Archive for the ‘Nail Fungus Topical’ Category
What Are The Most Effective Treatments
for Nail Fungus Infections?
Figuring out which treatment will work best for you is part of the process of curing your nail fungus infection. There are many options out there and whether this is a long term infection or a very bad infection, it can be eliminated. However this will require patience. It can take months to clear up a nail fungus infection.
Good things to know about treating nail fungus infections
- Getting rid of a nail fungus infection requires a lengthy treatment, no matter which option you choose.
- Fingernails tend to clear up faster than toenails. If you have an infected fingernail it is likely that your treatment course will be faster.
- With some medications, there is a risk of liver damage although this is not common. Your doctor may recommend a blood test to see if your liver is healthy enough to support your treatment
- The most common method of prescription treatment is an oral medication (pills). Other options include topical treatments that you apply directly to the nail. A more mild case of nail fungus infection may be treated with a nail varnish or Tea Tree Oil.
- With a severe or reoccurring infection, your doctor may recommend removing part, or the entire nail. This is usually left as a last resort.
- If your nail fungus infection is mild and doesn’t bother you, it may be best to leave it alone.
Many things can be done to keep a nail fungus infection from reoccurring. To learn more, read “How To Keep From Getting a Fungal Nail Infection”
Available Treatments for Fungal Nail Infections
How to find the best treatment? Here is a list of the currently available treatments for nail fungus infections, divided into three categories to help you determine what might work best for you.
It is always best to consult with your health care provider to determine the best course of action. You can also use current medical research to learn about treatment options.
Most likely to be effective and least harmful:
Itraconazole Pills (commercial name, Sporanox): This is an antifungal oral medication. It treats nail infections caused by fungus.
Terbinafine Pills (commercial name Lamisil): This is an antifungal oral medication. It treats nail infections caused by fungus
Likely to be effective but possibly more harmful:
Fluconazole Pills (commercial name Diflucan): This is an antifungal oral medication. It is used to treat infections caused by fungus but fluconazole is not commonly given for nail infections.
Ciclopirox lacquer: An excellent choice if you wish to avoid taking pills to clear up your nail fungus infection, especially if your case is mild. This antifungal nail polish is applied directly to the affected area. The commercial name for ciclopirox is Penlac Nail Lacquer.
Needs further research:
Griseofulvin Pills (commercial name Grifulvin V): Griesofulvin is actually an antibiotic. It isn’t as effective as other medications in clearing up a nail fungus infection.
Ketoconazole Pills (commercial name Nizoral): Ketoconazole is an antifungal oral medication that is rarely used because it can cause damage to the liver.
Terbinafine Cream or Spray: Terbinafine also comes as a topical cream and a topical spray. Its commercial name is Lamisil
Removing a portion of or all of your nail: This is usually done for very severe nail fungus infections or when people experience reoccurring symptoms. This is a treatment that doctors tend to suggest when all else has failed.
How Can I Permanently Cure My Toenail Fungus?
Doctors tend to shy away from the word “cure” when referring to toenail fungus because it is not an easy thing to do. We have become a very busy society that believes popping a pill will take care of everything. Unfortunately that is not the case with toenail fungus. Onychomycosis, the medical term for toenail fungus is hard to cure because the treatment regimen is very long and can be quite involved. Most kinds of fungus are able to lie dormant for a long period so people will go through treatment and get positive results, only to find that the infection returns. Curing toenail fungus permanently is a possibility, it just take work and patience.
Several factors must be taken into account when examining your chances of curing toenail fungus. First is how far along your toenail fungal infection is. If you can catch it early, you stand a better chance of eliminating it entirely. As a fungal infection progresses, it goes from the skin surrounding the toenail into and under the toenail, where it becomes much harder to eradicate. Second is your own level of commitment. Treating toenail fungus is much more involved than just taking a pill. The idea is to create a hostile environment for the fungus so that they die off. This may involve washing your feet several times a day with a special soap and then donning clean socks each time. Yes, this is a lot of work (and extra laundry) but if you wish to control and end the toenail fungal infection, you will need to follow all of your doctor’s instructions as well as educate yourself on how to avoid recurrence.
The most unfortunate part about curing toenail fungus is that the statistics are so out of whack on actual success because so many people get frustrated part way through their cure and give up, or they miss a day or two and get pushed back by two weeks. This negates the outcome of the studies that have been done, or at least makes the conclusion “unknown”. If you are going to treat your toenail fungus, you need to address all of the problems and be willing to put in the time and effort it will take to achieve a successful result.
Oral prescription medication
If you and your doctor decide that the oral prescription medication is the way to go, ask about helping the process along by using a natural topical antifungal like Tea Tree Oil as part of your healing regimen. Giving your body help from both the inside and the outside can work in your favor. The goal behind combining your efforts is to permanently eradicate the fungi living off of you. This combination of efforts will take effort on your part in maintaining a healthy for you/not healthy for the fungus environment.
The biggest barrier to a cure for toenail fungus for most people is the amount of time and work that go into treatment of this disease. Washing your feet and applying medication 2-3 times a day as well as doing extra laundry to make sure your socks are clean and finding shoes that allow your feet to breath will become stressful. You must remember that missing one day of treatment will undo the last four you worked so hard on as it only takes the fungus one day to re-establish themselves. If you can stick to the program, with the help of your doctor, you can permanently end your toenail fungus problem.
Some Useful Information When Looking
for Nail Fungus Treatments
Nail fungus, known medically as Onychomycosis, is not an easy condition to treat. Primarily cosmetic in nature, it most commonly affects the toenails.
