Can You Treat Fungal Nails At Home?
Onychomycosis, usually known as fungal nail infection, is surprisingly common. However, treating onychomycosis can be a lengthy and frustrating process, whether you use a home remedy for fungal nail infection or an over-the-counter solution.
What is a fungal nail infection?
Distal Subungual Onychomycosis (DSO) is the most common type of fungal nail infection. You may notice a yellow or white streak at the edge of the nail that moves towards the nail bed. As a result, the nail can become thickened, discoloured and brittle.
White Superficial Onychomycosis (WSO) usually appears as white spots across the nail surface. Eventually, the nail becomes covered in a chalky powder.
Fungal nail infections flourish in moist, warm environments like communal changing rooms. Athlete's Foot can also increase the risk and should be treated promptly.
You could be most at risk of developing a fungal nail infection if:
- You're an active gym user or swimmer
- You're an older person with a suppressed immune system
- You have poor circulation
- You have diabetes
Can I use a home remedy for fungal nail infection?
Treating any fungal nail infection can be a lengthy and frustrating process. A healthy toenail can take up to six months to grow back after effective treatment.
Before visiting your podiatrist in London, you may prefer to try a home remedy for fungal nail infection. Popular home remedies include bicarbonate of soda, essential oils and vinegar. In addition, maintaining good daily hygiene and care is vital for foot health and well-being.
While home remedies may have fewer side effects than over-the-counter medication, they're generally ineffective in treating fungal nail infections. As a result, you may need to consider a prescription antifungal drug to clear up the issue.
Can a pharmacist or GP treat fungal nail infection?
You should speak to a pharmacist about your fungal nail infection if the toenail is causing discomfort or bothering you in any way.
Over-the-counter treatment options include:
- Antifungal nail cream or polish: Non-prescription treatments like terbinafine are easy to apply and can be effective if used in the early stages of infection. The treatment can last several months.
- Nail softening kits: A paste is applied to the affected nail for 24 hours, then washed away, and the nail scraped away. The treatment should be repeated daily for several weeks before applying antifungal cream or polish.
However, If non-prescription remedies prove ineffective or the condition worsens, you should book an appointment with your GP.
Your doctor can prescribe antifungal tablets that can be highly effective at killing off the fungus. However, they have several side effects and may not be suitable if you're pregnant or taking other types of medication.
Unfortunately, left untreated, fungal nail infection can result in the loss of your toenail.
When should I visit a podiatrist?
Ideally, you'll arrange to see a podiatrist in London when you notice the first signs of fungal nail infection. It's essential if you have diabetes, as foot problems can lead to diabetic complications. In addition, taking antifungal medication can adversely impact the liver.
We can advise you on the best treatment for your onychomycosis. Because not all treatment solutions suit everyone, discussing your options with a qualified podiatrist is essential. Then, we'll develop a tailor-made treatment plan for your fungal nail infection and follow up with a foot care plan to reduce the risk of reinfection.