How to Get Rid of Nail Fungus

Finger and Toe  Nail   Fungus  Symptoms

The most common signs of  nail   fungus  are:

* Thickened nails

* Brittle, crumbling nails

* A mis-shapen, dull appearance

* Discoloration – yellow, brown, green or black

* Seperation of the nail from the nail bed

* An ‘off’ or ‘foul’ odor

Yellow Nail Syndrome

Yellow nails are sometimes caused by a condition known as “yellow nail syndrome”. The chances that you actually have this condition are very slim, especially if this is the first you’ve heard of it because it is accompanied by several much worse symptoms: Swelling of your lower extremities, pneumonia and bronchiectasis. If, however you’re one of those people who absolutely hates going to the doctor, and any of these additional symptoms sound familiar to you – get your butt in gear and get to your doctor ASAP! This is not a condition that heals on its own.

A Note to Diabetics

If you have diabetes, you should see your doctor at the first sign of toenail  fungus . As you probably already know, diabetes can cause poor circulation to your extremities resulting in a slower immune system response. This means that even a relatively minor condition such as  nail   fungus  could snowball into a much more serious condition if left untreated. Let your doc examine your feet and help you monitor the infection during the course of treatment.

Finger and Toe  Nail   Fungus  Treatments

Fungal nail infections aren’t usually dangerous, but they are pretty unsightly and can sometimes even be painful. If left untreated they usually do not go away on their own so depending on your unique perspective (and/or lack of health insurance) you may opt for one of several effective treatments for finger and toe  nail   fungus . Regardless of the method you choose, it can take a very long time to cure this condition. Any treatment you choose will only stop new nail growth from becoming infected – so you will have to wait for the old, nasty nails to grow out completely before you’re cured, and that can take a while. Taking a multivitamin can help speed this up.

Oral Medications for  Nail   Fungus 

Oral antifungal medications will need to be prescribed by a doctor, and include Itraconazole (Sporanox), Fluconazole (Diflucan), and Terbinafine (Lamisil). Because the  fungus  is living between your  nail  and the skin underneath, it’s not very accessible for a direct attack so taking one of these drugs will help your body eliminate  fungi-friendly  conditions in new  nail  growth. These medications should be combined with proper prevention which is addressed later on in this article.

Home Remedies for  Nail   Fungus 

There are quite a few home remedies for  nail   fungus  as well – and many of them are quite effective but you must make sure you apply them religiously AND follow the instructions in the next section on prevention. Though unverified, popular opinion says that these home remedy topical treatments work just as well as store-bought fungicidal creams and are much less expensive. Bear in mind that you will have to continue these treatments until all signs of  fungus  are gone which can take up to a year because you’re waiting for the infected parts of the  nail  to grow out and be replaced with healthy nail. You should start to see new  nail  growth which is free of the  fungus  within the first month. Stopping prematurely WILL result in re-infection.

Here are two popular and inexpensive natural remedies:

Foot Soaks

1. In a small tub or bowl just large enough to submerge the infected nails completely, mix equal parts Listerine mouthwash with white vinegar.

2. Soak the infected nails in this bath for at least 15 minutes, twice daily. You can re-use the same liquid for up to a week before replacing with a fresh mixture.

3. As your nails grow, keep them well groomed. Use nail clippers to cut them short and a file to rough the surface up. Store your grooming tools in a container filled with the same liquid you use for the daily soaks.

4. Wash your hands after every treatment.

* Alternative #1: Apply the mixture directly to the infected nails using a sponge or Q-Tip at least twice a day.

* Alternative #2: Roll up a paper towel, saturate it with the mixture and then wrap it around the infected fingers or toes for 15-20 minutes, twice daily.

Vick’s VapoRub

Coat the infected fingers and toes with Vicks VapoRub at least twice daily and right before bed. Wash your hands after every treatment.

Nail Removal

This is an extreme solution, and is only prescribed in cases where the infection is severe or painful. Removing the nail allows the infection to be treated directly and cured quickly – but is painful. Your nails usually grow back too, and in case you hadn’t guessed – this is something ONLY your doctor should do. 😉

 Nail   Fungus  Prevention

Here are some tips for keeping the environment around your  nails  inhospitable to  fungi  and bacteria.

* Thoroughly wash and dry your hands and feet after bathing, including the areas between your toes.

* When you wash your nails, scrub them with a soft bristled brush to remove dirt and dead skin.

* Trim your nails and keep them short.

* Clean any dirt out from underneath your finger and toenails with a toothpick.

* Wear only shoes and socks that allow your feet to breathe. Change your socks during the day if they routinely become moist.

* Regularly apply anti-fungal powder to your feet and footwear.

* Don’t go bare foot in public locker rooms or share footwear with others.

* Refrain from wearing fake nails.

Have a home remedy or cure that is not listed here? Maybe an experience with one of the above methods? Please add it here for others using the form at the bottom of this page.