The query, ‘what is the best over the counter nail fungus treatment’ is not at all easy to answer. With so many anti-fungal medications, creams and lotions available out there, determining the best OTC treatment for nail fungus is a daunting task indeed.
More than a billion men, women and children (globally) suffering from fungal infections make use of nail fungus treatment otc. Almost 24% of all foot diseases in the world are caused by fungal infections. Hence, treating toenail fungus correctly is very important.
Over the counter medications are plenty. Nonetheless, with over a billion individuals to treat, you simply cannot rely on OTC nail fungal treatments alone. Correct cure is determined by a dermatologist especially if the fungal infection has crossed its basic threshold.
In this article, I shall discuss the best nail fungal OTC available in the market today:
What is the Best Over the Counter Nail Fungus Treatment Article Contents:
- What is Over the Counter Treatment for Nail Fungus Infection?
- What is Prescription Drug for Treating Nail Fungal Infection?
- What is the Best Over the Counter Fingernail Fungus Treatment?
- What is the Best Over the Counter Toenail Fungus Treatment?
- LeanAndFit Editor’s Top 5 Picks (OTC Medications) to Cure Nail Fungus Infection?
- Conclusive Analysis
What is Over the Counter Treatment for Nail Fungus Infection?
Over the counter medicines for treating nail fungal infections are those that can be purchased without the need for a doctor’s prescription.
So, you can buy these medicines from a local drugstore without showing a prescription (issued by a qualified medical representative) for the same. Without the approval of a Regulatory Authority, one cannot sell OTC medications for treating nail fungal infections.
The Role of Active Pharma Ingredient:
In the United States, the FDA is the regulatory authority that determines whether a particular drug shall be included in the OTC category or not.
For a medicine to be considered OTC, it should have Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient that is approved by the concerned regulatory authority (which in this case is the Food and Drug Administration).
Once that is done, the manufacturer of the OTC can play around with the ingredients as well as the propriety mixture. Only the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient should be approved by the FDA (or any other regulatory authority).
What is Prescription Drug for Treating Nail Fungal Infection?
Quite contrary to over the counter drug, a prescription drug is one that needs to have the prior approval of a certified medical representative.
So basically, if you are seeking treatment for your nail fungal infection then, you first need a doctor’s prescription. This is especially true when you opt for a prescription medicine.
You would require a prescription to get hold of a pharmaceutical drug that is not categorized as ‘OTC’. In the United States, the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act determines whether a particular medicine would need a doctor’s prescription or not.
Once categorized as a ‘prescription drug’, the FDA gives it a legal status. The reason why these drugs are prescription drugs is because they require a certain level of expertise to be administered.
Moreover, these drugs can also be misused. Hence, they need to be regulated by a medical practitioner. Efinaconazole and Kerydinare are classic examples of prescription drugs used for treating nail fungus infection.
What is the Best Over the Counter Fingernail Fungus Treatment?
Over the counter medications to treat nail fungal infections in the finger is an ideal way to retain (the crowning glory of) your precious nails. While it is usually successful, in the case of severe infections, you might need medical assistance.
What starts with a simple looking athlete’s foot can transform into a full-fledged fungal infection. Yellow and discolored nails of the finger take no time to turn brittle and painful.
So, treating them effective immediately is the need of the hour. While you cannot deem a single OTC method as the best for treating nail fungus, a few medications have been known to work wonders.
Let me walk you through the Top 3 OTC Medicines for Curing Fingernail Fungal Infection in brief:
>>> This is by far the most popular OTC medication for treating nail fungal infection.
>>> No need for a prescription for the same.
>>> Apart from nail fungal infections, Clotrimazole is also used for treating ringworm infections in humans.
>>> If you are suffering from pityriasis then again, clotrimazole shall help you get rid of unwanted darkening of the skin.
>>> Basically, this OTC medicine has anti-fungal properties. It inhibits the growth of fungus.
How do I Apply Clotrimazole for Treating Fingernail Fungus Infection?
>>> The first step is to disinfect the affected nail. Clean it with a piece of cotton dipped in mild antiseptic solution.
>>> You need to then apply a small portion of the cream onto the infected nail. Spread it around the nail bed and the adjoining skin as well.
>>> Do not cover it with a bandage. Simply allow it to remain the same way. Avoid washing the area with water.
>>> The application should be twice a day. Once in the morning and once before sleeping (at night).
