Over the Counter Nail Fungus Treatments

Over the Counter Nail Fungus Treatments

Fungi prove to be the strongest strain of the microorganisms. Bacteria are much harder to kill than viruses. Dermatophytes, molds, and yeasts can burrow deep into your nail and shield themselves with keratin. What makes this difficult to treat is that powerful antimycotic medications are not always effective. Due to this, we question if any over-the-counter fungus treatment are worth the time and money.Are There Any Over the Counter Nail Fungus Treatments that Actually Prove Effective?

Unfortunate facts show us that prescription and over-the-counter treatments do not completely help with curing nail fungus infections.


Amorolfine is a topical drug proven to be effective in clinical trials. Amorolfine is sold without a prescription in only a few countries such as, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Also known by the name Loceryl, the treatment is applied as a nail polish on the nail.

It continues to penetrate into the nail after drying, continuously working. It needs reapplying once a week.

Amorolfine helps treat infection by breaking down the cell membrane of the fungus. This treatment only works on subungual onychomycosis. It does not treat proximal onychomycosis or white onychomycosis. Because of this, it is important to know what type of fungus you have.

Amorolfine has very few side effects, and with proper usage these very rarely occur. There have been reports of some burning after applying but that goes away shortly after applying.  A 5 ml tube can cost around $100.00-$150.00. Although you cannot acquire amorolfine in the United States, online pharmacies are becoming more popular and you may eventually be able to obtain it through these.

There are a few over-the-counter anti-fungal treatments that don’t help kill off the nail fungus.Are There Any Over the Counter Nail Fungus Treatments that Actually Prove Effective?

Lamisil is a tablet prescribed for onychomycosis that also comes in an over-the-counter topical cream. This medication has not proven an effective nail fungus treatment.

Lotrimin (also known as clotrimazole)  is not effective for nail fungus but is very good at treating athlete’s foot and jock itch.

Tolnaftate (or Tinactin) does nothing for nail fungus but works extremely well for skin fungi.

Two papers, one from 1965 and the other from 2008, show that undecyclenic acid combined with cyanoacrylate and hydroquinone have positive effects. Even so, there have been no studies proving that undecyclenic acid works on its own.

Tea Tree Oil
has proven to have some positive effects against nail fungus. It is a natural fungicide and insect repellent. Applying a 100% concentration to the infected area has shown to have a 20% cure rate. While using Tea Tree Oil on the infected area, two thirds of the  patients said the appearance of the nail fungus had improved.

Studies have shown that a Tea Tree Oil application two times a day with a 1% solution of clotrimazole was a more effective nail fungus solution.

Topical Products or Removing the Nail

The above topical products were applied to a nail before it had been taken off. There are times where removing the nail is necessary before improvement can occur. This can be done either mechanically or chemically. Removing the nail allows the medication to be applied directly to the infected area.  If a doctor removes the nail, ask about any follow-up on your nail fungus treatments.

Even if you don’t want to go the way of surgery, you will still need to take an oral medication that can only be prescribed by your doctor. These will help cure the nail fungus.

Where Toenail Fungus Starts

Where Toenail Fungus Hides

The nail fungus likes to work its way under the nail where it’s moist and warm. The nail acts as a shield for the fungus, making it difficult to kill off.  Also, since it is harder to clean under the nail, the fungus can easily re-grow after any treatment you undergo.

How does a Nail Fungus Grow?

The Places Toenail Fungus Likes To HideA fungus is like a mushroom. It prefers living in the dark, spreading through spores and having roots that it grows from. The spores that spread the fungus do so in dark and damp places. The number one way of getting nail fungus is shoes. This is due to people not having more than one pair of shoes to alternate every other day. Shoes keep your feet in darkness, and due to sweat and humidity help fungi survive. With your body temperature and not allowing your shoes to air out or dry, it’s the perfect breeding ground for the nail fungus. Fungus also loves flip-flops because they can stay wet a lot of the time.  This is why you should have more than one pair of shoes that you can alternate every day. This allows your foot protection to stay dry and not become the breeding ground for your feet’s worst enemy.

