers target a specific type of infection.
The problem is that some of these medications only alleviate the fungus on the surface and don’t get to the source of the fungus.
The end result is that you can control the infection through the use of these medications but chances are you will most likely never be able to completely eliminate the fungus.
This can result in the constant repurchase of the same product just to keep the fungus under control.
This endless treatment can result in thousands of dollars spent per year just to keep the surface of the problem under control.
However, there are also some very powerful, FDA approved, over the counter medications that do target the source of the fungal infection.
Products like ZetaClear can give you the benefits and strength of the prescription based medicines that your doctor suggests without all the dangerous pharmaceuticals ending up in your body and causing harm.
ZetaClear is made from a 100% all-natural homeopathic remedy that includes Tea Tree Oil, Clove Oil, Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Oil, and Lemongrass Oil.
When combined with Undecylenic Acid, all of these ingredients end up softening the infected tissue and giving the Tea Tree Oil the capability to seep through the no longer rough skin down to the source of the infection.
The best part is that you can apply ZetaClear at home and it will continue working throughout the day until the infection is completely gone.
Furthermore, even after the fungus is eliminated, ZetaClear continues to work to make sure that it will never come back.
Kerasal Nail is another product which has been developed specifically to target the source of the fungal infection.
Its unique formula was created in such a way that the medication is able to penetrate the nail easily and work at the source of the problem.
It doesn’t contain any preservatives, which means the product is safe to use and won’t harm you in any way.
You can even see improvements in the visual appearance of your nails in just a few weeks. However, it is designed to fight the infection over a long period of time.
Just because you see results in a short amount of time doesn’t mean you should stop using Kerasal Nail. There have been many customers who stated that this product works far better than others they have used before.
There is one thing you should keep in mind; this product is designed to counteract the visual appearance of the fungal infection. If there is an underlying problem or chronic issue which is causing your fungal infection then you will have to see a doctor.
There are plenty other products on the market which are making bold claims about their functionality and antifungal properties, but we’ve noticed that many customers were not so happy with the results of these medications.
While each person is different and will have different results when dealing with many treatment options regarding their fungal infection, we chose the two products that are most likely to help you with your fungus problem.
What Are Some Natural DIY Toenail Fungus Treatments?
Tea tree oil is the number one go to DIY solution to get your fungus under control. Many people who have used it in the past swear by its disinfecting capabilities, as well as its fungicidal and anti-bacterial properties.
Because of how effective it is with eliminating fungus infections, it has gained quite a bit of credibility over the years. Orange oil is also known to have similar properties and can be mixed with tea tree oil to help destroy fungus in its track.
We suggest that you dilute the combination of these oils with a base oil like grape seed oil. Mix half a teaspoon of orange oil, half a teaspoon of tea tree oil, and one full teaspoon of grape seed oil in a bowl.
Use some cotton balls and soak them inside the mixture until they are fully covered with oil, and then proceed to apply the cotton ball to your infected area.
Make sure to apply enough pressure so that the liquid seeps out slightly onto the infected area but don’t press too hard otherwise you will be wasting the solution.
Let the treated area dry naturally. You should continue doing this every day until you grow a completely new fungus free toenail instead of the infected one.
Another solution that has shown promising results when it comes to treating toenail fungus is cinnamon oil. As it turns out, cinnamon essential oils are good anti-microbial and anti-fungal agents.
The best way to administer this remedy to your infected area is by adding the cinnamon oil to warm water and then soaking your feet in the water.
A two percent cinnamon essence oil solution should be perfect to get that pesky fungus infection under control.
The estimated time before seeing results is about one month, but it can be sped up if your treat your infected area more than once per day.
Baking soda in combination with white vinegar can also show some hopeful results. Baking soda isn’t fungicidal, meaning that it doesn’t kill the fungus infection, but it creates an alkaline environment in which the fungus can’t thrive.
The addition of white or apple vinegar is able to kill the fungus because of its weak acid like properties. The best way to treat your infected area is by mixing some warm water with about one cup of white vinegar and then soaking your feet for about 15 minutes.
Afterward, pat your feet dry with some paper towels and add about four tablespoons of baking soda to the remaining water/vinegar mixture, then go ahead and soak your feet for another 15 minutes.
The idea behind this method is pretty simple: the vinegar will kill off the fungus and the baking soda will prevent further growth of fungus.
Repeat daily and you should see results within a month. You should continue following this treatment until a fully new nail has grown out without any fungal signs.
Lastly, plain old coconut oil is pretty effective when it comes to killing fungus infections. Coconut oil contains a huge amount of fatty acids, which can work pretty well to destroy fungal infections.
The fungal membrane is a vital part of the fungus and its biological function. Many remedies target the fungal membrane in an attempt to disrupt the function of fungal cells.
This is exactly what fatty acids do; they insert themselves into the membrane and cause the cells to die by disrupting their function.
Scientifically speaking, this is a pretty complex process. But on the outside, it’s as simple as applying some coconut oil to the infected area. Do this about two to three times per day and you will see your fungus start to disappear over time.
It might take up to a full month before you see any results and you should continue the applications until a new nail has grown out in place of the old infected nail.
Toenail Fungus Review Summary
Fungal toenail infections can be a huge problem. While most are a simple cosmetic inconvenience, others can develop into terrible discomfort and even pain.
No matter which method you decide to use to solve your fungal issues, we strongly suggest that you be careful with maintaining your infection.
Refrain from sharing shoes or socks with anyone in your family and try to avoid direct contact between your infected area and other people.
Toenail fungus can be transmitted rather easily. For this same reason, you should also be very cautious when using public locations such as gym showers or pools.
Another thing that can help you get rid of the fungus and keep it away is purchasing a better pair of shoes that are breathable and fit well.
This will eliminate the favorable environment for the fungus to spread in and also help your feet ventilate throughout hot days or humid conditions. Always use a fresh pair of socks every day.
Don’t be afraid to go barefoot when in the back yard or out in nature. The fresh air will deter fungal activity and can help your feet stay moisture free.
Proper hygiene will also be a huge help. If you decide to use any of the lotions or topical ointments to treat your infection, trim your nails as close to your flesh as possible before applying the treatment to the infected area.
This will ensure that there is maximum contact between the remedy and the fungus so that it can be most effective.
Washing your feet daily is strongly suggested as well, especially between the toes. There is a good reason why we teach our children to do this.
Finally, proper diet and exercise are always vital to a healthy life. If you have immune system issues, it is important to observe a nutritious diet as well as proper exercise. This will strengthen your immune system and deter fungal activity.
Vitamin and mineral supplements can also help. No matter the case, we are pretty optimistic that at least one of the solutions we listed here today will be able to help you eliminate this problem permanently.