>>> You need to avoid applying this medicine onto your nostril or private parts. If the ointment gets into your eye then, wash your eye with plenty of water.
Word of Caution:
>>> The application procedure may last in between 1 month to well over 1 year.
>>> It is advisable to discontinue using clotrimazole if you develop a skin rash. Usually, this does not happen.
>>> In case you are in doubt then, apply this medicine only after consulting a qualified medical representative.
FAQs on Clotrimazol Medicine for Treating Nailfungus Infection
Q-1: What is the Main Purpose of using Clotrimazole?
A-1: As I have mentioned above, this medicine is used for treating skin infections of all sorts. This includes fungal infection, ringworm infection and external thrush. Clotrimazole is also used for treating nappy rash in babies. Basically, you use otc medicines to treat nail fungus infections at home.
Q-2: Which Category of Fungi does Clotrimazole Target?
A-2: The Trichophyton category of fungi is what is targeted by Clotrimazole. This fungi causes candida and fungal infection in the fingernail or toenail.
Trichophyton also infects the folds of the skin located in between the butt and the gentile area. So, if you suffer from fungal infection in these areas (or suffer from ringworm) then, clotrimazole shall get the job done.
Q-3: Can I Give Clotrimazole to My 8 Year Old Child for Treating his Nail Fungal Infection?
A-3: Yes, it is safe to apply clotrimazole to a child as well. The only issue here is that you need to watch out for any side effects. In case your child complains of itching or his skin breaks into an unwanted rash then, avoid using this medicine.
Usually, such side effects have not been noticed on minors. Nonetheless, just to be on the safe side, you should consult a medical representative before administering clotrimazole to your child.
Q-4: What is the Ideal Application Duration of Clotrimazole?
A-4: It could range in between a month to a few months. Ideally, consult a doctor before applying it for treating nail fungus infections. For minor infections, 1 month is sufficient.
For example, ringworm infections can be treated within a fortnight. Nail fungal infections may take longer to treat. It all depends on the severity of the infection.
You should however complete the dosage (as directed by the doctor) despite the infection seemingly cured. It is also a good idea to not exceed the prescribed application tenure.
Q-5: What are the Precautions I need to take when Applying Clotrimazol to Speed up my Nail Fungus Treatment?
Q-5: You need to apply this OTC fungal medicine twice daily. Make sure that you clean the affected area with a mild disinfectant. Keep it dry and clean.
Make use of clean towels and slippers. Avoid sharing these. Do not use common areas such as sauna or the swimming pool. Avoid rubbing the infected area if you feel there is an itch.
Including the above mentioned points in your daily routine should help speed up your overall healing process.
>>> This is an anti-fungal medication that does not require a doctor’s prescription.
>>> Tolnaftate is ideally used to treat nail fungal infections in human beings. It is also used for treating ringworm infections.
>>> If you suffer from athlete’s foot or jock’s itch then again, this medication is helpful.
>>> Tolnaftate helps in getting rid of fungus. It stops the growth of fungus in and around the body of the concerned individual.
How do I Apply Tolnaftate for Treating Fingernail Fungus Infection?
>>> You need to first clean the infected area via a mild anti-septic solution.
>>> Allow the area to dry before applying Tolnaftate.
>>> You need to shake the topical ointment before applying it gingerly onto the infected nail or skin.
>>> The application procedure is usually performed once in the morning and once before you sleep at night.
>>> You need to always wash your hands with medicated soap and water before applying Tolnaftate.
Word of Caution:
>>> You should try and avoid applying Tolnaftate more than twice daily.
>>> If you have any reservations for the same then, get your doubts clarified via a trained medical representative.
>>> You should not enclose the nail with fungal infection with a bandage. Allow it to remain open so that the affected area can breathe freely.
>>> Tolnaftate should never be applied in the vagina. It should not be placed within the mouth or the nostril.
FAQs on Tolnaftate Medicine for Treating Nailfungus Infection
Q-1: Can Tolnaftate used for Treating Nail Fungus Infections Cause Itching?
A-1: It is quite possible that you might suffer from redness in the affected area or slight inflammation. It is very rare that Tolnaftate may cause itching or a rash.
Nonetheless, in some individuals, this may be a side-effect. In rarest of rare cases, it has been noticed that the tongue and throat of the concerned person may get swollen.
Some individuals may also experience faintness or have a tough time breathing normally. Nonetheless, not many people have been known to suffer from such issues.