Remedies to Treat Nail Fungus

Ointments and solutions for nail fungus are the best first option, since anti-fungal medications having risky side effects associated with them. The most commonly used treatment is mixing Tea Tree Oil and Mineral Oil. You then soak the surrounding nail in the solution. These remedies are both an anti-fungal and an antiseptic.  Treating fungus can take a while but will work if you keep up with it regularly. You must also keep up with it like oral antibiotics. Use it until it is fully gone and the fungus does not return.

Gyms Are a Breeding Ground for Nail Fungus Infections

The Danger of Gyms for Nail Fungus

People go to the gym to become healthier and build muscle. They want to lose weight, feel that adrenaline rush, and feel better about themselves. It rarely crosses anyone’s mind that the gym and public pool are a breeding ground for fungus and nail fungus infections to spread.

So, why are they the perfect place? Most gyms and public pools have a place to change. This place may be a dressing room, a locker room equipped with a shower, or an open place to rinse off after your work out. These places have tile floors to make cleanup easier. However, grout is the perfect place for fungus to breed.

When you walk barefoot over this grout, you are risking having the spores from other people’s fungal infections stick to your feet and slowly work their way up under your nails. It is terrible that one of the places that you go to take better care of yourself and to feel better about yourself can lead to you developing an infection, no matter how hard the gym works to keep the shower floors clean.

How To Prevent Toenail Fungal Infections

Gyms Are a Breeding Ground for Nail Fungus InfectionsThe place to start when you are trying to prevent toenail fungal infections is what you wear on your feet. Gym shoes that are older and worn can be a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria and fungus by themselves. This means that if you do get fungal spores on your feet, they are sure to breed in your shoes and become an out of control fungal infection in no time.

It is advisable, for the gym and in your everyday life, to have at least two pair of shoes. Never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. This allows one pair to dry out between uses so that you are not breeding fungus that is just waiting to attack your feet. Either way, make sure that your feet stay dry. Wear clean, breathable, cotton socks so that moisture is wicked away.

If you still feel at risk, use an anti-fungal spray in your shoes between uses and allow them to dry completely before you put them back to help prevent contamination.

If you use the shower at your local gym, do not do so barefoot. Rubber flip-flops, shower shoes, or water shoes are a great way to ensure that you are not exposed. As with your other shoes, make sure that these shoes are completely dry before you put them back on. You may also want to spray them with anti-fungal spray between uses (after they dry) to ensure that any fungal spores that you pick up from the shower floor are eliminated before you wear them again. Another option is to place them in your clothes dryer and use high enough heat to kill the fungal spores.

What To Do In Case Of InfectionGyms Are a Breeding Ground for Nail Fungus Infections

When you first notice any sign of infection, it is important to begin treatment. This means that you need to catch it when your toenail begins to change color, or looks different than it normally does. It is important to catch it before your nails become brittle or start to get thick.

If caught early, start soaking your toes in a vinegar solution twice daily for about 20 minutes. This solution should consist of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. Continue this treatment until the affected toenails have cleared up.

Vinegar gets rid of the infection by changing the pH of the growing environment, which makes the nail uninhabitable to the fungus.

The fungus will then quit breeding, and when the existing spores die off, the fungus should be completely gone.

The choice between apple cider vinegar and white vinegar is up to you. Both are shown to work, so whichever you have on hand will work great.

Acrylic Nail Fungus Infections

Acrylic Nail Fungus Infections

Acrylic nails are stronger and help those who have weak nails that split and break easily.  Because of this, many people choose to use acrylic nails so that they may have attractive, healthy looking nails.

Acrylic Nail Fungus InfectionsFungus growth is a possibility with acrylic nails. This happens when there is bleeding and the application of the nail is not done in a properly clean way. Fungus can set up between the real nail and the acrylic nail. Most nail salons are very clean and practice proper hygiene, but some don’t. So make sure the salon you go to cleans and sterilizes their equipment with antibacterial products.

Trying as hard as you can doesn’t always help keep fungus out. If a fungus is already attached to the nail or passed through non-sterilized equipment, you can be infected. The nail salon specialist is trained to recognize any nail anomaly. Knowing this, they will tell you that you should not have the acrylic nail put on; that it will give the fungus a perfect place to thrive.

