The Most Effective Treatments for Toenail Fungus

Anju Mobin
By Anju Mobin
Joel Taylor
Reviewed by Joel Taylor

Published April 25, 2022.

A closeup of a woman's feet and toes

Toenail fungus is a disease that affects the nails, making them thicker, discolored, and brittle. It is more common in men than women and among older people than the younger lot.

Toenail fungus is also known as Onychomycosis. It is estimated that around 1 in 10 people have toenail fungus. Thankfully, there are many natural remedies for nail fungus. If these do not cure the infection, then anti-fungal medication is advised.

Causes and Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

The most common causes of fungal toenail infections are (1):

  • Dermatophytes They are a kind of fungus that causes diseases of the skin, hair, nail, etc. They require keratin for growth.
  • Non-dermatophytes and yeasts They cause toenail infection as a secondary fungal infection of the nails. In other words, there is already damage to the nail and these microbes penetrate that to cause a secondary infection. These are caused by yeasts and molds.

The difference between nail mold and nail fungus is that nail mold is actually caused by the Pseudomonas bacteria.

People who are at higher risk of fungal toenail infection are aged people, diabetics, athletes, people with hyperhidrosis (sweat a lot), and those who share common areas such as swimming pool, shower room, etc (2).

Symptoms of toenail fungus

  • White, yellow, or brown nails
  • Cracked or broken nails
  • Thickened nails
  • Brittle and chalky nails
  • Cloudy in some places

How to Treat Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is treatable, but it takes time. Often simple home remedies can do the trick or else antifungal drugs might be needed.

Home Remedies

First and foremost, our Fungix anti-fungal formula is an effective, non-prescription nail fungus treatment with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It has an advanced formula with 25% undecylenic acid and many potent herbs. Fungix comes with an enclosed brush to apply the medicine to the nail coat.

Aside from that, some other effective home remedies for toenail fungus include:

  • Epsom salt Add 2 tsp of Epsom salt to 4 cups of hot water. Soak your feet in it for 15 minutes a day, drying them thoroughly afterward.
  • Tea tree oil This can be directly put on the infected area. Tea tree oil helps reduce the growth of the fungus causing the infection. Effects are seen almost by the 14th day.
  • Iodine One drop of iodine on the affected area every day and your toenail fungus can be a thing of the past. It is very effective in alleviating both signs and symptoms of toenail fungus.
  • Vicks Vaporub The camphor and the eucalyptus oil in Vicks Vaporub are usually effective in treating infected nails. Just apply a small amount to the infected site once a day and see the results soon.
  • Hydrogen peroxide This can kill fungus very well. You can directly put hydrogen peroxide on the affected area with a cotton swab or even add some to a foot soak.
  • Apple cider vinegar Soak the affected part in one part apple cider vinegar to two parts warm water for 15-20 minutes. Wash your feet, dry them properly, and keep them open, allowing the feet to breathe.

Should You Cut the Infected Nails?

Yes, the infected nail should be cut, but not by individuals without some experience in this.

Your podiatrist might start with trimming or cutting the infected nail and scraping away the fungus as much as possible. Cutting back each infected nail to the place where it attaches to the toe is a very feasible option. The doctor may also scrape away the debris under the nail to get rid of the fungus before applying the medicine.

Prescribed Medication

In case, home remedies don’t work, antifungal medications are your best bet for treating toenail fungus. They can be either applied topically or taken orally.

  • Oral antifungal drugs These include griseofulvin, terbinafine, itraconazole and ketoconazole. They might show some side effects.
  • Anti-fungal Topical cream Penlac (ciclopirox) and Jublia (efinaconazole) are the two antifungal prescription drugs that are used to treat toenails fungus. Penlac is a lacquer that needs to be applied to the nail. It takes around a month to completely cure toenail infection depending upon how bad it was. As per studies, the other medicine, Jublia, is more effective than Penlac. However, it is very expensive.

If you apply the medicines topically, it is better to keep your nails short and clean.

What Is the Fastest Way to Cure Toenail Fungus?

The fastest way to cure toenail fungus is undoubtedly an antifungal medication. Fungix anti-fungal formula has potent anti-fungal ingredients which fight deep-rooted infections and speeds up the healing process.

It is possible to cure toenail fungus permanently, but it takes time and perseverance. A toenail grows out completely in 12-18 months, which is round about the expected recovery time.

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