Toenail fungus is definitely not something that people talk about in daily conversation, but the truth is, no one is immune to this condition. More people are dealing with this problem that you may realize as it can spread quickly.
Practicing proper hygiene can reduce the risk of fungal and bacterial infection. However, there are certain factors that can cause toenail fungus. This includes wearing tight shoes, excessive sweating, circulation problems, weakened immune system, damaged nails, and frequently visiting public facilities like saunas, swimming pools, and gyms.
Toenail fungus first appears as a small yellowish or white patch on the toenail. If left untreated, the spreading will continue and can lead to thickened, dry, and brittle toenails. It can become very painful, and in severe cases, the infected toenail may fall off.
Foot Creams for Treating Toenail Fungus
Fortunately, fungal nail infections are curable. There are many ways to treat this condition, including laser therapy, oral medications and over-the-counter foot creams and ointments. Most antifungal creams contain one of these active ingredients: Tolnaftate, Clotrimazole, Miconazole or Terbinafine. These have antifungal properties that may be combined with other helpful ingredients to alleviate irritation and inflammation. Some products contain natural ingredients, such as therapeutic grade essential oils of tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint.
Antifungal creams are used not only for toenail fungus, but also for treating various fungal skin infections, such as ringworm, jock itch, athlete’s foot, and yeast infections. There are also other similar topical solutions like powders and sprays, but they are not considered as efficient as creams because they do not go under the toenail well enough.
1. Antibiotic and Antifungal Properties
A fungus is a living thing, which means that it can survive and move. Without any treatment, it can affect your hands and groin. It is vital to get it treated as soon as possible.
Whether it is a prescribed cream or over-the-counter application, many people use antifungal creams for treating toenail fungus. These products contain antibiotic and antifungal properties that can purge fungus. This gives you a higher chance of eliminating the infection in no time. Some foot creams also contain other holistic ingredients like tea tree oil, oregano oil, lavender oil and other essential oils to kill the fungus.
2. Relieves Inflammation and Irritation
Many people consider fungal nail infection to be a cosmetic problem instead of a medical problem, but that is not true. This condition can be painful enough for you to comprehend that fast.
Toenail fungus can make the affected area inflamed and painful. You will need an effective foot cream that contains soothing ingredients like aloe vera, sea kelp, and combination of various vitamins to alleviate discomfort. If the cream gives a burning sensation, it is best to look for another product that provides relief from inflammation.
3. Moisturizes the Surrounding Skin
Fungal infection can make not only your nail brittle but also the surrounding skin dry, irritated and itchy. Applying foot cream that contains moisturizing properties and soothing ingredients can accelerate the healing process of your toenails. The active ingredients found in some foot creams are antioxidants including amino acids and essential vitamins. This allows you to treat the infection successfully while giving relief to your skin.
Moisturizing your feet is necessary to prevent dry skin and cracked heels. Small cracks or cuts allow harmful microorganisms to penetrate the skin and may aggravate the infection. Using foot creams will leave your feet smooth and soft.
4. Reduces Foot Odor
Toenail fungus and athlete’s foot may produce a slightly foot odor. If you have to wear socks and shoes every day, sweating may make the condition worse. Applying antifungal powder will be necessary to get rid of excess moisture as this may allow the fungus to develop further. Some foot creams also help in eradicating foot odor by fighting fungal and bacterial infections.
5. Total Foot Care
Foot creams contain ingredients that you need to keep your feet healthy and happy. These products hydrate and lock in moisture to treat dry skin, tough calluses, and cracked heels while anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties provide soothing relief from fungal infections and odor.
Massaging your feet with foot creams promotes enhanced blood circulation and accelerates the healing process of your feet.
Home Remedy Treatments for Toenail Fungus
In addition to foot creams, there are many home remedies that you can try.
- Tea tree oil: This ingredient is helpful in treating various skin infections. Treating the infection with tea tree oil is easy. Soak your foot to soften the toenail. Combine equal amounts of tea tree oil with thyme or olive oil. Apply this mixture using a cotton bud, focusing on the base of the nail, skin at the edge, and under the top edge of your toenail. After a few minutes, scrub with a soft toothbrush and rinse.
- Vicks VapoRub: This home remedy is actually recommended by many doctors. It contains ingredients that can penetrate the toenail much better than other treatments. Simply apply a generous amount of it to the infected toenail and cover it with a bandage or sock.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: One of the best remedies for fungal nail infections is apple cider vinegar. In a large basin, combine one part of apple cider vinegar with one part Epsom salt and six parts warm water. Soak your feet in this solution for 30 minutes.
- Listerine Mouthwash: Listerine contains several compounds that can kill fungi and bacteria effectively. To use this treatment, fill a foot basin with Listerine mouthwash. You can also mix it with white vinegar. Soak your foot in this solution for 30 minutes. Scrub the toenail and rinse.
Getting rid of toenail fungus requires patience and determination. Perseverance can pay off, but you may also need to seek medical advice if you have underlying condition, such as diabetes. Visit your doctor if the infection spreads or gets worse, especially if blisters develop or if the surrounding skin cracks and bleeds.
Over-the-counter treatments and home remedies can be effective, but if the infection is no longer responding, see a professional right away!
About the author:
Amanda Roberts is a professional blogger and a podiatry student. She is an enthusiast who loves to write on several niches, particularly in foot health, including plantar fasciitis, toenail fungus, foot massage and reflexology. Read more about her blog posts on foot health at Feet Remedies. You can follow her on Facebook.