If the acrylic nail was placed over the fungus attached to the real nail, it would give the fungus protection, warmth and humidity that it needs to thrive. The nail salon specialist will tell you how to manage and what treatment options there are for getting rid of the fungus.

What If I do Become Infected?

  • Apply Lamisil cream (an over-the-counter product) to the top, bottom and surrounding skin of the affected nail.
  • Apply Tea Tree Oil, an antiseptic and antifungal, to the top, underneath and surrounding skin, and affected area every day.
  • Cleaning out dirt, food and gunk from under the nail can help keep the fungus thriving.  Afterwards, swab the area with rubbing alcohol to kill any fungal growth that’s already there.
  • Your last option is going to your doctor and getting a prescribed medication to help get rid of the fungus. These typically come with serious side effects that can damage the liver. This means you need to ask your doctor if you are healthy enough to use these medications.

Brittle Nail Disease – Onychorrhexis

Onychorrhexis, its Symptoms & Treatment

What is Onychorrhexis?

Onychorrhesis is a condition where fingernails and toenails break easily because they are weak.

Why is it?

Keratin is composed of protein, and as the nail grows the thickness is determined by your body. The thickness of your nails is genetically chosen and is already set at birth.

What Causes it?

A common cause is humidity around the base of the nail. If you soak your hands in water, take a long bath, do dishes for a prolonged period of time, and perform these tasks on a regular basis, you can develop weak nails. Some people notice that as they grow older their nails become weaker. They also become more prone to breaking. There are some diseases and conditions that cause nails to become more brittle and fragile:Brittle Nail Disease – Onychorrhexis

  • Low levels of thyroid hormones
  • Reynaud’s Syndrome
  • Skin disorders
  • Poor diet

Signs Of Onychorrhexis

  • Parts of the nail flaking off
  • The nail breaking in places
  • The nail falling off

Basic Treatment

As a rule of thumb, if you have brittle nails, don’t spend a lot of time with your hands wet. Also be careful about the type of soap you use and only use mild hand soaps.

Right after washing, use a moisturizer that softens the skin or a healing moisturizer that softens and provides herbal or medicinal remedies. This acts as a barrier between the nail and water.

Preventative Measures for Brittle Nails

  • Wear gloves or protective covering when immersing hands or feet in water.
  • Do not participate in sports or activities that involve being submerged in water.
  • Avoid irritating chemicals.
  • Ensure that you are get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet.

Side Effects of Brittle Nails Treatment

The only possible side effect to the above treatment is an allergic reaction to specific moisturizers.

What You Should Know About Toenail Fungus

Important Information on Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungal infections are very common and affect about twelve percent of the American population. To understand toenail fungus, you must understand fungus in general.

Fungus likes to live in dark, damp environments that are humid. This is why most people who suffer from nail fungus infections suffer from toenail fungus. The shoe is the perfect place for nail fungus to grow. Fungus can live next to the nail for a long time. It can even burrow under the nail. There are a great number of factors that determine where the fungus actually starts. Two of these factors are how fast the infection is progressing and how severe the infection is.

Fungal Infection Symptoms

What You Should Know About Toenail FungusDoctors believe that the beginning of the disorder starts next to the nail and works its way under the nail slowly. The early symptoms of a fungal infection are a yellowish or whitish spot on the nail. Pain is typically not associated with the first stage, and most people do not notice the problem until it has progressed much further.

As the infection becomes worse, the fungal infection becomes more noticeable. These changes may appear slowly. The nail may become dull, yellowed, and lose its shape. The nail begins to become thick, yellow and ridged. This is the trademark appearance of a nail that is suffering from a fungal infection. Over time, the person who is affected will feel some discomfort from the infection. This is typically caused by the nail separating from the nail bed.

If the infection is allowed to go this far and the nail separates itself from the nail bed, there is a risk of an even greater infection. This is because the nail bed is made of sensitive tissue. If there is any pus present, or if there is a foul odor when you remove your sock,  you need to see a doctor immediately.

