Fingernail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. This fungal infection can cause yellowing, thickening, and even crumbling of the nails making it difficult and painful to clip your nails or wear shoes comfortably. The primary cause of fingernail fungus is a fungal spore that thrives in damp and warm environments. But fret not! In this article, we will discuss various treatments for curing fingernail fungus effectively and quickly.
Home remedies for fingernail fungus are an inexpensive and easy method to cure nail fungus. Some common home remedies include:
- Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has antifungal and antiseptic properties. To use it, mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil like olive oil and apply it to the affected nails with a cotton swab twice daily for several weeks.
- Vinegar: Soak the affected toenail in a solution of one-part vinegar and two parts warm water for 15-20 minutes once a day. The acetic acid in the vinegar helps to kill the fungus.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil contains caprylic, capric, and lauric acid, which have antifungal properties. Rub pure coconut oil onto the affected nails and let them absorb the oil.
- Garlic: Garlic is a natural antifungal agent. Crush some garlic and apply it to the affected nail two times every day.
While these home remedies are usually safe to use, they may not work for everyone. Moreover, concentration and application of these remedies is important; overuse might result in further damage or infection.
When searching for over-the-counter (OTC) products for fingernail fungus, it can be difficult to determine which product is the best as there are many options available. Some effective OTC products for nail fungus include:
- Antifungal Nail Polish: Antifungal nail polish might contain ciclopirox, a mild antifungal medication. It should be applied once a day onto clean nails and removed every week.
- Antifungal Creams and Ointments: Creams and ointments are spread onto affected nails and surrounding skin for several weeks. The active ingredients target the fungus under the nail.
- Antifungal Nail Gel: The gel is spread onto affected nails and surrounding skin applying it with a brush or dropper. The active ingredient typically kills the fungus without damaging the nail.
It’s important to note that these topical treatments are likely to take several months to fully eliminate the fungus, so patience and consistency are key. Also, those with sensitive skin may experience mild skin irritation.
When home remedies and OTC products are not effective, prescription medication can be prescribed by a dermatologist or a healthcare provider. Prescription medication can include:
- Oral Antifungal Medications:A dermatologist may prescribe oral medication that can treat toenail fungus. It should be taken regularly according to the instructions provided. These medications are convenient and effective. But they can result in potential side effects like nausea, diarrhea, and liver damage.
- Prescription Antifungal Nail Polish: A nail polish administered by a healthcare provider. Ciclopirox might be prescribed since it helps to kill the fungus in the nail and around the nail as the nail grows out.
It is important to follow the instructions of a health care provider when using prescription medication to ensure proper treatment and avoid negative side effects.
Natural remedies can help fight off nail fungus. Some natural remedies for nail fungus include:
- Essential Oils: Essential oils such as lavender oil, oregano oil and lemon oil have antifungal and antibacterial properties. A mixture of olive oil and essential oil can be applied to affected nails 2-3 times every day.
- Herbal Supplements: Certain herbal supplements such as berberine-containing plants and bearberry will help fight off infection in a natural way. But these supplements should only be taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
- Dietary Changes: A healthy and nutrient-rich diet with a careful selection of food groups could help boost immunity and minimize infection development.
While natural remedies are often safe to use, care should be taken to avoid allergic reactions and overuse.
For people who prefer alternative cures, laser therapy is becoming a popular option. Laser therapy harnesses the power of laser beams that help destroy the fungus and promote the growth of clear and healthy nails. However, the effectiveness of laser therapy is yet to be established by rigorous scientific research. Some people have also reported that holistic approaches such as meditation, relaxation techniques, and stress reduction have helped with nail fungus treatment.
Preventative measures are a crucial aspect of managing fingernail infections and prevent recurrence of infection. Some of the best preventative measures include:
- Good Hygiene: Keep your nails short and clean. Wear shoes and socks that allow your feet to breathe.
- Treating Shoes: Shoes and socks can often trap moisture, creating an ideal environment for fungus. Treat shoes with disinfectants, or purchase antifungal shoes and socks.
- Healthy Nail Care Habits: If you are frequently getting your nails done, ensure that the nail salon practices good hygiene and sanitation practices.
Fungal nail infections can be frustrating and hard to get rid of. With the help of home remedies, over-the-counter products, prescription medications, natural remedies, and alternative cures, treatments for nail infections are widely available. Always consult with a healthcare provider before attempting to treat a nail fungus at home if it is a recurring issue, or if you have a medical history. The best way to fight nail infections is to practice preventative measures such as maintaining good hygiene and healthy nail care habits.