What is Toenail Fungus and How to Recognize It?
Toenail fungus is an infection, very embarrassing an often a very painful one. The other name for toenail fungus is onychomycosis. There are two main fungi that affect the skin: Dermatophytes and Candida. Although both types can affect the nails, Dermatophytes are more frequently related to the toenails. Toenail fungus infection is characterized by a yellowish discoloration of the nail plate along with crumbling and thickening of the nail. If left untreated, fungus infection can become very dangerous as well. Toenails develop fungus infections more often than fingernails due to the fact that shoes and socks provide a favorable condition for fungus to grow and survive. Infection comes when a fungus infects one or more of toenails which usually occurs when there has been an injury to the nail, such a split or a crack. It can begin as a white or yellow spot beneath the tip of a toenail. If left uncured, it can spread deeper in the nail and extend to other nails as well. It may cause the nails to thicken, discolor and develop crumbling edges, but toenail fungus is not just an aesthetic issue. An unpleasant smell joined with pain in the nail area are usually very clear nail fungus symptoms. It may be very difficult to treat nail fungus – sometimes it can take months before toenail fungus infection is totally cured and it often may recur. But different medications are available to help clear up nail fungus.
What Causes the Toenail Fungus?
This infection comes when a fungus infects one or more of toenails and it typically develops on nails that are frequently exposed to warm and moist environments, such as shower floors, pool area or sweaty shoes. Nail fungus should be differentiated from the athlete’s foot infection, which primarily affects the skin of the feet. However, these two infections may coexist and can be caused by the same type of fungus.
Treating Toenail Fungus with Vicks Vapor Rub and Listerine®
One way of treating toenail fungus is Vicks® VapoRub®. Vicks Vapor Rub has become a very popular home remedy for this infection in recent years despite the fact that it was not formulated as a nail fungus medication. There is a great number of people that claim Vicks Vapor Rub or Listerine® have cured their nail fungus, but there are lots of others who tried it without success. The problem with this infection is that it’s considered a chronic problem and curing is not simple end fast. Most of the products for treating nail fungus, including the prescribed medication all have varying degrees of success depending on the type of fungal infection.
Listerine® was invented as a surgical antiseptic and disinfectant and has been used as a treatment for gonorrhea. In the 1970s it became widely known as a mouthwash. Listerine® contains some herbal ingredients like menthol, thymol, eucalyptol and methyl salicylate that may have anti-fungal effect. Treating nail fungus with Listerine® is completely safe, although it hasn’t been tested as a toenail fungus cure in an official research environment which would proof its therapeutic effect. The only side effect of using Listerine® is aesthetic – due to the green color of this mouthwash, the feet can temporarily turn green, but the color disappears quickly.
What Does Research Say?
Michigan State University clinicians found that using the of the other medication that has exactly the same ingredients as Vicks Vapor Rub on daily basis on the infected nails cleared the condition in 32 out of 85 patients, and that it has the best results if it’s used for approximately 5 to 16 months. While the study had well-known imperfections, it still indicates that Vapor Rub’s effectiveness may at any rate challenge some more expensive nail fungus medications. Oral antifungal drugs maybe are more efficient, but they can get serious unwanted side effects such as kidney and liver damage.
Vicks Vapor Rub Ingredients
The active components of this home remedy that have the anti-fungal effect are thymol, eucalyptus oil and perhaps camphor in smaller part. It is believed that he petrolatum and turpentine oil in Vicks Vapor Rub have the ability to transmit the anti-fungal ingredients to the nail bed.
Home Remedy with Vicks Vapor Rub – How to Apply It?
For the best results, Vicks Vapor Rub must cover the whole nails and it shouldn’t be rubbed off. Some of the product is usually rubbed off when wearing socks and shoes. Also, the concentration of anti-fungal ingredients may not be enough to kill all of the fungus. If only some or most of the fungus is killed, then it just a matter of time that the fungus will continue to grow and spread throughout the nails of the other toes.
Place a small amount of Vicks Vapor Rub on the top on your finger and massage it on the suffering nail. You should apply it twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. It is important to be persistent because your toenail fungus wouldn’t disappear overnight. After a few days the nail should start to dark in color, which is a sign that Vicks Vapor Rub is killing the fungus. As the new toenail grows out you will cut the infected one. The most important is to protect the newly grown healthy toenail from becoming infected with the fungus.
Is It Hazardous?
Use of Camhor, Thymol, Menthol, Petrolatum and Eucalyptus oil, which are ingredients of Vicks Vapor Rub can, in some cases, weaken nails and harm your nail beds, so it is important to use it properly.
This and similar remedies cannot be recommended by doctors and other medical professionals and researchers simply because they haven’t gone through the rigorous research required to confirm their claims of effectiveness and safety. Although Vicks Vapor Rub does have some of the essential components of a successful remedy, take into account that it was not created as a nail fungus treatment.