Onychomycosis, known as toenail fungus, is a fungal infection affecting millions worldwide. This common foot condition usually starts as a white or yellow spot under the toenail. The fungus then spreads deeper into the nail, causing discoloration, thickening, and crumbling at the edges. It can be unsightly and uncomfortable, leading to pain and a foul odor.

While the most severe cases of it require potent drugs or laser treatment, numerous over-the-counter treatments (OTC) are available. These remedies can help reduce the symptoms and improve the appearance of the affected toenail. In this article, we will discuss over-the-counter onychomycosis treatments.

Onychomycosis

What is It?

It is a fungal infection affecting the toenails or fingernails. It is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes, which thrive in warm and moist environments, making the feet an ideal breeding ground. Yeasts and molds can also cause infection.

This contagious condition can spread from person to person through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as shower floors or towels. It can also spread from one nail to another or other parts of the body, like the scalp, to the toenails. People with a weakened immune system, poor circulation, diabetes, or a history of athlete’s foot are at a higher risk of developing this foot condition.

The most common onychomycosis symptoms are thickened, discolored, and distorted toenails. The nails may also become brittle, crumbly, and separated from the nail bed. Sometimes, the nails emit a foul odor and cause discomfort or pain.

5 Over The Counter Treatments for this Foot Condition

There are many toenail fungus OTC medicines available to treat it. While these remedies may not completely cure the infection, they can help reduce the symptoms and improve the appearance of the affected toenail. Here are five of the most effective over-the-counter onychomycosis treatments:

1. Undecylenic Acid

Undecylenic acid is a fatty acid derived from castor oil and has antifungal properties. It is commonly found in antifungal creams, powders, and ointments. Undecylenic acid is effective against various fungi, including those that cause athlete’s foot and ringworm. It works by weakening the cell walls of the fungus, thereby preventing its growth and replication.

2. Topical Tolnaftate

Tolnaftate is another antifungal medication used to treat fungal infections of the skin and nails. It is commonly found in creams, lotions, and powders. Tolnaftate is a medication that can effectively treat toenail fungus by interfering with the fungal cell membrane, causing the fungus to die. In addition, it is also effective against many other types of fungi, including those that cause athlete’s foot and jock itch.

Tolnaftate works by interfering with the fungal cell membrane, which leads to the death of the fungus. It is effective against many other  fungi, including those that cause athlete’s foot and jock itch.

3. Topical Terbinafine

Terbinafine is a synthetic antifungal medication commonly used to treat fungal infections of the skin and nails. It is available in cream, gel, and spray forms.

It is a medication that effectively treats onychomycosis of toenail by blocking the enzyme responsible for the production of ergosterol, an essential component of the fungal cell membrane.

Without ergosterol, the fungal cell membrane becomes weakened, ultimately leading to the death of the fungus. Terbinafine is also effective against many other types of fungi, such as those that cause athlete’s foot and ringworm.

4. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been a natural remedy for centuries to treat various skin conditions, including toenail fungus. It has antifungal and antiseptic properties that can help kill the fungus and prevent it from spreading.

As an onychomycosis treatment, apply a few drops of tea tree oil to the affected toenail and massage it into the nail and surrounding skin. Repeating this process twice daily for several months is recommended until the infection clears up.

5. Home Laser Therapy

Home laser therapy is a relatively new remedy that uses low-level laser therapy to kill toenail fungus. It is a painless and non-invasive medication that can be done in the comfort of your own home. To use, apply the laser device to the affected toenail for a few minutes each day for several months until the infection clears up.

Since the medical cost of laser treatment for toenail fungus can be quite expensive, it’s a good idea to check with Medicare to see if you qualify for coverage.

Note: These treatments may not work for everyone, and it is best to consult with a podiatrist before starting any treatment for onychomycosis. An expert podiatrist can assess the severity of the infection and recommend the best course of medication for your specific needs.

Onychomycosis

Receive Treatment with Foot and Ankle Centers

This common foot condition is uncomfortable and unsightly. While severe cases require prescription medication or laser treatment, many over-the-counter remedies are available to reduce symptoms and improve the appearance of the affected toenail. However, it is essential to consult a podiatrist before starting any medication.

If you are seeking a cure for onychomycosis or any other foot condition, Contact Foot and Ankle Centers today to schedule an appointment with our experienced podiatrists.