Got fungal infection of your toenails? You’re probably frustrated and believe there’s nothing you can do about it? Fungal infections make people subconscious about their appearance, but there’s a lot one can do to eliminate them. In most cases, these infections are treated by taking doctor-prescribed medications, but over-the-counter treatments are also available. Interested? This post will inform you about toenail fungus treatment over-the-counter form.
Undecylenic acid is an active ingredient in medications created to alleviate burning, itching, and irritation associated with skin problems. The ingredient is also used as an over-the-counter toenail fungus treatment. It works by inhibiting the growth of fungi, similarly to prescription medications created for fungal infections. Essentially, undecylenic acid is a fatty acid extracted from natural sources or synthetically manufactured. The ingredient comes in topical form.
Before handling the product, you need to wash your hands and affected area thoroughly with soap and water, and dry. Apply a sufficient amount of product on the affected toenail and surrounding skin to make sure that spores don’t grow into new fungal colonies. In some cases, the undecylenic acid may come in the form of a powder which you sprinkle on the affected area and allow it to sit. You can also sprinkle the powder in socks and shoes.
While you may feel inclined to cover the infected toenail with a bandage or wraps, you should avoid doing that. Your toenails need air or use light gauze if necessary.
Tolnaftate is one of the staple ingredients in products for skin and fungal infections. The product comes in the over-the-counter form, but it’s also found in some prescription treatments. It can be sold as a cream, powder, liquid, gel, spray fluid, and spray powder that you need to apply to the affected area.
In most cases, the treatment is applied to the infected toenail twice a day. Although the exact mechanism of tolnaftate is unknown, it is believed the ingredient inhibits squalene epoxidase, a crucial enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of ergosterol which is an essential component of the fungal membrane. Tolnaftate is one of the best OTC nail fungus treatment options. You’ll probably notice signs of improvement within a few days, continue using it until all symptoms disappear.
Clotrimazole is primarily used to treat yeast infections, but it also proves to be effective for management of fungal infections. The treatment works by preventing growth and spreading of the fungi. Clotrimazole is a topical product that you need to apply to an infected site that was previously cleaned and dried. Recommended use is twice a day, but you may also consult your doctor to see what he or she will suggest.
Benefits of clotrimazole as an over-the-counter toenail fungus treatment were confirmed in a study wherein participants had to use the cream for 12 weeks. In the end, scientists discovered there was an average improvement of 96.2% while the infection in 80% nails resolved entirely.
Terbinafine (or Lamisil) is usually prescribed as a prescription medication, but it is available as an over-the-counter treatment in the form of creams. The treatment works by attacking and killing fungus, thus helping you eliminate the infection.
Similarly to other types of treatment for toenail fungus, terbinafine is also used twice a day and applied on previously washed and carefully dried infected area and surrounding skin. Despite its efficacy in killing fungus, you may need to use terbinafine for several weeks to see improvements. It’s not an easy fix, and you need to be patient.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil comes from a tree native to Australia, and it is well-known for its ability to treat skin conditions. Most people don’t even realize is that tea tree oil can be an effective toenail fungus treatment. Topical application of 100% tea tree oil twice a day for six months can eliminate fungal infections in about 18% of people who try it. While it may not seem like a lot, remember that many people don’t even know this ingredient can treat their infected nails and there are also those who don’t use 100% pure solution.
Other OTC treatments
- Mentholated cream
- Snakeroot extract
- Ozonized oils
- Baking soda
- Eucalyptus oil
- Vicks VapoRub
- Oregano oil
Toenail fungus treatment over-the-counter options usually come in a topical form that you need to apply twice a day. Remember, you need to apply it regularly and be patients because fungal infections are difficult to manage. While treatment is successful, don’t assume these creams and powders are an instant fix.