Reviews of Nail Fungus Treatment Over The Counter
Treating fungal nail infections, even with nail fungus treatment over the counter, is a long, arduous and often frustrating process, as your nails receive a relatively meager supply of blood, grow slowly, and respond hesitatingly to any form of medication.
In the past, methods of treating nail fungus were limited to a few dubious ointments, and other ‘home remedies’ which had very little to prove by way of results, and nail fungus treatment over the counter were condemned by hoards of detractors.
However, recent research and advancements have lead to the development of several newer kinds of treatment, including nail fungus treatment over the counter, which can be loosely classified into the following categories:
Topical Antifungal Treatments:
As the name suggests, topical treatments are applied to the infected section of your skin and nails, and combat the fungi externally. These forms of treatment are especially helpful if you aren’t very comfortable with gulping down mysterious pills, and syrups. However, there are certain drawbacks associated with topical antifungal treatments and nail fungus treatment over the counter which affect their feasibility and effectiveness in curbing and reversing fungal nail infections.
* Topical treatments can only be used in cases where the fungal infection has affected less then half the nail, as they cannot penetrate the nail plate deep enough to cure the more advanced stages of fungal infection.
* Health practitioners also debate the effectiveness of topical treatments nail fungus treatment over the counter, in actually curing the fungus, given the limitations in the way in which they impact the infection. However, many experts now recommend using these treatments in conjunction with other forms of medication and nail fungus treatment over the counter to avoid relapses, and recurrence of the infection.
Topical Treatments are of many types, and essentially contain an antifungal like Clotrimazole, which is coupled with a nail penetration enhancer to allow the treatment to seep deeper. Some of the most popular forms of topical treatments and nail fungus treatment over the counter, include:
Antifungal Lacquer, not available as nail fungus treatment over the counter, is usually prescribed for mild to moderate infections, and is pained onto your nails and surrounding, akin to nail varnish – the only difference is that you don’t have to be quite as careful about painting within the borders! You need to apply a single coat of this lacquer over the affected area for seven consecutive days, painting each successive coat on top of the former. On the seventh day, wipe all the coats clean with alcohol and begin afresh, starting with single coat of antifungal lacquer.
Antifungal Lacquer is commonly available under the brand name of Penlac, and has been studied to clear nail fungal infections in about a year, if used regularly. However, the success ratios are not as rosy as nail fungus treatment over the counter as they may seem at first blush, with less than 10% of all reported cases confirming that this form of treatment has completely cured them of nail fungal infection.
Certain other kinds of medicated creams and nail fungus treatment over the counter, may be prescribed by health care practitioners or dermatologists, based on the severity of your infection. Often, these ointments are preceded by treating the affected nail with a 40% urea paste for about 2-4 weeks, to disintegrate the nail, after which the antifungal ointment or lacquer is applied. Many experts recommend keeping the nail bandaged during the course of this treatment to prevent contamination by other external agents when using nail fungus treatment over the counter.
These medicines are considered a lot more effective than nail fungus treatment over the counter, when treating nail fungal infections, especially in cases where the infection is at its more advanced stages. This effectiveness can be attributed to the fact that these medicines treat the infection from within your body, and go on to affect the nail plate in a matter of just a few days. Oral antifungal medicines are usually administered over a period of 3 months, and should be ingested only under medical supervision and not commonly taken as a nail fungus treatment over the counter.
While they do boast of higher cure rates, and fewer side effects, some of these medicines may be dangerous for individuals suffering from liver disease, and a history of cardiac disorders. To rule out any chances of unforeseen mishaps, your physician may recommend a blood test before prescribing any kind of oral medication.
Some of the more commonly used oral treatments include Lamisil tablets, and Sporanox Capsules, both of which do produce a few side effects like digestive disorders and skin rashes. However, in a few, rare cases, these medicines have also been known to provoke drug-induced hepatitis, blood anomalies and hypersensitivity.
In cases where your nail is severely affected by fungal infection, and does not seem to be responding to medical treatment or nail fungus treatment over the counter, your physician may have to have the nail surgically, or chemically, removed to keep the infection from spreading to other unaffected nails. The affected area may then be treated with a combination of topical and oral medication and possibly using nail fungus treatment over the counter .