There is a myth that toenail fungus only likes dirty areas. This is not true. A fungus is happy to breed wherever the environment is damp, dark, and warm. All it takes is one spore coming into contact with this area for it to become a breeding ground, no matter how clean of a person you are. While everyone comes into contact with this fungus on a daily basis, an infection only occurs if you give the spores an environment that they like to live in.

Types of Fungus

The medical community likes to refer to this type of fungus as a dermatophyte. There are other microorganisms that can infect the nail, such as yeast and mold, but dermatophytes are typically the most common infection.

Here is a list of things that make a person more susceptible to developing a fungal infectionWhat You Should Know About Toenail Fungus

  • A weakened immune system
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Trauma to the toenail
  • Low skin pH
  • Poor hygiene
  • Previous nail fungus infection

It is very unlikely that a nail fungus infection can become life threatening or debilitating. However the infection can cause pain and discomfort and seriously impact the person’s self-esteem. Treating toenail fungus can be difficult, which is why doing your best to prevent nail fungus is the best treatment there is. If you are concerned that you have a fungal infection or any other type of infection in your toenail, consult your doctor. Your doctor can help you determine the best course of action for your particular type of infection and your medical history.

Common Symptoms and Solutions to Nail Fungus

Nail Fungus: Common Symptoms and Solutions

Many people are affected by nail fungus. While not painful in most cases, it can be embarrassing and cause affected people to hide their nails. This is especially true when it comes to toenails since they are easy to hide in socks and shoes. This is why more people seek a physician more often for fingernail fungus than they do for toenail fungus.

Unfortunately, the common solution of hiding your toes in your socks and shoes leads to the spread and worsening of the fungal infection. There are a lot of treatments offered by various companies. However, some of them do not work, while others make the problem worse. Some people suffer from poor health, which can lead to chronic infection. This is difficult to fight, especially after prolonged treatment. The fungus can become immune to the product they are using before they can successfully clear up the infection.

Causes of Nail Fungus

Common Symptoms and Solutions to Nail FungusEach and every day, we cross the path of microbes, microorganisms and bacteria. Encountering these type of microscopic creatures is a never-ending fact of life. Unfortunately, some of these are nail fungus spores. Most of  these are washed away and are harmless. But sometimes, they manage to get under your nails where they become a problem.

When a fungi spore enter a warm, dark, moist place they can make a home. Commonly, underneath your nails becomes such a home since in other places they are washed away easily. But under your nails fungi can grow and reproduce. The nail is a great place because it provides a great shield from the world around it. When they begin to grow, they cause a nasty look of yellowing and cause the nail to become thick. This is the appearance commonly associated with nail fungus.

As the nail fungus gets worse, other symptoms begin to develop. The nail begins to look different and is eventually disfigured. At some point, it may begin crumbling or flaking away. A fungal infection this severe typically occurs in toenails since they are a better breeding ground than fingernails because people spend so much time in shoes.

How to Treat Nail Fungus Infection

There are a lot of natural remedies on the market, as well as a ton of home remedies. Home remedies are a preferable first treatment before you are prescribed the more aggressive, oral antifungal medications. This is because antifungal medications taken orally pose serious risks to your liver. Here are some of the most recommended suggestions for treating nail fungus:

  • Common Symptoms and Solutions to Nail FungusTea Tree OilTea Tree Oil is a natural essential oil. You can purchase it at most health food stores. This treatment involves rubbing the oil into the nail and the skin at least three times per day. The antifungal properties eventually kill the nail fungus.
  • Good Nail Hygiene – It is a good idea to practice correct nail. Trim them right at the edge of the toe. Always use a file to clean out from under your nails. Always make sure that no dirt can permanently lodge itself under the nail. Make sure your feet stay dry. If you have been sweating a lot, change your socks, and if your shoes are damp, change them too.  Avoid wearing closed-toed shoes as much as possible.
  • Vinegar – Soak your toes in vinegar and water on a regular basis and dry them thoroughly to increase the pH under your nails. This makes the environment unfit for fungal spores to live in.

