Over the Counter Nail Fungus Treatment
Tip! It's common sense of course, but we'll say it anyway: to avoid nail fungus, don't wear another person's shoes, socks or gloves, or use emery boards or nail files that have been used by others. Do wear sandals or flip flops in public changing rooms and showers, on swimming pool decks, and in other public places where fungal spores may linger.
What is over the counter nail fungus medication? Strictly speaking, it is a remedy for toenail fungal infections that can be purchased without a prescription. When we talk about OTC medications, we are usually talking about commercial products specifically manufactured for self care of a medical condition. In the case of fungal nails, however, the definition might well be broadened to include a number of everyday household products manufactured for other purposes but used as fungus medicine.
Prescription drugs are available, but the cost of these drugs is so prohibitive that many people turn to over the counter nail fungus medication. Many more avoid the pharmaceutical medications because of the risk of side effects. The next best alternative, at least in the opinions of the medical profession, is toe nail fungus medication available in pharmacies - lotions, creams and ointments for nail treatment.
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Another group of products include natural remedies like Tea Tree oil and other essential oils, available from homeopathic dealers and shops. An antifungal mud called Saprox, apparently produced in the Czech Republic, is another possibility.
Finally, there are many household products that people have used with varying success. Some of them are available in pharmacies for other problems, but are not strictly over the counter nail fungus medication. Vicks Vaporub, Listerine mouthwash, and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) are good examples. Hydrogen peroxide is a first aid item that has been reputed to cure fungal infection.
Tip! Well-fitting shoes is always a good defense against a nail fungus. Shoes are well-fitting where there is space (about the width of a thumb) between the end of the shoe and the tip of the longest toe, preventing the toe from being damaged upon impact.
Grocery items are on the list for toe nail fungus medication as well. Many folks will tell you to soak your feet in vinegar - white vinegar straight from the bottle. Others drink apple cider vinegar for an oral home cure. You might want to soak your feet in beer: one home remedy calls for a potion of stout, vinegar, and Lactobacillus acidophilus, a strain of bacteria used in making yogurt.
One thing can be said of virtually every type of toe nail fungus medicine: it takes a long time to work, if it works at all. Most variations of over the counter nail fungus medication are applied topically, which means that the medication has to penetrate the nail and get at the fungus in order to work. In many cases it does not come into contact with the fungus. This is also true of topical prescription drugs - only the oral drugs get around the problem. Even if the medication reaches the fungus and arrests its growth, toe nails grow so slowly that it's months before the toenail looks normal again.
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