Conventional treatments are expensive, have a low success rate and can carry significant side-effects. The prescription drug Lamisil, for example, can cause liver damage. But those who want a natural alternative can try remedies that contain thymol, the primary oil found in thyme, a well-known herb and antiseptic. Thymol is commonly found in medicated chest rubs, including Vicks VapoRub.
About 10% of us (including 20% of people over 60 and 50% of people over 70) suffer from fungal nail infections. So why do we get them, and does it matter?
Onychomycosis, a nail fungus that causes nail disfigurement, pain, and increased risk of soft tissue infection, impacts millions of people worldwide. There are several topical antifungal treatments currently available; however, treatment failure remains high due to a number of factors.
Toenail fungus is not sexy, and the microbes that cause the infection appear to agree: A new study finds that these fungi have given up on sex — instead, they reproduce by cloning themselves.
We spoke to a podiatrist about what motivates her to work with feet.
New paint-on products may help—but simpler measures may be better.
Special nail polish can help prevent toenail-fungus infection from recurring after it has been treated.
Fungal infections of the nail can be difficult to treat. As a previous Ask Well column noted, plenty of remedies exist, but none are certain. And the one considered most effective, the drug Lamisil, is associated with rare cases of liver damage.
So it is no surprise that some people would consider covering up their feet and turning a blind eye to the problem.
A growing number of doctors are offering an expensive laser procedure they say zaps away a common fungus that causes ugly, discolored nails. Published data on laser treatment for nail fungus is scant, but early results suggest it is a reasonable option for people who don't want the side effects of oral medications.
You don’t have to have have crumbly, discolored, unhealthy nails forever. Toenail fungus is more treatable, maybe even curable, than you think. True, it can take a while to get rid of, depending on what treatment you choose.
Are nail salons responsible for the epidemic of toenail fungus we now see in our society? Or, is it possible that this is entirely false?
Toenail fungus isn't a pressing health problem. Yet a fungal infection can ruin the appearance of your nails and cause pain as it lifts the nail away from the nail bed. And fungal infections are notoriously difficult to get rid of. "You may want to consider fungal toenail a condition to be managed rather than cured," says Dr. James P. Ioli, chief of the podiatry service at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Once fungus arrives it can be a slow and often invasive process to clear up the infection. The best nail fungus treatments can speed up the healing process and help remove the fungal infection. Since fungus usually shows up as a slight discoloration of the nails, it can fool anyone into believing the altered state of their nails is due to an inferior bottom coat of nail polish.
But when fungi infect the toenails, they're much harder to get rid of. The fungi that cause toenail infections are known collectively as dermatophytes. When they get underneath a toenail, dermatophytes feast on the proteins in the nail, which results in the nail getting yellow, thick, and brittle. The toenails of the big and pinkie toes are affected most often.
We've heard that Vicks VapoRub can cure toenail fungus before (it's also helpful when you've got a cold!), but the New York Times recently put it to the test. The results: The thyme in VapoRub can in fact do the job.
The bills can rack up fast when trying to cure toenail fungus, and it's not always easy to know which drug to use. Costs can range from over $2,000 for treating one nail to just $10 for a pill that treats all 10 toes but could have bad side effects. Then there are the costly lab tests to confirm that the curling yellow rot chewing through a toenail is in fact mold.
Cure your discomfort using these natural products from your pantry.
If your nails are looking a little off, in terms of color or texture, it may be related to health condition. No matter how much care you may take of your nails — toes and hands — occasionally you can get fungus under nails that can definitely be harder to detect.
If you prefer a more natural alternative, there is some evidence that thymol oil, an antiseptic derived from thyme, may help. Proponents of thymol advocate adding the oil to regular footbaths, or coating the affected toenail once or twice a day with Vicks VapoRub. The risks in this case are allergic skin reactions and temporary reddening of the skin.
Medical grade homeopathic EMUAID® is a uniquely engineered antibacterial, anti-fungal ointment that RAPIDLY reduces the pain, inflammation and symptoms for 100+ difficult-to-treat skin conditions.
Nail fungus, also medically known as onychomycosis, is a chronic fungal infection of the fingernails and/or toenails by dermatophytes, also known as ringworm, yeasts and molds, leading to gradual destruction of the nail plate. It is more likely to affect toenails, particularly the first toenail, than fingernails, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Some people hide their toes for a reason. Thick, opaque, discolored, ugly thatch-like nails are the bane of a carefree summer. The most common cause of unsightly toenails is a chronic fungal infection. They thicken and can curve under.