Q-2: What are the Precautions that I need to take while consuming Tolnaftate for Toenail Fungus Treatment?
A-2: While Tolnaftate is safe for application, there may be risks attached to its usage if you have past medical history. The biggest fear is allergies of various types.
If you suffer from allergies then, you need to consult these with your doctor. If you suffer from diabetes then again, consult a doctor before taking this medication for treating nail fungal infection.
Finally, if you are suffering from an autoimmune disease then again, consulting a medical representative is vital before applying Tolnaftate. If you are breastfeeding then again, it is wise to consult a health professional before taking Tolnaftate.
Q-3: What Should be the Dosage Precautions while taking Tolnaftate for Treating Nail Fungus Infections?
A-3: Well, you should always clean the affected area with an antiseptic solution before applying Tolnaftate. Moreover, avoid eating this medicine. If you do so accidentally then, it may lead to poisoning.
While storing the medicine, make sure it is away from sunlight. Also, if you feel faintness after accidentally consuming Tolnaftate then, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Q-4: In What Forms is Tolnaftate Available?
A-4: You can avail this medication in the form of a topical ointment. Tolnaftate is also available in the form of a powder. You can also get it in the form of a liquid.
Nowadays, Tolnaftate is also purchased in the form of a spray. So, choose a form (of this medicine) that is best suited for your needs.
Q-5: How does Tolnaftate work to Stop Nail Fungus from Spreading?
A-5: The basic feature of Tolnaftate is to stop the production of squalene epoxidase enzyme. Once this happens, your nail fungus does not get the nutrition that it needs to flourish. When its feed is sapped, the fungus automatically dies.
>>> This is an acid that contains fat. This fat helps in reducing the growth of fungi.
>>> Jock’s foot and nail fungus infection is best treated by Undecylenic acid.
>>> If you have fungal infection in your scalp then, Undecylenic acid is an ideal OTC treatment method.
>>> Nail fungus as well as athlete’s foot is cured effectively via this medication.
How do I Apply Undecylenic Acid for Treating Fingernail Fungus Infection?
>>> The affected skin should be thoroughly cleaned. Use a mild disinfectant for the same.
>>> After the area is clean, simply apply Undecylenic acid onto the infected toenail and skin.
>>> The application should be sufficient to cover the infected skin and nail.
>>> The fungus infection should never be wrapped in a bandage. Leave the area open so that air can pass and the area may remain dry.
Word of Caution:
>>> You should avoid applying Undecylenic acid onto your private parts (especially the vagina).
>>> Swallowing this anti-fungal medicine is not advisable. If you do so accidentally then, it is best to visit a doctor.
>>> If Undecylenic acid gets into your eye then, wash it off with plenty of water.
>>> In case, Undecylenic acid gets into your nasal cavity then, blow your nose effective immediately.
FAQs on Undecylenic Acid for Treating Nail Fungus Infection
Q-1: Can I Suffer from Skin Infection after Applying Undecylenic acid?
A-1: Not really because Undecylenic acid is used for treating skin fungal infections. Nonetheless, it is quite possible that some people (this is a rare case) may suffer from rashes or itchiness in the affected area (post the application of this medication).
Q-2: Can I Suffer from Allergic Reaction when I use Undecylenic acid for Curing my Nail Fungal Infection?
A-2: In most cases, this medicine does not lead to any allergic reaction. Nonetheless, if you have a prior history of allergic reactions then, Undecylenic acid may aggravate this condition.
For example, people who suffer from itching, swelling or breathing issues may experience severity in these conditions post applying Undecylenic acid.
Inflammation in the tongue and throat has also been reported in people with prior allergy issues.
Q-3: Is there any Precaution that I need to take before using Undecylenic Acid?
A-3: The only issue that may crop up after using Undecylenic acid is allergic reactions. This condition is prevalent in individuals who have prior history of allergy issues.
Moreover, if you have a small child and you are breastfeeding the baby then, consult your doctor before administering Undecylenic acid (for treating your nail fungus infection).
Q-4: What should I do if I Accidentally Swallow Undecylenic acid?
A-4: Usually, a small amount of Undecylenic acid is consumed then, nothing happens. If (on the other hand) you have consumed a high amount of Undecylenic acid then, watch out for the aftereffects.
If you feel out of breath or have difficulty breathing then, rush to the nearest hospital. If you feel as though you shall faint then again, you need to have someone take you to the nearest hospital.
