Healthy toenails will often be shiny, pink, and smooth, but a fungal infection may make them brittle, thick, discolored, and sometimes painful. Other than keeping your toenails trimmed, dry, and clean, the best nail fungus treatment will help eradicate the infection.
What is a Nail Fungus?
A nail fungus is a common fungal condition that first attacks the foot then spreads to the nails. Fungal nail infections may develop from several organisms, including fungi, yeasts, and molds. This happens when such organisms come into a cracked skin surrounding the nail or the nail itself.
Toenail fungus will look like yellow and white spots that are growing under the nail when mild. However, when left untreated, the fungal infection becomes severe, causing hardening of the nails and spread to other toes.
Most times, the toenail fungus starts as an athlete's foot on the soles of the feet or between the toes. Some of the common causes of fungal nail infections are moist or damp, poor circulation, and other conditions such as diabetes.
Other common causes are using communal showers like swimming pools, inadequate sanitization of salon instruments, and also living with someone who has a fungal infection.
What are the Symptoms of Toenail Fungus?
Although toenail fungus develops slowly over time and the symptoms may go unnoticed, here are some symptoms you should look out for;
- Nail thickening
- Yellow discoloration on top of the nail
- Distorted nail shape
- Clouding or darkening of the nails
- Foul odor
- Crumbling and brittle nails
- Separation of the affected nails from the nail bed
- White spots on nails
- Lack of shine on the nail
- Pain in the toes
If you experience so much pain or the toenail turns black or brown, then it would be best to consult a doctor or podiatrist.
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How Do You Treat A Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungal infection will often require an effective treatment to prevent more fungal growth. There are the best nail fungus treatments that can help you eliminate fungal infections. Here are some of the treatments you should consider;
The Remedy Soap Body Wash is a medicated soap that comes in handy for nail fungus treatments as well as other fungi that grow on your feet. It features a combination of natural ingredients like eucalyptus, peppermint, aloe vera, and tea tree oil.
The peppermint oil helps balance the body's natural oils, the eucalyptus oil works to heal the unhealthy skin on the nails and feet, and the rea tree oil helps soothe the skin. This product is designed for gym people and athletes, as sweat-induced exercises can lead to fungal infections.
This soap is safe and gentle enough for everyday use to clean the body. In addition to treating toenail fungus, this soap can also help alleviate odor, ringworm, athlete's foot, jock itch, etc.
If you're in search of another all-natural route to treat toenail fungus, then the Purely Northwest Tea Tree Oil Foot & Body Soak might be a great option for you. This foot soak is a great and relaxing way to end your day.
The ingredients include sea salt, Epsom salt, tea tree as well as other oils. The combined ingredients not only act as a toenail fungus treatment but also soothes the skin and dries out the fungus to ensure it doesn't spread.
Other benefits of this foot soak include soothing aches, and healing cracked feet. It is an all-natural solution with no dyes or synthetic fragrances. However, depending on the severity, the results on the affected nail might take longer to appear.
The Ariella Nail Fungus Treatment for Toenail and Fingernails is a premium solution for brittle, cracked, and discolored nails. It has a maximum strength formula that eliminates the fungi, yeast, and molds that grow in the nails and surrounding skin.
It comes with applicator pens that ensure the well-targeted application of this best nail fungus treatment. The applicator is also quite easy to use since you will only need to twist the pen's end to dispense the solution to the brush applicator.
This treatment of fast and effective results that are visible after two to four weeks. To achieve the best results, applying the Ariella Nail Fungus Treatment two to three times every day on clean and dry nails is recommended.
The Fungi Nail Anti-Fungal Ointment boasts an innovative design that helps kill toenail fungus. It features a wide tip applicator that you can use to apply the ointment on larger areas of the feet, like in-between toes and soles.
Additionally, it has a smaller applicator that is used underneath the nail and around the nail cuticles. This ointment has active ingredients like Undecylenic acid and Zinc Undecylenate to help kill fungus in the affected nails.
This ointment also helps in soothing the burning and itching sensation that comes with fungal infections and also heals the skin. To achieve better results, it is advised to apply twice a day to the dry and clean feet.
Although prescription orals and topical treatments are considered the most effective way to treat toenail fungus, over-the-counter medication like Terbinafine Hydrochloride Antifungal Cream can also be used to address mild infections.
