Toenail fungus can be an unsightly annoyance, not to mention that it can sometimes also cause pain on the affected toe. Toenail fungus can range from a simple infection to a severe case where a whole toenail or several nails on one foot have already affected your walking and you can no longer wear closed shoes. Luckily this type of infection can easily be treated through several means.
Toenail fungus can be distinguished easily because the appearance of the infected nail and the surrounding skin changes and can be dramatically different from the other ones. But it is important to note that before trying any toenail fungus treatment, you should consult a doctor first as there are other illnesses such as psoriasis that present similar symptoms. As soon as toenail fungus is confirmed as infecting your foot, you can choose the treatment option that will be best for you.
When you go to either a dermatologist or a podiatrist, the doctor will prescribe medication depending on the severity of your toenail fungus. Some of the prescription medications include:
- Oral antifungal drugs. You will have to take the recommended dose on a specific period to see effective results.
- Medicated nail polish. This is different from nail polish that you get from a salon. This is formulated to heal the toenail and surrounding skin of the fungal infection.
- Topical cream. This is by far the most common prescription medication given by doctors. You have to apply the cream on the infected toenail and skin for a while until such time that the infection clears up and a new, infection-free nail grows.
Prescription medications can be a bit pricey, so if you want to save money but still want to be healed of your toenail fungus, you can try these tried and tested home remedies, but only after being diagnosed that what you have is toenail fungus and not any other infection or illness.
- Vicks Vapor Rub. You may already have this lying around in your home for cold relief. It is also a very effective antifungal treatment. Applying a generous amount on top of the nail for several weeks will get rid of the infection. Take note though that it may take months before the infection clears.
- Teat tree oil. An easily accessible and inexpensive essential oil, tea tree oil is another home remedy you can try. It has antiseptic and antifungal properties, which your infected toenail needs to eliminate the infection.
- Apple cider vinegar. Another home item that you can easily find in your kitchen cupboard, apple cider vinegar is very effective in treating toenail fungus. It can be used two ways: as a foot soak or as a direct application.
Nail removal surgery is done for very severe cases of toenail fungus. If the majority of your toenails have already been infected and prescription drugs as well as home remedies can no longer work, your doctor may suggest that the nail be surgically removed to allow for a new, uninfected nail to grow freely.
Before you apply prescription medications or home remedies on your toenail, you must trim, clean and thin the infected toenail beforehand to allow for the treatment to seep into the nail and skin and do its work.