Q-5: What can I use in Combination with Undecylenic Acid to Treat Toenail and Fingernail Fungus Infection?
A-5: Undecylenic acid tends to stop the growth of fungus by stopping its nutrients. So, when the fungus dies, your nail fungal infection is treated.
Along with Undecylenic acid apply tea tree oil to soothe the skin surrounding the infected nail. If you do not have access to tea tree oil then, you may replace it with lavender oil instead.
What is the Best Over the Counter Toenail Fungus Treatment?
Nails of the toe that have turned yellow and started to flake need to be looked after. Brittle nails that tend to dig into the skin too are an indicator that you suffer from toenail fungus infection.
With almost 41 million people in America alone suffering from toenail fungus, an effective treatment methodology is the need of the hour.
OTC medication for treating toenail fungus is widely popular. You can buy these medicines at the local drug store without the need of a doctor’s prescription.
Here is a list of the best OTC medicines for Curing Toenail Fungus Infection:
>>> This toenail fungus OTC medicine is also known as Terbinafine.
>>> You can make use of Terbinafine in various forms. The most common is tablet. Others include spray, gel, powder and ointment.
>>> A single pill of Terbinafine is what you need to take daily. Avoid overdosing this medicine (especially if you are taking it in the form of a pill).
>>> This is an anti-fungal drug that puts an end to fungal infections of the nails.
>>> Fungal infections in the groin and buttock area are also treated via this medicine.
>>> If you suffer from ringworm infection then again, Terbinafine is an ideal treatment for the same.
How do I Take Lamisil/Terbinafine for Treating Fingernail Fungus Infection?
>>> If you choose to go with the granular form of Lamisil then, take it after food. Drink some water to flush the powder down the throat. You may even take it without water (mix it in a spoonful of curry and drink it).
>>> In case you opt for the tablet then, water is mandatory. While it is not mandatory but drinking it with some water is suggested.
>>> If you suffer from toenail fungus infection then, take 1 tablet of Terbinafine per day. The duration of this treatment is 12 weeks.
>>> If you have taken Terbinafine granules then, you should first mix these in some food. An ideal way is to mix these granules in non-spicy food gravy.
>>> While applying Terbinafine spray or gel, you should first clean the infected area with an antiseptic solution.
>>> Do not cover the infected nail after applying the Terbinafine gel. Allow it to remain open to avoid sweat development.
Word of Caution:
>>> If you suffer from human immunodeficiency virus then, consult a doctor before taking Terbinafine.
>>> Avoid this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult a medical representative if you really have to take Terbinafine.
>>> Patients with liver ailments need to avoid taking Terbinafine. If you still have to use this medicine (owing to the severity of your toenail fungus infection) then, first consult a doctor.
>>> Terbinafine makes your skin sensitive to direct sunlight. So, while stepping out under the sun, wear protective clothing. Apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses to avoid prolonged sun exposure.
FAQs on Taking Terbinafine to Treat Toenail Fungus Infection
Q-1: I Suffer from Lupus and Kidney Disease. Can I Take Terbinafine to Treat my Toenail Fungus Infection?
A-1: Ideally, you should avoid taking Terbinafine if you have a weak immune system. Moreover, patients with kidney ailments should consult a doctor before taking this medicine.
Q-2: How do I Compensate for a Missed Dose of Terbinafine?
A-2: Whenever you skip a dose, you need not to worry. You can take the dose when you remember. Maintain a timetable for the same so as to ensure that you are able to remember the timings of the medicine. The minimum time required between two doses is 4 hours.
Q-3: Can Terbinafine that I’m Currently using to Treat Toenail Fungus Lead to any Side Effects?
A-3: Yes, there could be a myriad of side effects that are linked with the consumption of Terbinafine. These are mild in nature and usually disappear in a few days.
They include dizziness, tiredness, changes in normal sleep pattern, indigestion, low self-worth and itching in the body.
At times, severe side effects may be felt by an individual.
These include, bruises, blood in the urine, skin starts to shred, pale colored stool, inability to swallow food normally and fever backed with sore throat.
Q-4: Why do I Feel No Taste in the Food I Eat after Consuming Terbinafine?
A-4: Well, Terbinafine tends to cause lack of taste and smell. As it alters the brain chemistry, Terbinafine tends to decrease your appetite. You also feel depressed and may suffer from anxiety. Your ability to smell the food also deteriorates.