Nail fungal infection treatments are expensive, and do not necessarily guarantee that the infection will never recur. To keep costs low, and avail of timely, effective treatment, experts usually recommend interspersing topical ointments and antifungal lacquer, with oral medication, and timely surgical intervention, even nail fungus treatment over the counter if necessary.
For those who balk at the thought of pricey, complication-riddled, and not 100% foolproof medical treatments, proponents of alternative medicine prescribe certain, immensely popular home cures and nail fungus treatment over the counter . While these methods of treatment are a lot less complicated as compared to conventional allopathic medication, their effectiveness is marred by exaggerated claims, and subjective testimonials. Further none of these treatments and nail fungus treatment over the counter has been tested under clinical conditions, leading medical practitioners to question their validity and scientific rationale.
Vinegar, in both its white and apple cider variants, is undoubtedly one of the cheapest nail fungus treatment over the counter – and as loyalists swear – most effective ways of treating nail fungal infections. It is suggested that you immerse the infected nails in a solution of 50% water and 50% vinegar, alternating between hot and cold baths. Keep your feet immersed for a minimum of 30 minutes, and repeat this 3 times a day… preferably in the morning, at midday and in the evening.
Practitioners of alternative medicine assert the nail fungal infection usually strikes when your body’s pH Balance is disrupted. The acidity of the vinegar bath helps restore the pH equilibrium in your body, while also providing immediate relief from the itching that often accompanies fungal infections.
Apple Cider Vinegar is also considered to be an especially helpful nail fungus treatment over the counter , in combatting nail fungal infections, as it has been observed to reduce the inflammation, and the pain associated with some of the more advanced stages of infection.
Alternative methods of using vinegar to treat your nail fungus include applying a few drops directly on the base of the infected nail twice a day. A less palatable alternative would be to drink about an ounce of vinegar every day… although the unpleasant taste may prompt you to think twice about considering this option of nail fungus treatment over the counter!
In keeping with the discordant pH balance theory, alternative medicine recommends modifying your diet to increase the alkalinity of your body, which in turn, is considered to make you less susceptible to nail infection.
* As per this reasoning, a fungal-resistant diet is one that includes more probiotics, or sources of good bacteria like yogurt and kefir, and minimal amounts of refined carbohydrates like white bread, and white sugar and dairy. In addition to enhancing your body’s alkalinity, this diet also helps keep a check on your blood glucose levels, which are another significant determinant in your susceptibility to nail fungus and your response to nail fungus treatment over the counter.
* It is also suggested that you fortify your diet with nail fungus treatment over the counter like olive leaf-extracts, and supplements which contain the Vitamins B, C, D, and E. Zinc supplements are believed to aid the process of recovery by way of strengthening your immune system.
* Nutritionists also opine that nail fungal infections are more common in people who consume a lot of commercially brewed beer and wine. Hence cutting down on these beverages is shown to significantly aid recovery, although like most of the other natural cures, there is barely any clinical evidence to substantiate this claim. Drinking adequate amounts of water is also believed to aid recovery by boosting your immunity and lessening the need of nail fungus treatment over the counter.
As with vinegar, soaking your infected nails in a basin-full of Listerine is believed to be an effective treatment for nail fungus. Similarly, dabbing your afflicted fingers or toes with a cotton swab doused generously with Listerine is also considered to be of significant help and can be regarded as another effective nail fungus treatment over the counter.
Yet another category of people claims to have experienced swifter and more effortless recovery, when using a combination of Listerine and vinegar. The theory claims that the herbal oils in Listerine, when combined with vinegar, boast of astounding antifungal prowess. Being considerably inexpensive and remarkably easy to adhere to, this treatment is lot more popular than some of the more conventional medical treatments and some forms of nail fungus treatment over the counter .
Tea Tree Oil:
Tea Tree Oil has been found to demonstrate considerable anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. Initial laboratory trials reveal that tea-tree oil is approximately as effective as the anti-fungal Clotrimazol, significantly reducing, or even curing the infection in two-thirds of patients. Another method of combining tea tree oil with butenafine has also been studied to remarkably improve the infection in about 80% of all individuals who participated in the test of using a nail fungus treatment over the counter.
