PRODUCTS REVIEW: TOPICAL NAIL FUNGUS TREATMENT
Nail fungus is an extremely common nail disorder that results in discolored, brittle and thickened nails. In certain manifestations of the disease, the fungus resides underneath the nail plate and can cause the nail to twist off or detach if the infection reaches an advanced stage. Toenails are more often affected than fingernails due to the fact that they are more often in dark and airless environments in which fungi thrive. The nail fungus infection is spread from person to person by direct or indirect contact and incidence rates rise dramatically with age. This is in part due to a statistically increased likelihood of exposure, thickening nails, and reduced circulation to the extremities.
Although the disease is written off in some medical circles as a cosmetic disorder, the disease is progressive in nature. In severe cases the condition can be painful and movement can be impaired. Sufferers also report a loss of quality of life and embarrassment with their fungus ridden nails. Finally there is a public health consideration in terms of spreading the disease to others.
The condition can be treated with prescription oral anti fungal drugs but studies have linked these to numerous side effects, including liver damage. As a result, most doctors prescribing these drugs also recommend a series of parallel blood toxicity tests. For intractable cases, surgical removal is a possibility, but many sufferers consider this overly invasive as a procedure. There is also little guarantee that new nails that grow out will be fungus free. Recent years have also seen experimentation with laser light therapy which is thought to be able to penetrate the nail layers to reach the fungus, but more clinical trials are needed and laser therapy is still not allowable under most US medical insurance policies. So that leaves most sufferers opting to treat the disease using topical therapies that are applied externally to infected nails.
We have set out 4 of the most popular topical nail fungus treatments below. But we should stress that before deciding on a particular treatment, it makes sense to consult with a qualified doctor. There may be specific issues associated with your infection that warrant special consideration.
Mycocide NS – Based on the active ingredient Benzalkonium Chloride, this product is applied with a special drop-tip applicator. The manufactures claim that, unlike the applicator brushes used in most topical treatments, the drop-tip method helps prevent re-infection. The formulation also contains Allantoin which helps to promote healing.
Fungicure antifungal liquid – A colorless, clear formula containing Undecylenic acid, a known anti fungal agent, as its active ingredient. Fungicure needs to be applied twice daily (once in the evening and once in the morning) under the nail tip and around the nail edges. The treatment will work most effectively in mild cases of fungal infection.
Zetaclear nail relief – This is one of the best known topical treatments for nail fungus. The products contains Undecylenic acid blended with a number of essential oils with known antimicrobial qualities such as Jojoba oil, Lavender oil and Clove oil. The product is sold with a 30 day guarantee. It makes sense to remove any thickened surface layers of nail before each application.
Loceryl nail lacquer- Although not promoted in US markets, a key benefit of Loceryl is its weekly application. Many suffers find this easier than sticking to a twice daily routine. The product contains Amorolfine which is a prescription strength antifungal agent. US suffers can purchase Loceryl online.