Nail fungus can grow under either your toenails or fingernails, causing your nails to become thick, brittle, and discolored. While it might be tempting to cover up your infected nails with nail polish, hiding things will only make nail fungus worse. The only way to get rid of nail fungus is to treat it. Treatments can vary from home remedies to prescription medication, so choose the treatment that is best for you. Listed below are five of the best options on how to treat nail fungus and get you on the road to having healthy nails again.
1. Vinegar Baths
Why it works: Vinegar can help stop the growth of bacteria, and soaking your hands or feet in a vinegar bath can help create an environment that can stop nail fungus.
How to use: Soak your hands or feet in a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts warm water for 15-20 minutes daily. After soaking, rinse off and pat your skin dry. Nail fungus thrives in wet areas, so be sure to dry off thoroughly. If your skin begins to get irritated by the vinegar bath, cut down to using a couple of times each week.
2. Vicks® VapoRub®
Why it Works: Vicks® VapoRub® contains ingredients that inhibit fungal growth, including menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil. By applying this onto your nails, it can help new healthy nails grown in.
How to use: Rub Vicks into your nails and the surrounding area once daily until the infected nail has grown out and been replaced by healthy uninfected nails.
3. Antifungal Lacquer
Why it works: The prescription drug ciclopirox inhibits the growth of certain types of fungus known as dermatophytes that grow on the hair, skin, and nails.
How to use: Antifungal lacquers are painted onto the nail and surrounding area like a nail polish. The lacquer is usually painted on every day, then completely removed after seven applications and repeated. This is a prescription medication, so be sure to follow the directions your doctor gives you.
4. Oral Medications
Why it works: Oral medications help new healthy nails grow in place of the existing nails that are infected by fungus. As the nail continues to grow, the old infected part can be cut off and gradually replaced by the uninfected nail.
How to use: Lamisil is prescribed as a tablet pill that is usually taken once daily for six weeks. This is a prescription medication, so be sure to follow the directions your doctor gives you.
5. Laser Treatments
Why it Works: Lasers are a fairly new method for how to treat nail fungus. They can be directed at the infected areas, killing nail fungus over a series of treatments.
How to use: You will need to make an appointment with a podiatrist or a laser center that offers treatment therapy for nail fungus. The treatment itself should only take a few minutes, depending on the size of the area you are going to have treated. The specialist will use a laser to treat the fungus and you will be on your way immediately afterwards.