The downside with using tea tree oil, or any other plant oils for that matter, is that they cannot penetrate your nail plate deep enough to affect the nail bed – which is where the infection is rooted. Certain other over-the-counter natural treatments for nail fungus combine two or more kinds of plant oils, with olive oil frequently used as the base. Of these, blends containing oregano, cinnamon, lemongrass, coconut, and lavender oils have been found to be especially helpful in treating milder cases of nail fungus and showing the effectiveness of nail fungus treatment over the counter .
A seemingly whimsical addition to this list of nail fungus treatment over the counter, VapoRub is a clear gel that strongly reeks of menthol and is often used to treat common colds, and chest congestions. Although the viability of this treatment is till date, a matter of opinion, many loyalists assert that topically applying VapoRub to the affected nails everyday has significantly reduced the infection.
VapoRub does contain a number of herbal extracts which could contribute to the seemingly remarkable success ratio this remedy enjoys; however, there is still no scientific evidence available to substantiate this treatment as a nail fungus treatment over the counter.
A 3% solution of Hydrogen Peroxide, when applied over the affected nails, is also believed to help cure nail fungus. This pale blue liquid acts a lot like bleach, has strong oxidizing properties, and is available at most drug stores. A budget-friendly cure, you can immerse the affected fingers or toenails in a 50:50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water for about 30 minutes, or even combine it in a half-and-half solution with vinegar.
If using Hydrogen Peroxide as nail fungus treatment over the counter, pay heed to the concentration of the type you buy. Using a stronger solution is often counter-productive and can actually damage your nails instead of promoting recovery.
A thick paste of cayenne pepper and salt water, when applied over the infected nail, may help to cure the nail fungus. While this is one of the less common ways of treating nail fungus, there are the odd cases of complete recovery in as little as 3 weeks.
Acidophilus Beer Soak:
This beer soak, which is comprised of white vinegar, Guinness Stout beer and Acidophilus sachets is said to inhibit the growth, and even reverse nail fungus, provided you keep at it for 30 diligent minutes, two times a day.
Alternative nail fungus treatment over the counter
Alternative ways of treating nail fungal infections have grown increasingly popular in recent years, especially after it was discovered that Lamisil – one of the supposedly foolproof oral treatments for nail fungus – does put you at a considerable risk of liver damage. However, experts now claim that these side-effects can easily be prevented by a simple liver test at the time of diagnosis, so that your medication can be adjusted accordingly.
Even if all your symptoms seem to add up, and you are certain that your nails have succumbed to the wrath of malicious fungi, try not to jump the gun and self-medicate yourself with just any nail fungus treatment over the counter. The symptoms of nail fungal infection can be deceptive, and as a novice, you may unwittingly pass off signs of other, more serious illnesses as nail fungus.
And so, even as you grapple with the numerous tried-and-tested home remedies and cures, you may actually be unnecessarily delaying timely prognosis and treatment, and hence allowing your condition to rapidly deteriorate into its more advanced stages.
Diagnosing Nail Fungus:
Is a relatively brief and inexpensive procedure, and can save you a great deal of time, money, and peace of mind, if conducted at the initial stages of infection. To diagnose the cause of your condition, your physician may scrape off a little bit of your nail tissue to examine it under the microscope. If the fungus is embedded too deep, they may even resort to a method called culturing to determine the species of fungus infecting your nail, and hence prescribe the most effective, accurate treatment and not just any nail fungus treatment over the counter.
If your doctor deems it necessary to culture the fungus, he will first clip a little bit of your nail, or scrape off a little nail tissue, and then place it in a container to allow the fungus to grow. These samples are then sent to the laboratory for testing, to determine the nature of your infection.
In certain, more advanced cases of yeast-related Mycoses, your doctor may need to perform a nail biopsy. It is important that you explicitly detail your medical history, including any nail fungus treatment over the counter, at the time of diagnosis, to help you physician determine the most suitable and effective treatment for your nail fungus.
Experimenting with nail fungus treatment over the counter
Even if you are tempted to first try out some of the simpler forms of treatment described in this post before you head to the doctor for allopathic medication… make sure to let your doctor know what you are experimenting with. Although this simple step may appear unnecessary and over-cautious, it will help you avoid any dangerous reactions, or unintended side-effects, should the nail fungus treatment over the counter go awry.