(Last Updated: January, 2014)
Nail Fungus Overview: Nail fungus (also known as “Onychomycosis”, “Dermatophytic Onychomycosis”, “Tinea Unguium”) is commonly caused by dermatophytes that develop within the warm, dark environment created by your feet and nails in closed footwear. Once the fungus infects the nail bed and surrounding skin, the toenails become yellow or discolored and lose their brilliant luster and clarity. Prescription medications used to treat these stubborn infections have been associated with severe side-effects that may include liver and kidney damage. Using natural nail fungus treatments topically to remove a fungal infection is an effective method without the potentially harmful side effects associated with oral antifungal medications or surgery.
This informational guide is designed to provide you clear and concise instructions for treating toenail fungus, Product Comparisons, education, and a method that is 99.9 percent effective in the removal and treatment of finger and toenail fungus. Follow these detailed steps and Choose a Treatment that is safe, effective and permanent in the treatment of Nail fungus.
Be Proactive and Take Action
Do you plan on wearing your favorite sandals without the embarrassment of discolored, thick nails this year? Maybe you just want to restore your nail’s natural clarity? Follow this in depth guide with persistence and patience (do not skip a day) and you will restore healthy nails once again. Sometimes, this process may take several weeks, however, your efforts will be rewarded with clear, confident nails.
Time Required: You MUST follow these simple steps every day without skipping a treatment. Two separate treatments each day will take approximately five minutes each, for only ten minutes per day. Depending on the seriousness of your nail fungus and your choice of treatment, nail fungus could take as long as 2 months in order to fully restore new, healthy nails.
Step One: Gather Your Materials
Prepare a clean and sterile area to rest the tools you will need to perform the toenail treatment. Always begin by washing your hands. Be sure to thoroughly wash all nail equipment using an antibacterial soap and rinse with hot water. This simple step is one the best practices for treating Nail fungus and is often overlooked or forgotten.
You will need the following items:
- Nail clippers for trimming off as much of the exposed infected toenail as possible.
- A metal, crystal or acrylic nail file is highly recommended. Cardboard nail files cannot be properly cleaned and should be not be used. If cardboard is your only option, dispose of the file after every use.
- Use a topical solution that contains Tolnaftate or Undecylenic acid along with essential oils or quaternary compounds to help penetrate the layers of the nail. Choosing Treatments with clinically proven ingredients is vital to your success throughout this entire process.
Step Two: Cut and Trim Your Toenails
Fungus lives within the layers of the toenail and the surrounding skin tissues. Cutting and filing the nails as short as possible will remove much of the fungus and promote the growth of healthy and uninfected nails.
- Trim your toenails as short as possible without cutting them down to the point of pain or discomfort.
- Gently file the sides, top, and front portion of the toenail to remove some of the infected layers of the nail. This is a critical step in allowing topical solutions to more easily penetrate deep within the bed of the nail.
Step Three: Soak, Cleanse and Scrub Nails
Soak nails in warm water twice daily for approximately one minute or longer to prepare the surrounding skin and nails for the optimal penetration of your Choice of Topical Treatment.
Next, scrub feet and toenails with an anti-bacterial soap with a vigorous friction motion for at least 15 to 30 seconds to kill any bacteria, germs, and fungi. Ensure that all areas of the nails and surrounding skin are scrubbed clean before drying.
Step Four: Thoroughly Dry the Affected Areas of the Feet
Since the fungus thrives in a warm, moist environment, it is vital that you thoroughly dry your feet and toenails afterward and prior to applying any treatment. Using a clean cotton towel, paper towel, or blow dryer, dry the toenails and surrounding skin of the nails completely.
Step Five: Apply Topical Treatment to Nails
The most effective topical treatments for Nail fungus contain at least 10% Undecylenic Acid or Tea Tree Oil and come standard with an applicator brush. For a detailed analysis and breakdown of anti-fungal solutions, medicine for nail fungus and their ingredients consult our Ingredient Comparison.
- When using an applicator brush, apply a liberal amount of the topical treatment to the tops of fingernails or toenails. Brush towards the cuticle of your nail and distribute an even layer of the product completely over and around the ridges of the nail. Keep in mind that nail brush applicators can
contaminate the active ingredients when being inserted back into the bottle. Overtime, this could lead to diluting the formula and it’s effectiveness. We recommend using bottles that
contain a bottle drip top.
- Ensure to brush the treatment or apply 2-3 drops over the areas of the skin that connect to the sides of the nails. These open, exposed areas allow for fungus entry.
- Brush the treatment solution under the front of the nails and coat the surrounding skin. If nails are brittle, splitting, or frayed, ensure that these open
areas are thoroughly saturated with the nail fungus treatment of your choice. Run the bristles of the brush as far underneath the nail as possible. When applying drops, massage the application into the nail lightly with the tip of your finger (be sure to wash your hands prior to application).
- Finally, allow 10 minutes or longer for the nail fungus treatment to dry thoroughly before donning socks or any footwear as they may absorb or slow down the penetration of the solution into the nail. The absorption process is very important to enhance the effectiveness of the topical nail fungus treatment. It can be difficult to wait the full 10 minutes for the solution to dry but do what you can to avoid contact with the nails during this period (avoid placing hands in pockets, feet in shoes, etc.) Most droplet applications absorb into the nail at a much faster rate than topical brush applicators, if so, waiting a minute or two may be sufficient.
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Step Six: Preventative Measures and Maintenance
Fungus develops within the confinement of our shoes and on our feet usually due to unventilated closed footwear or dirty socks. This generally isn’t the cause of nail fungus though – it usually is the result of going barefoot in a high traffic area like a communal shower, dorm, beach, or locker room. Wear sandals or shoes that allow your feet to breathe and remain dry whenever possible. Allowing your feet to breathe is vital. Also, having direct sunlight on your feet may prevent infection, as sunlight is believed to have fungus-killing properties. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when choosing the proper footwear for preventing nail fungus development.
- Wear mesh styled sneakers or opened toe shoes whenever possible
- Rotate shoes and allow them to dry thoroughly before wearing them
- Change socks and inner shoe supports regularly
- Avoid going barefoot in public pools, locker rooms and showers where fungal spores are spread
Your dedication to treating nail fungus will be rewarded with beautiful, healthy, confident nails. Restoring the clarity of your nails will take some commitment and energy on your part, but following the information and provided steps in this guide will give you the right tools, and a proven method to treat nail fungus permanently.
Don’t put off treatment for another day, nail fungus grows more severe and becomes exceedingly difficult the longer you wait. It may spread to other nails or to others. In the next step, you will select a nail fungus treatment of your choice to accompany this guide.