This cream is recommended to help treat athlete's foot before it spreads to the toenails. In addition, it works to kill the fungus and prevent fungal growth. However, if you're in search of something stronger for nail fungus treatments, Terbinafine is also available as prescribed oral medications for more severe infections.
Other Nail Fungus Treatments
Apart from the above best nail fungus treatments, there are other ways you can use for toenail fungus treatment, including;
- Baking soda- Some researchers have found that baking soda can help prevent fungus in 79% of the specimens they tested. Applying a mix of baking soda and water to the affected nail and allowing it to sit for about ten minutes may help in treating the infected nail.
- Vicks Vaporub- This is a mentholated ointment that has proven to have a great effect on toenail fungus.
- Ozonized sunflower oil- Sunflower oil has been proven to treat a toenail fungus that is caused by yeast.
- Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are other famous home remedies for toenail fungus.
- Other essential oils, for example, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.
What Do You Consider When Buying the Best Nail Fungus Treatment?
When buying a toenail fungus treatment, paying attention to the ingredients is important because the wrong one may worsen the infection or even cause some skin infections. To be on the safer side, it is recommended to choose one that is made from all-natural ingredients to repair the nail condition without causing any risk to the skin. Always check the description and labels before buying.
2. Easy of use
When it comes to toenail care, it is important to pick an option that is easier to use. For example, if you're going for a pen, you want to ensure that it has the right brush size. This is because the wrong brush size can cause damage to your nail and make the infection worse.
The brush should be too small or too large but the perfect size. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the health solutions don't have dangerous substances like batteries or requires some complicated method of application.
3. Other Factors
We also recommend checking on factors such as;
- Shelf life
- Replacement policy
- Product reviews
- Brand reputation
- Durability and Performance
Benefits of The Best Nail Fungus Treatments
Here are some general benefits of using the above treatment methods for toenail fungus;
- Helps in pain relief
- Affordable than surgical removal
- Mess-free applications
- Protects and strengthen the nails
- Easy to use
- Fast relief from toenail infections
- Safe to use
How to Prevent Toenail Fungus
To prevent nail fungus and ensure your nail grows to become healthy, you should consider the following guidelines;
- Wash your feet with some water and soap, then dry them completely after swimming.
- Disinfect the nail clippers and other pedicure tools
- Wear shoes made from breathable materials that are well-fitting
- Use medicated nail polish but avoid applying the nail polish to infected nails.
- Use shower shoes in public areas and locker rooms
- Wear socks that are completely dry and remove them in case they get wet or damp.
When To See a Doctor
When the above toenail fungus treatments do not work or are making it worse, then it's time to see a podiatrist or primary care physician. They may recommend a topical medication or an oral anti-fungal pill that you will be required to take for about three months.
While oral treatment tends to be more effective, it may not be the best for people with other medical conditions, and it might also affect liver function. Another treatment method is a laser treatment that can temporarily improve the nail but are less effective than oral medication.
For severe cases that won't respond to treatment, the infected nails may be removed to treat the nail bed and grow a healthy nail. Unfortunately, toenails can be recurrent, and it is important to take preventive measures to ensure the nail remains healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Toenail Fungus Treatments
1. Are fungal nails contagious?
Although fungal nails are usually gotten from somewhere, they are not highly contagious. However, it is so common to find people in the same household have it, and it is hardly a coincidence. Fungal nails or foot fungus can be transmitted from one person to another but only with constant contact.
2. What are the best over-the-counter treatments for nail fungus?
The best over-the-counter nail fungus treatments range from creams, sprays, liquids, and ointments. Our recommended options are Remedy Soap Tea Tree Oil Body Wash and Purely Northwest Tea Tree Oil Foot & Body Soak. However, for severe cases, it is always a good idea to seek professional medical advice.
3. Are oral medications for nail fungus toxic?
Although some nail fungus medications may be toxic, there are better newer drugs that are unlikely to cause liver problems in patients with no liver disease. However, blood tests may be necessary for people with other medications to ensure the drug administration is safe.
Additionally, it is important to notify your doctor of any side effects you're getting while on the medication and all the current medications to prevent possible drug interactions.
4. What happens if you leave nail fungus?
When you leave the nail fungus untreated, the case may become severe and cause permanent damage to the nails. It may also cause some other serious infections that will spread beyond your feet, especially if you have a suppressed immune system.