If you are affected by nail fungus and you have tried the solutions or others we mentioned here on this website, and nothing has worked, consult your physician. If you have not had any response from over-the-counter treatments or natural remedies, you may need to try a prescription treatment.

Make sure to tell your doctor about all medications you are currently taking, both prescription and herbal. Let them know what treatments you have tried in regard to your fungal infection. Be sure to maintain proper finger and toe nail hygiene during treatment. This will increase your body’s response to treatment and help the healing process. It will also prevent the fungus from spreading to other toenails.

There are many solutions available that will treat the problem. You can search the internet for various alternatives before you commit to a treatment: natural, herbal, or oral antifungal medications. This is especially true if the person with the infection is a child. Perhaps the most important aspect to consider is the purity and potency of the ingredients used within a formula. One should consider if such ingredients have been clinically proven for effective eradication of fungal infections – these could include ingredients such as undecylenic acid, tolnaftate or tea tree oil.

Prescription Drugs and Curing Toenail Fungus

Using Drugs to Cure Toenail Fungus

Prescription Drugs and Curing Toenail FungusWith advancements in modern medicine, curing toenail fungus has become become a regular occurrence. Toenail fungal infections can spread really easily, both from nail to nail and from person to person. This is why treating it as early as possible is a great concern.

What Does a Toenail Infection Look Like?

The most common, and first symptom is a discolored nail. The color of the nail is typically white or yellowish. After the infection reaches the nail bed, it can easily turn dark yellow and develop brown spots. The nail becomes thick and brittle as the fungus reaches further into the nail or into the nail bed. This is because the fungus’s sole goal is to spread as fast as possible to keep itself alive.

A nail fungus infection begins when people are exposed to the spores of the fungus. This is easier than you may think. All it takes is being barefoot, especially in areas that are dirty or used by a lot of barefoot people. This can happen fairly easily if your shoes are dirty or damaged, especially if you have sweaty feet or live in a humid area.

Nails can easily become discolored if you have any damage to the nail, especially if it rubs on a shoe or if you have a skin condition. Always see your doctor whenever you have any discoloration of your nail. This lets you work with your doctor to come up with the best possible treatment for you and your specific needs, given your prior health history.

Topical Medications

A frequently prescribed medication for a toenail fungus infection is Penlac, also known as ciclopirox. This approach uses paint-on nail polish that has to be applied to the nail once or twice daily. Over time, it kills the fungal infection. Typically, it takes a few months to completely kill off the infection.

Side Effects

This medication has been known to cause irritation and itching in the skin surrounding the nail.

Oral Anti-fungal Medications

Prescription Drugs and Curing Toenail FungusThere are many commonly prescribed oral medications for getting rid of toenail fungus. These medications are Lamisil, Sporanox, and Itraconazole. These drugs typically take at least 12 weeks to completely kill a fungal infection. After this, it can take up to 9 months to regrow a healthy toenail.

All of the oral medications that can be prescribed pose risks of side effects. If at any time during your treatment you have abdominal pain, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, yellowing of the skin or eyes,  dark urine, or anything else that is unlike your typical function, stop taking the medication and call your doctor immediately.

These prescriptions are not advised for people who have a history of liver or heart problems. Let your doctor know if you have a history, or if you have a family history of these problems.

Modern medicine has made it easier to cure toenail fungus and has provided a great deal of anti-fungal medications. Treating this disorder is of really high concern, especially since it can spread so easily.

Nail Fungus Treatment Questions

Nail Fungus Treatments

Nail fungus is a problem that affects people on a global scale. A lot of people don’t understand how nail fungus is contracted and how to prevent themselves from getting nail fungus infections.

There are eight main questions below, answered so that you can better understand what nail fungus infections are and what causes them.

What Is a Nail Fungus Infection?

A nail fungus infection is characterized by dermaphytes. Dermaphytes are microscopic organisms and a form of fungus. They do not require light to grow. They are spores that cause this type of infection, which cause the nails to be thick and yellow.

Why Is the Nail Such a Perfect Place for Fungal Organisms to Live?

Fungus prefers areas where it is dark, damp, and warm. Socks and shoes provide the perfect place for these organisms to live because they fit these criteria.

