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If you’re suffering from toenail fungus, there’s absolutely no need to worry. There are plenty of nail fungal infection treatment options available, and you will definitely find one (maybe a combination of two!) suited to your needs and preferences. Some are more accessible than others, while there are options that work faster and slower. It all depends on the person and severity of the condition, but it’s definitely good to have options ready and available.
Toenail fungus can be an embarrassing situation, but it’s extremely common. That’s why there are tried-and-tested nail fungal infection treatment methods (many that even underwent clinical studies!) you can try in the comfort of your own home.
Topical Nail Solutions
The best home remedy in nail fungal infection treatment (or the ultimate solution to toenail fungus in general), topical nail solutions are extremely effective, not to mention highly affordable. They can easily be ordered online, and delivered right to your doorstep. Each bottle comes with a brush applicator for easy application. The solution penetrates the nail bed, getting straight to the source of the infection, eliminating toenail fungus.
According to one 2010 study, the antifungal activity of vinegar is more powerful than other food preservatives. A reasonably safe and versatile home remedy to try, vinegar is a diluted form of acetic acid that can be used as a foot soak to get rid of toenail fungus. Using 1-part vinegar to 2-parts water is a good ratio for a foot soak.
One 2014 study reported that the antiseptic properties of seven commercial types of mouthwash showed some antifungal activity in laboratory samples. To use, you can pour mouthwash on a cotton ball and apply it on the affected area, or simply soak the affected toenails in a small bowl of mouthwash.
While this topical ointment is typically used for cough and cold suppression, a 2011 study found that the active ingredients (camphor and eucalyptus oil) of Vicks VapoRub had a positive clinical effect in the treatment of toenail fungus. To use, simply apply a small amount of Vicks VapoRub to the affected area at least once a day.
If you do end up going to a doctor or healthcare professional, they might prescribe you antifungal drugs you can take orally or apply topically. In some cases, a combination of both can be more effective than just using one or the other.
Oral Antifungal Drugs
Often the first choice in nail fungal infection treatment methods, oral antifungal drugs usually clear the infection much quicker than topical methods. These drugs typically need to be taken at least 6 to 12 weeks, and it may take longer than 4 months to completely eliminate the infection. The downside? They are more likely to cause side effects (ranging from skin rashes to liver damage) than topical solutions.
Medicated Nail Polish
Some doctors may prescribe ciclopirox, and like topical solutions (and normal nail polish), this medicated nail polish comes with a brush applicator used to apply on the affected nail once a day. After seven days, you wipe the layers off with alcohol and begin with another set of fresh coats. Medicated nail polish needs to be applied daily and is usually used for almost an entire year.
Medicated Nail Cream
Medicated nail creams work better when nails are thinner. To effectively thin your nails, you can apply nonprescription lotion containing urea. Your doctor can also thin your nails by filing the surface with a file or another tool. Doing this helps the medication penetrate the nail surface much easier, getting straight to the underlying fungus.
In more extreme cases, your doctor may suggest temporary but complete removal of the nail so that they can apply the antifungal medication directly to the source of the infection. Additionally, if the infection doesn’t respond to medication, or if the infection becomes too painful and severe, your doctor might even suggest permanent removal of the nail.