Nail fungus remedies: which medications and home remedies help?

Nail fungus remedies: which medications and home remedies help?

 There are many remedies for toenail fungus, whether medication or home remedies. Anyone who suffers from stubborn nail fungus has often tried several things to eliminate the fungal infection. Depending on how far the fungal spores have penetrated the nail bed, the treatment is applied externally or internally. The doctor prescribes the latter in the form of medication. If you are still determining what type of treatment you need, you should always consult a doctor.

How can you treat nail fungus, and what remedies help? From tablets to tea tree oil, we have examined well-tried and insider tips against nail fungus.

In general, however, a doctor should always be consulted in the event of nail fungus to start the appropriate therapy as quickly as possible. Home remedies should only be used as a support and in consultation with the doctor treating you.

Nail fungus varnish

The most popular remedy for nail fungus is nail polish. They are transparent and usually contain the active ingredient ciclopirox, an antifungal agent. It is contained, for example, in Batrafen ®, MICLAST ® or Ciclopoli ®. Another frequently used active ingredient in nail polish against nail fungus is amorolfine, which is contained in Loceryl ® nail polish, for example.

Depending on the active ingredient, the different paints have to be used for different lengths of time and frequently. The varnish should be applied in the evening before going to bed so that it can take effect for as long as possible.

Before re-application, the nails must be washed thoroughly with water. If the nail fungus varnish is not water-soluble, the set usually contains alcohol swabs and files to carefully file off affected parts of the nail. Due to the roughened surface, the nail can absorb the active ingredient better. However, a doctor or podiatrist should only remove more significant parts. The files are for single use only.

Ointments and creams against nail fungus

In ointments and creams against nail fungus, the same active ingredients are usually used as in varnishes, mostly amorolfine. Another active ingredient mainly used in creams and ointments is bifonazole, which is used in Canesten ® Cream or Antifungol ®.

Many nail fungus creams also contain a combination of an antifungal agent and urea. This should dissolve the nail plate. After applying such ointments, the nail must be covered with a bandage.

Before using it again, the nail is softened further in a foot bath so that the top layer can then be removed with a spatula. This process is called keratolysis. It should help the ingredients of the cream or ointment develop their effect better, and the nail can grow back healthily after the treatment. After the foot bath, the feet should be dried thoroughly to avoid residual moisture.

Pills for toenail fungus

If the local treatment of the fungal infection alone is insufficient, additional tablets can be used as a systemic therapy against nail fungus. They are usually used when more than half of the nail or more than two nails are affected by the fungus. Even if the nail root is affected, using tablets is necessary. The duration of use is between six weeks and three months.

The doctor decides which active ingredient is used based on the type of fungus and possible interactions with other medications taken. Active substances that are frequently used are, for example, fluconazole or terbinafine. Other active ingredients are available in capsule form.

Tea tree oil for nail fungus

Tea tree oil is often recommended as an effective home remedy for toenail fungus. Tests in the laboratory have shown that tea tree oil has an antibacterial and antifungal (antifungal) effect. However, comprehensive studies are needed on the effect of tea tree oil on nail fungus.

If you want to use tea tree oil to relieve nail fungus, you should moisten a cotton ball with the oil three times a day and rub it on the nail.

Olive oil or coconut oil for nail fungus

Like tea tree oil, coconut and olive oil contain antifungal and antibacterial ingredients—but in far lower concentrations. So, rubbing his toenails with oil for nail fungus can be ineffective.

Treat nail fungus with vinegar.

The rumour that nail fungus can be treated with vinegar, apple cider vinegar or vinegar essence persists. However, there are two arguments against its effectiveness: On the one hand, vinegar cannot penetrate the nail so deeply that deeper nail fungus could be effectively combated. On the other hand, many fungi reproduce particularly well in an acidic environment. In the worst case, treatment with vinegar can even increase nail fungus.

Treat nail fungus with baking soda.

Foot baths with baking soda or baking soda are also often recommended. However, vinegar, baking soda, or the soda they contain are not recommended for treating nail fungus. On the contrary, fungi thrive in a damp environment, so wet feet from a footbath with baking soda can accelerate the multiplication of nail fungus.

Sprinkles of baking soda or baking soda on your feet absorb moisture and keep your feet dry. However, these home remedies do not help against nail fungus.

Treat nail fungus with laser.

Laser treatment for nail fungus is a relatively new method. The laser beam should penetrate the nail’s top layers and kill the fungus. An anaesthetic is usually not necessary.

Laser treatment is often recommended in combination with local treatment, for example, when taking pills is not possible. Since the effectiveness of laser treatment for nail fungus has not yet been scientifically proven, the therapy is not covered by statutory health insurance. Some private health insurance companies bear the costs if the therapy is medically necessary. Costs of at least 150 euros are to be expected per session.

Mill or remove the nail

Surgically obliterating the nail is now considered an outdated method. However, it is advisable to cut off affected areas with nail scissors, as long as this does not make the nail too short. The nail scissors should then be thoroughly disinfected.

If you want to file off the nail with a cutter, you should have this done by a podiatrist or a dermatologist. The affected areas should also only be cut or filed if medical treatment is being given at the same time, since roughened areas are otherwise an entry point for further fungal spores.

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