Is Everyone at Risk for Developing Nail Fungus?

Questions About Nail Fungus TreatmentsYes, everyone can develop nail fungus. The older you are, the more likely it is for you to suffer from nail fungus infections.

Is It Contagious?

Nail fungus infections are contagious. It is more likely for a person to contract a nail fungus infection if they have damaged nails or skin. A great place for it to be contracted is a public area such as pools, locker rooms, and other public areas that are damp, warm and people are barefoot regularly.

Are Fingernails or Toenails Affected More Often?

While fingernails can contract nail fungus, toenails are more likely to contract the infection. This is because it is more likely for toenails to develop the infection. This is because they are enclosed in shoes and socks, and shoes are a dark, damp environment.

Are Fungal Infections Dangerous?

Nail fungus infections are not dangerous by themselves. However, the infection can become very serious if it is not treated. The disease itself can be dangerous if the patient has other medical problems that make nail fungus infections easier to develop.

Can I Still Wear Nail Polish?

No, it is recommended, while you are undergoing treatment for nail fungus, not to use nail polish of any kind. Your nails need to breathe and nail polish creates a barrier between your nail and the air around it. It also seals in humidity which makes the nail fungus more likely to spread.

Will Nail Fungus Go Away By Itself?

Nail fungus will not go away on its own. However, the sooner you are able to determine the infection is present, the easier it is for you to get treatment. The longer the fungal infection is allowed to go, the more likely it is that the infection will get worse and the less likely you will be able to use over the counter treatments to get rid of it.

Beer Soak – Homeopathic Remedy for Nail Fungus

Beer Soak as a Nail Fungus Remedy

Not only is the yellowing of fingernails and toenails unattractive, but it can also be harmful and contagious. Fungus living in or under your nail causes  such discoloration. The disorder is not uncommon, but it canBeer Soak – Homeopathic Remedy for Nail Fungus make nails become rough and thick as well as turn yellow or white.  While a severe case of nail fungus infection may require prescription medication, milder cases may be treated at home with various remedies. Homeopathic remedies have been used for many years and have been proven effective nail fungus treatments.

One of the treatments is very simple. Combine dark beer, also known as stout, white vinegar, and acidophilus together to soak your feet in. Acidophilus is a bacterium that works well in treating nail fungus infections. Mixed with beer, it creates an environment that does not permit growth of the fungus.

Why Does It Work?

The vinegar and acidophilus combine together to create an acidic environment. Fungi cannot survive in an acidic environment. Bacteria, like acidophilus, thrive in this environment and fight infection.

The alcohol in the beer softens the tissue around the nail, allowing the vinegar to get under the nail and begin killing the fungus.

Nail Fungus Soak Recipe

  • 1 large bowl or tub (large enough to soak the affected area)
  • 4 cups white vinegar.
  • 2 pints of stout.
  • 1 sachet of acidophilus
  • Nail file (use it at least once per week).


You can use this mixture for up to 48 hours mixing it up. You can use it repeatedly during this time frame.

  1. Mix the ingredients in the soaking container.
  2. Soak the affected nails in the container for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Wash the affected area with warm water and soap.
  4. Dry completely.

Soak the affected area at least twice per day for 3 to 6 months.

Once Per Week

Beer Soak – Homeopathic Remedy for Nail FungusOnce per week, right after you have soaked the affected area, use a nail file to file the affected nails. When you do this, expose the new nail. Soak the affected area for an additional 30 minutes. Wash with warm soap and water as you normally would and dry completely.

If you notice that the area around the nail becomes sensitive after you soak them, or during the soak, reduce the number of times you soak them to once per day. After about a month, you will see a change take place.

If the affected area is not too severe, you may see change after about a week of treatment. You must use the treatment on a regular basis and do not miss a treatment. After the fungal infection begins to die off, you will see new, a fresh nail growing from the cuticle area.

Over time, trimming your nail will eventually cut off the portion that was yellow and thick, and a new, beautiful nail will take its place. It may take up to 12 weeks for a new nail to grow in place of the old infected one.