People who are at risk for contracting nail fungus are:
- Older people,
- People with diabetes
- People who have had trauma to their nails
- People with hyperhydrosis
- People who suffer from peripheral vascular disease
- People who have athlete’s foot
- People with an immunodeficiency
- People who practice poor hygine
- People who spend a lot of time in the water
There are a number of different species of fungus that can infect the nail. It is also common to find several different fungal infections at one time. The visible symptoms of nail fungus are a thick, discolored and distorted looking nail.
Curing nail fungus has historically been problematic. Modern medicine has found several new options for curing nail fungus. Visiting your health care provider to determine what kind of infection you have and confirming that it is in fact a nail fungus, instead of some other nail infection, is paramount to a successful treatment regimen. Discovery of this is fairly simple. Your doctor can take scrapings and/or clippings of the infected nail to examine under a microscope, and if necessary, send to a lab for culture.
Once you know what you are dealing with, your nail fungus treatment can begin. A common treatment option is an oral prescription antifungal medication. Two older, and therefore proven and well documented, medications are griseofulvin and fluconazole. Unfortunately these medications aren’t effective on all forms of nail fungus and for the fluconazole, the treatment can last up to 9 months.
Two new comparatively to the market prescription medications that have proven effective against nail fungus are terbinafine and itaconazole. These have both proven to be more effective than their older cousins, fluconazole and griseofulvin.
Terbinafine is taken daily over the course of three months. It is reported to be well tolerated with no negative drug interactions with other medications or significant side effects.
Itaconazole runs in a weekly cycle of three weeks on and three weeks off over the course of 3-5 months. People who take a protease inhibitor should not take itaconazole.
For those who do not wish to take an oral prescription, there are alternatives.
A topical medication is now available for curing nail fungus. Your doctor can prescribe using a nail polish containing 8% ciclopirox solution. You paint this on your nail, as you would a regular nail polish, and the adjacent skin every day for 12 months. This treatment is not as effective as oral prescription medication and the course of treatment is lengthy.
As you consider how to treat your onychomycosis, please keep in mind that no matter what medication you choose and however long the treatment cycle is, the nail has to grow out completely clear before the fungus is considered gone. It can take some people more than a year to replace a disfigured toenail.
There are some folks who opt for surgery. This is a more drastic treatment for nail fungus and should be considered a later option as it can be both painful and possibly disfiguring. If other options are unavailable to you because other medications are either ineffective or inappropriate, this can be a good solution to your nail fungus problem.
Alternative medicine treatments are another possible solution. Tea Tree Oil has been shown in some studies to cure nail fungus. The Mayo Clinic has one published report if you are interested in reading up on this treatment.
There are many home remedies that have been suggested by individuals who have had success with them. Most of these are not considered to be viable treatments by the medical community, but that does not mean they cannot prove effective. Home remedies include:
- A 20-30 minute foot soak in vinegar, lemon juice, Listerine, or a solution of bleach
- Nutritional supplements such as acidophilus
- Applying baking soda, garlic, olive oil or Vick’s VapoRub to the infected nail
Modern medicine has created many successful options when it comes to curing nail fungus. Consulting your health care provider and doing some research yourself are two positive steps in the right direction. Armed with the correct information, you and your health care provider can create an effective plan to solve your nail fungus problem.
The Ins and Outs of Treating Fingernail Fungus Infection
Our nails are mad of keratin, which is similar in structure to bone but not the same. It works to protect parts of the skin and tends to be a telltale indicator for signs of internal problems.
Most people are familiar with toenail fungus infections. A lot of people have them and they are caused by the fact that toes tend to spend a lot of time in dark, damp environments and come into contact with a lot of things that may be carriers for fungal spores. However fingernails can also become infected by fungus. The first sign of infection is usually the nail becoming discolored and then thickening, especially along the tips. This looks very unpleasant and is an embarrassment to people who suffer from it. Avoid painting your nails with fingernail polish if this occurs as the polish will seal in humidity and give the fungus a better breeding environment. Deciding that the problem “will go away on its own” is also a bad idea. Treating this fungus is the smartest thing you can do.
Nail Fungus Treatments
There are several available treatments for nail fungus, some of which include taking oral antifungal medications. Many people try to avoid this as some of these medications have rather harsh side effects. Antifungal solutions and ointments are available over the counter and are comparatively well priced. Several of these are alternative remedies that use natural oils with antifungal properties
The most popular and effective nail fungus treatment is ClearFungus. This is a combination of essential oils to both kill the fungus and help heal and moisturize the surrounding skin. No side effects have been reported during use of this natural medication.
Some important maintenance tips to encourage the healing process if you have a nail fungus infection:
- Keep a strict regimen of applying the antifungal solution to the infected nail(s)
- Maintain good hygiene, even if it means changing your regular habits
- Wash your hands regularly and use soap. Scrub your nails with a nail brush to remove any dirt that gets underneath or into the ridges of the nail
- Avoid using your nails as tools to open or unscrew anything as this can abrade the nail and allow the microorganisms that cause the fungal growth to bury themselves further in your nail and nail bed
- If you choose to go to a salon to get a manicure or pedicure, then make sure your chosen salon washes and sterilizes its equipment so you reduce the risk of contracting infection
- Don’t wear nail polish to cover up the embarrassment of having a fungal infection. The polish will hold moisture inside the nail and nail bed, encouraging fungal growth and further damage to the area.
- Use, and don’t share your own nail maintenance tools, like clippers, file, cuticle stick, etc. as this lowers the chance of contracting a fungal infection
- Wash your hands and feet regularly and dry them thoroughly.
- Catching and treating a nail fungus infection early on will avoid problems in the future. Having the antifungal solution available is the best safety tip.
- Use gloves when dealing with chemicals to avoid exposing your fingernails to futher damage
If you find that the infection persists, seek advice from your medical professional as there may be other symptoms and problems that linger unseen in your body that should be addressed.