I have a fungus on
my nails, what should I do?
Nail fungus is a common problem, mainly for toenails but sometimes also
for fingernails. I'm not a doctor, but I do know that there is no magic
cure for nail fungus. It rarely goes away by itself. There is a large
market for treatments and a lot of controversy and misinformation
about them. CLICK HERE
to read about nail fungus at the Mayo Clinic.
What doctors say is that you need to take a prescription drug
like Sporanox (Itraconazole),
or Lamisil (Terbinafine)
for 6-12 weeks. Since these drugs can damage your liver, you have to go for
periodic blood tests while you are taking them. For milder cases, a
prescription solution such as Cicloprox
(which can also have side effects) is applied to the nail once a day for six
months. There is also a laser
treatment for nail fungus that does not have the side effects of
prescription drugs. Each of these treatments can be very expensive
and usually is not covered by health insurance (if you have it), and none of
them is guaranteed to work.
Because of the expense and/or risk of medical treatment, it might be worth
trying one of the over-the-counter products first to see if they make
a difference. Follow the instructions carefully, don't exceed recommended
doses. You can see a selection of non-prescription antifungal products at
Amazon; just go there and search
for nail fungus. You can read the reviews of each product and see
what customers are saying. For example, the
Tineacide Antifungal Cream has mostly good customer reviews (but of
course that is no guarantee).
On the other hand, many people swear by Australian tea tree oil as a
natural treatment for nail fungus. My clients tell me it really helps, and it
has the added benefit of making your feet feel all tingly! It has a rather
strong woody smell, like eucalyptus or pine, very earthy; some people like
it, some don't, but it works wonders on your skin, treating not only
funguses but also spots, acne, dandruff, dermatitis, minor burns, cuts and
scrapes, ringworm, athlete's foot, insect bites, head lice, etc.
HERE to search Google on this topic, and
HERE to find tea tree oil at Amazon.
Remember that with any treatment, even when it works perfectly, it takes
six, nine, even twelve months for the new nail to grow out, and you have
precautions to prevent the fungus from coming back.
UPDATE: (March 2012) A friend who has had a persistent case of
toenail fungus for a very long time writes,
“Hi Aleida, I tried many of the products on your page, including tea
tree oil and Tineacide, as well as scrubbing my feet every day, spraying
alcohol on them, spraying Lysol, etc. I would sometimes see a slight
improvement, but the toenails remained thick and opaque, a solid yellowish
white, and any improvements would be short-lived.
Recently I ordered FungiBan
(also from your site) just to see if would make a difference. I don't know
that the product itself is any better than the other ones, necessarily, but
the directions definitely are. It comes with a whole printed sheet
of instructions that I hadn't heard of or tried before, the most important
being to file the surface of each toenail away until the whole nail is
paper-thin so the treatment can penetrate to where the fungus is. This
filing also removes most of the fungus right away. It makes perfect sense.
Why didn't I think of it before? HINT: You'll need strong and highly
abrasive emery boards such as this
one and you should discard them after use.
Within just a couple weeks the nails were translucent though still cloudy,
blotched, and crusty, but the pink could be seen showing through for the
first time in many many years and further improvement is noted every day.
Maybe FungiBan has some unique action, maybe not, but the final result is
that, it works if you follow the directions, and for that reason
alone I'd recommend it.
The ingredients are listed as Terbinafine Hydrochloride, Tea Tree
Oil, Clove Oil, Emu Oil, Thymol, Benzyl Alcohol, Sorbitan Stearate,
Polysorbate 80, and Distilled Water.”
UPDATE #2 (April 2013):
While the combination of abrading and applying products like Fungi Ban,
Fungi Cure, tea-tree oil, etc, do improve the condition, they don't seem to
fully cure it. While the nails are no longer fully opaque, neither are they
clear; there is still some cloudiness and some white and yellow spots, even
after a full year of daily treatment. A new search on the topic turns up a
product that is sold only in Britain, but that can be ordered from
Fungal Nail Treatment. What distinguishes this product from the
others is that it is made by a well-known foot-care company and that it
actually claims to penetrate the nail and to kill “99.9% of nail
fungus”. The treatment is a combination of filing and applying a
liquid to the nail. CLICK HERE for more
information about Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment.
UPDATE #3 (March 2016):
Scholl Fungal Nail is almost impossible to find now, and if you can
find it, it can be very expensive. Furthermore, it is likely to be
confiscated by US Customs even if you can order it. Meanwhile a new
European brand has appeared on Amazon: All-Organic All-Natural Fungus
Stop by Zane Hellas. When you order it, it comes in the mail from
Greece. Currently it has a 4-star rating, based on 1223
reviews. This is a better rating than any other specifically
anti-toenail-fungus brand on Amazon.
It comes in a very small bottle, but
the bottle is still much bigger (10ml) than the very tiny Scholl bottle
(3.8ml) so it lasts a lot longer, usually about a month, and costs only
about $10. Takes a long time to arrive, though, but as a bonus the small
package usually has
some colorful Greek stamps!
Essential Oregano Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Almond Oil,
Organic Essential Tea Tree Oil, Organic Calendula Oil, Organic Avocado Oil.
The main active ingredient is Carvacrol. Carvacrol is
an ingredient found in maximum content in Oregano Oil and is natural.
Carvacrol has very strong antifungal properties and can kill the fungus at a
rate of 100% and in a short time. Used since ancient times and there are
many published scientific medical studies on the properties and
effectiveness of Carvacrol.