Q-5: What Precautions should I Take in order to Store Terbinafine?
A-5: You need to store this medicine in a cool and dry place. Terbinafine should be placed away from sunlight. An airtight container is best suggested for storing this medicine.
Make sure that you avoid keeping Terbinafine within the reach of kids or household pets. Make sure that you are not consuming pills that have been accidently dropped onto the floor.
LeanAndFit Reviewer’s Top 5 Picks (OTC Medicines) to Cure Nail Fungus Infection?
Onychomycosis is fairly common in men, women and even kids. In order to prevent your life from getting jeopardized, you need to try and get it back on track. This can be done by removing the fungal infection from the root.
This can be done by either visiting a doctor or by opting for otc medications. Doctors may be expensive for some and also time consuming. So, nail fungus treatment OTC is an ideal solution to get rid of Onychomycosis.
Here are my top 5 OTC picks for treating Onychomycosis:
South American Tea:
Popularly known as Pau D’Arco, this is a South American tea that is known for its medicinal properties. It is rich in Vitamin K, naphthoquinone and beta-lapachone.
This tea is native to the South American rain forests. The bark of this tree is known to have anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. This medicinal tea is a great OTC medicine for treating fungal infections of the nails.
If you suffer from nail fungal infections then, simply boil the Pau D’Arco tea in some water. After the water is cool, place your infected feet within the water. Twenty minutes later, you can remove your feet and pat dry with a clean towel.
Ciclopirox with Urea Paste:
The next OTC medicine that works wonders for curing toenail as well as fingernail fungus infection is Ciclopirox. This medicine is laced with urea paste. It helps in stopping the growth of fungus.
You need to simply clip the brittle parts of the infected nail. Clean the area with a mild antiseptic. Then apply Ciclopirox onto the infected nail.
Allow it to dry for a few minutes. Thereafter, you can slip into your socks and shoes. Do not clean or wash the area for at least 6 to 8 hours after the application procedure.
You need to apply Ciclopirox once every day (when you are about to sleep at night). Every week, trim the brittle nails after removing the medicine using a mild cleanser. It usually takes 6 months of regular application for the results to start showing.
Teatree Oil, Grapeseed Oil and Olive Oil:
The next OTC for treating nail fungus infection is a concoction of three essential oils. These include tea tree oil, olive oil and grapeseed oil.
Mix a teaspoon of tea-tree oil with half a teaspoon of olive oil and grapeseed oil. Place this solution onto a cotton swab and after cleaning the infected nail, apply it evenly.
The application needs to be done once during the day and once during the night. Do so for a couple of months and you shall definitely see dramatic improvement in your nail health.
Vinegar and Baking Soda:
Apple cider vinegar has immense anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. When apple cider vinegar is clubbed with baking soda then, the fungi stops reproducing.
When that happens, your nail fungal infections stops dead in its tracks. The acid within the apple cider vinegar maintains normal Ph levels of your skin. So, it works to kill fungi without disrupting your skin-tone in any which way.
You need to simply mix 240 ml of apple cider vinegar with 1/4th cup of baking soda. Mix 1 liter of warm water to this mixture. Soak your fingernails or foot in this liquid for 20 minutes. Pat dry and go to bed.
It would take a couple of months for this method to start showing results. You need to be regular with your foot bath – twice daily.
Application of coconut oil onto your infected nail can have dramatic impact on your fungal infection. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that helps kill fungi.
It contains essential fats that tend to bind with the fungi and then destroy it. So, applying natural coconut oil over your infected nail is an ideal way to remove fungal infection. Do so 2 to 4 times daily for best results.
Clean the skin and nail with a mild antiseptic solution before applying the oil. Dab a little coconut oil onto a cotton ball. Rub it onto the infected nail as well as the surrounding skin. Leave it to dry and do not allow dirt to enter the area.
The query, ‘what is the best over the counter nail fungus treatment’ has hopefully been answered. While treating nail fungus may seem tricky at first, it is not that tough an infection to tackle.
With over 1 billion individuals (in the world) suffering from nail fungus infection, a suitable treatment method is the need of the hour.
While otc medicines are preferred, not all of these are equally effective. Choose only those over the counter methods that have been proven to work. Avoid those that do not have enough research to back their claim.
Do remember that it does take 6 months to 1.5 years for the infected nail to get completely cured. While the fungi dies early, the new nail takes a year or longer to encompass the infected nail. Hence the time taken for treating a nail is rather long.