What to Expect from Fungal Toenail Home Remedies
When it comes to stubborn yet relatively harmless problems such as fungal toenails, there is never any shortage of “Simple and Easy Home Remedy!” claims that will supposedly clear that problem right up.
If you search for home remedies on Google, you will not be disappointed. The search results page alone checks many of the boxes you might expect:
- An illustration of a toe with scribbled on yellow grossness, gradually clearing up in each successive image. It’s the kind of imagery you expect to see on those ads at the bottom of webpages we’ve all learned by now not to click on.
- Links to headlines that feature either the top 10 or top 6 remedies for toenail fungus, because apparently these are the two best number of items to have on a list.
- No fewer than two images of VapoRub.
Are we here to say that you shouldn’t try home remedies you find on the Internet? Well, in all honesty, we feel it can often be a wild goose chase. However, you have the freedom to try whatever you wish to use to clear up a problem such as an unsightly fungal toenail infection.
There is always one hard and fast rule you should follow with any type of home remedy attempt, though: It should never cause pain or damage to your toenail, toe, or foot. Anything that involves cutting or burning or other injury is not only miserable, but increases your risks for infection.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the other ways you might want to be wary of some “home remedy” ideas.
Beware of “Cure-Alls”
Every now and then, something seems to pop up as having the ability to fix a bevy of common conditions and problems.
In the old days, there were all sorts of balms and elixirs containing substances that were thought to cure everything from toothaches to baldness. Most of them did nothing. Some of them—such as those containing Mercury or Opium—ended up being harmful.
Nowadays, items that grow popular through Facebook buzz tend to be more organic in nature and much safer in general. However, that does not always mean they are effective for everything. In fact, the more claims that crop up around a certain item, the more you should be wary that it will have as much an effect as is being touted.
A recent darling among “wonder substances” is apple cider vinegar. Is this stuff a complete fake? Not really! It can have some slight positive effects in realms such as lowering blood glucose levels and helping to lose weight. Enough to ditch medicines and other plans to rely fully upon it? The science doesn’t think so.
And does it work on fungal toenails too? We’re not so sure about that, either.
Check the Reasoning Behind the Claim
Just because something sounds good on the surface doesn’t always mean it’s true. You can apply this surface mentality literally with the myth of applying nail polish over a fungal infection.
We don’t really blame people’s reasoning for this idea. The polish is thought to “seal” the fungus away from the air and such, making it suffer and die.
Unfortunately, fungus doesn’t really work that way. In many cases, the fungus is already well within your nail, so it doesn’t really need a ton of air. What fungus does need to survive is warmth, moisture, and dim conditions. Unbeknownst to many, nail polish is trapping moisture against the nail and shielding from the sun (if being in shoes all day isn’t already providing enough optimal conditions).
Fake nails can provide similar conditions, so you may want to limit your use of both if you want to help prevent a fungal infection from growing worse.
When you see a claim, do some digging to see where its source comes from. Trust established medical outlets first and everyday blogs second. Or third.
You Shouldn’t Waste Time with What Doesn’t Work
The truth about home remedies is that we won’t say that none of them will ever work or have an effect. So many new methods are introduced all the time that it very well may be that a few of them can bring results!
However, there are a lot of potential failures you may have to go through before you find something effective. Each one requires its own testing period to see if your toenails start clearing up. And if they don’t, that’s often just more time for the fungus to continue digging into your nail and becoming harder to remove.
When you come to Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper for fungal nail treatment, we start by getting a better picture of what we’re dealing with. Not all fungal infections are the same, and the type of treatment we may recommend can depend on what specific type we are dealing with. This might involve taking a sample for lab testing, just to be sure.
When we recommend a course of treatment, it’s with methods that have track records of working. Even with these we can’t guarantee a 100% success rate, however; fungal infections can be just that stubborn. What we do know, however, is that chances of improvement and full clarity are much higher here.
If you have been suffering from thick, yellowed, discolored, and/or brittle nails, getting the best treatment possible best happens sooner than later. Schedule an appointment with us by calling (812) 481-7200 or, if you prefer, contacting us electronically via our online form.