Toenail fungus is one of the common conditions, and if left untreated, the condition can escalate severely. Here we will talk about different treatment options to kill toenail fungus.
Therapies, medications, surgery, and different home remedies can be used to kill toenail fungus. We will discuss these procedures in detail right below.
Treatments for Killing Toenail Fungus
1. Light Therapy
Light therapy is an excellent way to treat your toenail fungus. Researchers have found that light therapy combined with photosynthesizing drugs can be hugely beneficial for treating toenail fungus conditions.
A certain type of photosensitizing drug is injected into the patient’s body in this therapy. Then 600 – 690 nm light wavelengths are emitted upon the affected area.
The light activates the photosynthesizing drug and affects the fungus cells to destroy them. However, it is completely safe for human cells.
Additionally, light therapy has numerous other health benefits. Light therapy energizes your body cells and encourages healthy growth. Therefore, Your nails can repair the fungal damage and can have better growth.
Although research has primarily shown promising results, human and animal trials are still inadequate in this matter. With proper research, more excellent possibilities may appear.
In severe cases, combining medications with therapy can be beneficial. Your doctor will suggest you the most effective medications based on your toenail condition. There are three types of medications are prescribed generally:
a. Oral Antifungal Drugs
These medications are often the first things doctors recommend to clear fungal infections from your nails. You may need to continue these drugs for 6 to 12 weeks. However, you may not experience any significant change before your nail fully grows.
These medications may work less if you are aged more than 65. Also, you may experience certain side effects like dry skin, skin rash, heart failure, or liver damage with these medicines. Therefore, doctors may not suggest these medicines, which are already vulnerable to these conditions. Also, you will need to go through occasional blood tests to check your condition.
b. Medicated Nail Cream
Antifungal creams are another option to treat your toenail fungus. You will need to soak your nails and then rub the cream into the infected area. For better application, you can trim your nails thin. It will allow the cream to reach the fungus-affected area under the hard nail surface.
You can thin your nail by yourself or ask your doctor to help you. For home thinning, apply nonprescription lotion on the affected area. Then you can use a nail file to trim your nail.
c. Medicated Nail Polish
Ciclopirox or antifungal nail polish is another treatment option for toenail fungus. You will need to apply this nail polish to your affected nails and the surrounding areas once a day. Then after a week, remove the polish with alcohol and apply it to clean nails.
You may need to use this polish for nearly a year for the best results.
3. Surgical Options
You may need to remove the infected nail temporarily or permanently if the fungus condition is too severe.
The doctor may suggest a temporary nail removal to apply medications easily in the affected area. If your nail condition doesn’t respond with treatments, or you have a severe, painful infection, the doctor will suggest you remove your nail permanently.
4. Home Remedies
You can use home remedies for mild fungal infections to have better nails. Here are some prominent home remedies that work:
- Black Tea
- Baking Soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Essential oils
- Olive leaf extract
- Zinc and garlic
- Epsom salt
- Snakeroot extract
- Ozonated oils
a. Black Tea
Balck tea helps close the foot’s pores, kills bacteria, and keeps your feet dry. As a result, your toenail and foot fungus will get healed.
- Boil two quarts of water
- Add five-six tea bags to boiling water
- Cool the mixture
- Soak your feet for 30 minute
- Repeat the process once daily
b. Baking Soda
You can use baking soda in various ways to heal your infected nail. You can mix it up with water to soak your feet. You can also make a paste of baking soda by adding a little bit of water. Then apply the paste to the affected area and keep it there for 10-20 minutes.
You can also sprinkle baking soda on your dry foot and put on clean socks. It will help in controlling moisture and help in reducing fungus from toenails.
c. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has a powerful effect on reducing fungal infections. You can directly apply hydrogen peroxide to the affected area with cotton swabs or clean clothes.\
You can also use hydrogen peroxide to soak your feet. Mix ⅛ cup of hydrogen peroxide with 4 cups of cool water. Soak your feet for 10 – 20 minutes, and then rinse your feet with warm water.
d. Essential Oils
Essential oils possess natural antifungal and antibacterial properties. You can use the following oils for your toenail treatment:
- Lemongrass oil
- Jasmine oil
- Tea tree oil
- Lemon oil
- Lavender oil
- Thieves oil
- Manuka tree oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Manuka tree oil
- Jojoba oil
- Ylang-ylang oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Dilute essential oils with carrier oils like olive oil or coconut oil
- Apply a few drops on the affected area
You can also add two or three essential oil drops and soak your feet into the mixture.
How to Prepare for Your Doctor’s Appointment
You should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as the fungal symptoms arise in your nail. You can consult a skin specialist or podiatrist to diagnose and treat your nail condition. Here are some good practices to prepare for your appointment:
- List the symptoms even if they seem unrelated
- List out personal information and recent major changes in your life
- List out the medications you take
- List out the questions you need to ask your doctor
Here are some questions you can ask your doctor:
- Cause of the symptom
- Possible causes
- Required tests
- The best course of action
- Alternative treatment options
- Impacts on other health conditions
- Additional materials for learning about the condition better
Although toenail fungus is a common condition, it can severely escalate if not treated properly. For mild conditions, home remedies can help you. However, if the condition escalates, you will need to take medications or even surgically remove your nails.
Light therapy has shown significant promise in treating toenail fungus. However, more research needs to be done in this area. Still, it’s a viable option to treat your toenails and live a healthy life.
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