Remedies for onychomycosis of the hands and feet are quite sought after. This disorder, manifesting as white or yellowish discoloration, as well as itching and other symptoms affecting the nails, accounts for one third of fungal skin infections.
According to the report published in the Journal of Fungi , this infection is caused by dermatophyte fungi that have settled in the nail plate, which makes it difficult to treat. It is often a difficult condition to get rid of and symptoms of which tend to reappear over time. Below is all the information on the matter.
Onychomycosis: what to know
Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that affects the fingernails and toenails, although the latter to a lesser extent. It is not to be considered a serious disease, but it is a public health problem characterized by a high incidence, an inadequate response to therapy and a considerable clinical impact.
As explained by the American Academy of Dermatology, hot and humid conditions – typical of public swimming pools and changing rooms – favor the appearance of onychomycosis. This condition is also associated with lack of hygiene, sweating and closed footwear or any other situation that exposes the nails to a humid environment for an extended time. Among the symptoms stand out:
- White spots or different coloring of the nails.
- Thickening of the nails.
- Brittle nails, breaking or lifting off the finger.
- Uneven nail surface.
- Itching and bad smell (in a few cases)
Most cases are mild and are limited to the aesthetic aspect. However, when the infection becomes complicated it can cause pain and cause irreversible damage to the nail.
At the same time, the infection requires special attention in people with diabetes or with immune diseases.
It is important to ensure medical assistance in these cases, as any foot injury – including onychomycosis – can lead to serious complications due to poor immune response or circulation problems.
Remedies for onychomycosis of hands and feet: do they work?
Popular tradition has described a wide variety of remedies for nail fungus of the hands and feet, but their use is still questioned by experts. In the study published in the Journal of Fungi cited, solutions such as tee tree oil and the agerantina pichinchensis plant , with antifungal properties, are mentioned .
Other substances such as propolis and Vicks Vaporub have also given interesting effects against nail fungus in some pilot studies. The results, however, are not definitive and more evidence is needed to determine the effectiveness of these treatments.
Nonetheless, their use as a complementary treatment is acceptable, as no relevant undesirable effects have been reported in humans, suggesting that they may be safe and tolerable. As far as possible, they should be applied concurrently with medical treatment.
Pharmacological remedies in case of onychomycosis
At present, the most accepted remedies in the treatment of onychomycosis are those of the pharmacological type, although they are still the subject of studies. According to a publication in the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, these treatment options are available in topical and oral form.
Topical agents include spray formulations, such as amorolfine 5% and ciclopirox 8%. Ointments, powders and other topical formulas are usually not particularly effective because they do not penetrate easily.
At the same time, oral treatment may include griseofulvin, terbinafine, itraconazole and ketoconazole. The latter require a longer period of administration and present a greater risk of side effects, such as headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances and skin rashes.
Based on what has just been said, the dosage and timing of administration must be indicated by the professional. It must be considered that both options must be administered consistently if results are desired. Otherwise, the infection could persist and even get worse.
What else can be useful against onychomycosis of hands and feet?
Faced with a problem such as onychomycosis, it is important to consult the dermatologist to receive a diagnosis and treatment depending on the case.
Beyond that, you can apply some simple self-care measures, such as opting for breathable footwear, drying your feet well, and wearing slippers in damp places, such as swimming pools, showers and changing rooms.