Fungal nail infections can be caused by many different types of fungi (yeasts or molds) that live in the environment. Small cracks in your nail or the surrounding skin can allow these germs to enter your nail and cause an infection.
The root cause of nail fungus are microscopic organisms that cause an overgrowth of fungi. This can occur in, under, or on the nail. Your toenails more often develop fungus because they are usually inside your shoes, where the warm environment allows fungi to thrive.
Options include terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part. You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks. But you won't see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely.
Several health conditions can affect the appearance of your toenails and may be mistaken for toenail fungus. Psoriasis Psoriasis can cause red, scaly patches on the skin. More than half of people with skin psoriasis also have it on their nails.
The best pill for toenail fungus is terbinafine. Evidence suggests it works better than the alternatives with the fewest side effects. Terbinafine results in resolution of toenail fungus 76% of the time. Common side effects may include headaches, skin rash, and vomiting.
The fastest way to eliminate the infection is through toenail laser treatment. Laser nail therapy specifically targets the microorganisms under your nail while leaving the keratin intact. In just a few treatments, the infection can be entirely eliminated.
Even before that, a study of some of the essential oils in Vicks VapoRub showed that they are active against five different species of fungus that infect nail tissue (Phytotherapy Research, April, 2003). Camphor, menthol, thymol and oil of eucalyptus are effective against these organisms.
Hydrogen peroxide can effectively kill the fungus on the surface level of the foot, as well as any surface bacteria that could cause an infection. Pour hydrogen peroxide directly onto the affected area.
Because toenail fungus is often a symptom of an infection such as Candida overgrowth, the best natural nail fungus treatments involve attacking yeast and Candida albicans in your gut and repopulating it with good bacteria through diet and supplementation.
With treatment, many people can get rid of nail fungus. Even when the fungus clears, your nail(s) may look unhealthy until the infected nail grows out. A fingernail grows out in 4 to 6 months and a toenail in 12 to 18 months.
Is toenail fungus contagious? Yes, many types of toenail fungi are quite contagious. An infected person can spread the fungus to someone else through direct contact. You can also get toenail fungus by touching an infected surface.
Can you put apple cider vinegar directly on toenail fungus?
Apple cider vinegar is a popular remedy for toenail fungus due to its antifungal properties. If you want to treat your fungus using ACV, you can soak your feet in a mixture of warm water and the vinegar for about 15 minutes, twice a day.
How long does it take a toenail fungus to go away?
Results of treatment
Antifungal treatments are thought to be effective in treating about 60-80% of fungal nail infections. It can take between 6 and 18 months for the appearance of the affected nail to return to normal, and in some cases the nail may not look the same as before the infection.
Hydrogen peroxide can kill fungus that grows on toenails. You can directly wipe hydrogen peroxide on your infected toes or toenails with a clean cloth or cotton swab. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used in a foot soak.
What happens if you leave toenail fungus untreated?
A severe case of nail fungus can be painful and may cause permanent damage to your nails. And it may lead to other serious infections that spread beyond your feet if you have a suppressed immune system due to medication, diabetes or other conditions.
How long does it take Vicks to get rid of toenail fungus?
A small study of 20 patients reported 83% improvement after six months of applying Vicks daily (Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, January-February 2016). They concluded: “Vicks VapoRub was shown to be an effective and safe treatment of onychomycosis (nail fungus) …”
How long does tea tree oil take to work on toenail fungus?
According to a 2013 study, tea tree oil was effective in reducing growth of the fungus Trichophyton rubrum in nail infections. T. rubrum is a fungus that can cause infections such as athlete's foot and nail fungus. Improvements were seen after 14 days.
“Tea tree oil is unlikely to fully cure a well-established toenail fungus infection, since the infection tends to be based in the nail matrix, or 'root', underneath the nail fold (cuticle),” Krant says. But prescription drugs for toenail fungus are not always effective.
How long does apple cider vinegar take to cure toenail fungus?
The antifungal properties also make vinegar soaks a good idea for people who have toenail fungus. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes daily in a vinegar bath until the infection subsides. You can increase the length of time in the soak gradually. It may take two to three weeks or longer to see improvement in symptoms.
How long does it take for hydrogen peroxide to get rid of fungus?
Kill mold and mildew
Mold and mildew can build up quickly in the moist environment of a shower stall. To kill them without having to breathe in toxic bleach fumes, spray with undiluted 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
Mix and soak your toes/feet for at least 30 minutes every day. Apple cider vinegar is also a good supplement to take internally for overall health and to promote healing of fungus and bacteria from the inside out.