Remedies for Tonail Fungus
Different fungi can cause an infection of the toenail, but most come from a specific family known as dermaphytes. Dermaphytes thrive in relatively warm, damp environments, like the floors and showers of your average locker room, making it quite easy for anyone who frequents the gym to contract a fungal infection. All it takes for this type of infection to affect the nail is a small cut, tear or separation within the nail bed. Regardless of how you fell victim to this condition, treatment is readily available.
Though it can be extremely difficult to get a toenail fungus under control, most antifungal medications available today can help remedy the condition. For the most part, the first line of defense involves an oral antifungal drug, like itraconazole or fluconazole. With this form of treatment, take the medication for the duration of the prescription, which is usually anywhere from six weeks to two months. You won’t necessarily notice a change in the state of your toenail, because the medication is essentially treating you from the inside out. As your toenail grows, the infected portion is systematically replaced with “healthy” nail.
While an oral medication is often the standard form of treatment, you may require an adjunct course of care through the use of an antifungal topical solution. In this situation, apply an antifungal topical medication to the affected nail and neighboring skin as you continue to use the oral drugs. Many times, this can aid in recovery, but it won’t cure the condition. The oral drugs are still the main course of treatment.
For others, a fungal infection calls for a different topical solution. With this form of treatment, apply a medicated polish to the nail and neighboring skin each day for one week. It works a lot like nail polish, but you needn’t worry about only painting the nail. After the week, clean the area of the polish and reapply for another week. For most people, this type of product takes a lot longer to see results, usually upwards of a year.
Though not ideal, it may be necessary for the affected toenail to be surgically removed. This is by far the most aggressive form of treatment and is only used in fairly severe cases of toenail fungus. In this situation, a doctor surgically removes the entire toenail to allow a “healthy” one to grow.
Since toenail fungus is difficult to treat, even medicinally, self-care methods are often used instead of or in conjunction with prescription medications. One of the most prevalent is the use of vinegar. To use this method of treatment, soak the feet in a mixture of vinegar and water each day for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Mix 2 cups vinegar with 4 cups warm water and soak.