Nail fungus is a very stubborn infection that is difficult to get rid of. This article discusses the various treatment options to cure this condition.
Nail fungus is a fungal infection that affects finger and toenails. The medical terminology for it is onychomycosis. There are millions of people who silently suffer from this condition. It is estimated that around 35 million Americans suffer from this condition. Men seem to be more prone to it than women.
Besides, this condition is known to run in families. This condition can be caused due to many reasons such as genetic predisposition, long hours in water, poor hygiene, etc. The infection begins as a yellow spot underneath the nail, and if left untreated, it can spread throughout the nail and may even infect the others. You may also transmit the infection to other people.
Over the Counter Treatment
Over the counter nail fungus treatments are mostly available as topical creams and sprays. ZetaClear is the most popular OTC treatment for this condition. It has been touted as the best topical treatment in almost all reviews. The manufacturers claim that it is entirely formulated using natural ingredients like tea tree oil, jojoba oil, and almond oil. The formula penetrates deep in the nail and kills the fungus present.
It also increases the body’s natural immunity to fight the fungal infection. It comes with an applicator brush, which makes the application very convenient. The effects of the treatment can be seen within 2 weeks of applying it. The yellowing nail outgrows into a healthy one. However, it is important to complete the full course of treatment, until the infection completely disappears. If not, the fungus may attack the new healthy nail and infect it as well.
Nail-Rx is another topical treatment which is formulated on the similar lines of ZetaClear with tea tree oil, lemon grass and lavender as main antifungal ingredients. Nail-Rx shows effects within 3 weeks of application. Along with fungus, it also kills other harmful bacteria and microorganisms. It promotes healthy growth of the new nail. Nail-Rx is more expensive than ZetaClear. The problem with topical treatments is that as soon as you stop using them, the infection reappears. These treatments are fine for mild to moderate forms of infection.
Oral medications are, by far, considered as the most effective treatment for nail fungus. These medications uproot the infection and promote natural healthy nail growth. These medications can only be obtained by producing a valid medical prescription. Fluconazole (Diflucan), Itraconazole (Sporanox), and Terbinafine (Lamisil), are some of the most popular oral treatments for this condition.
However, these medications are known to induce undesirable side effects in the body. Lamisil in particular, is associated with fatal liver problems. These medications should be taken under medical supervision only. Although, severe forms of infections can be treated by these medications, they may not work against all fungi. Candida albicans, for instance, cannot be destroyed with oral medications.
Laser treatment can be considered as an ultimate option for curing nail fungus. The laser beam is directed on the infection using a hand held device. The heat generated by the laser vaporizes the fungus, thereby killing it. During the first session itself, 80% of the fungi are exterminated. Multiples sessions are required as the nail resumes its normal growth after the first session. This treatment option is costly ($1,000 – $4,000 per session) and is recommended only in cases of severe fungal infection.
Many people also trust home remedies to get rid of this infection. While some of them work, others may need to be applied as supplements with OTC medications.