You probably know it already:
A less common variety of nail fungus is called White Superficial Onychomycosis —
in which the infected nail turns white rather than brown or yellow.
But what are the white toenail fungus treatment approaches by doctors, and the other treatment options that allow you to get rid of nail fungal infection at home?
How to prevent recurrence of nail infection?
White Superficial Onychomycosis: Causes and Symptoms
Onychomycosis is a nail fungal infection that is also known as tinea unguium.
WSO can affect toenails and fingernails, and it accounts for about 10% of onychomycosis cases. This is a form of nail fungus infection in which the superficial layers of nail plate are affected, normally start with a few small white dots on the nails as first sign of the infection.
When left untreated:
- White toenail fungus may progress at varying speed, with these powdery patches can affect the entire nail plate and cause the nail to become soft, flaky, crumbly, and rough – says Medscape. Toenails may then become thick and brittle.
- Other symptoms include a chalky appearance of any part of the nail and flaking off as the nail degrades and dies. A lot of the of the time, there is no pain or discomfort noticed, and even the physical symptoms of the nail don’t always show up until it is quite advanced.
Dr. Richard Jacoby elaborates more on the other causes of Onychomycosis in this brief video:
It is important to know that nail fungus infection is contagious, with White Superficial Onychomycosis can impact you from simply coming into contract with the fugnus that find a home in toenail and stay there. So you can get it and spread it just like any other one out there.
Once infected with white superficial onychomycosis, it is hard to get rid of it without treatment.
White Onychomycosis Medical Treatment by Doctors
It’s important that you see a podiatrist as soon as you notice anything off about your toenail, because the earlier it’s identified, the faster you’ll be able to take care of it, giving you the quality of life that you are going to be looking for.
Remember that left untreated, White Superficial Onychomycosis can impact your life in terms of your social comfort (especially if you enjoy wearing open-toed shoes), while the contagious nail fungal infection can spread as well.
Nail fungus treatment by medical doctors and dermatologist include:
1. Surgical Procedure or Laser Treatment
For instance, as elaborated by foot specialist Marz Hardy in the video below –
the laser treatment at Academy Foot & Orthotic Clinics requires 5 visits spaced one month apart to remove nail with fungal infection, and it’ll take up to 9 months for the whole healthy toenail to grow out.
So you have to be patient to see the full result of this treatment, while insurance do not cover such medical cost as nail fungus removal is considered “cosmetic procedure”.
2. Oral Antifungal Drugs
Oral pills for nail fungus treatment include Terbinafine (Lamisil), Itraconazole (Sporanox), and fluconazole (Diflucan) – as shown in video below. These medications are intended to help new nail grows free of infection and then slowly replacing the infected part.
A major drawback is that such oral drugs can cause liver toxicity, says the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The other side effects of oral antifungal pills include headache, skin rash or serious skin reactions, and gastrointestinal disturbance like diarrhea.
3. Prescription Topical Antifungal Agent
Doctor may prescribe topical medication to treat fungal infections of toenails and fingernails, by stopping the growth of nail fungus.
One of these antifungal drugs is Ciclopirox, with brand name of Loprox or Penlac. According to WebMD:
“It is used as part of a treatment program that includes the removal of unattached, infected nails by a health care professional as frequently as once a month.”
White Toenail Fungus: Home Treatment Options
If you are considering white superficial onychomycosis home treatment options, here are some tips to help you do just that:
4. Over The Counter Topical Nail Fungus Solution
You may look for over the counter product that contains natural organic compound called Undecylenic acid, which is an antifungal active ingredient approved by the US FDA.
Undecylenic acid has long been applied in traditional medicine field for its antiviral and antifungal property, while the efficacy of this natural fatty acid in treating nail fungal infection is supported by various medical studies –
as published by the University of New Mexico and The American Academy of Family Physicians.
A leading topical nail fungus treatment solution in the market is EmoniNail, which is formulated with Undecylenic Acid as its key active ingredient.
The other natural ingredients in EmoniNail with clinically-proven antifungal properties include essential oils like tea tree oil, sunflower seed oil, etc.
>> Check out comprehensive EmoniNail product review
5. Home Remedies for Fungal Infections on Nails
Beside over the counter options, there are some white superficial onychomycosis home remedies that people have tried.
One method is to immerse infected nails into warm water mixed with baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
The application instructions in the video below gives an example of how ACV and baking soda footbath is used as nail fungus home remedy, with the following ingredients:
Warm water (6 cups), baking soda (7 tablespoons), apple cider vinegar (1/2 cup).
Prevention of (Recurring) White Toenail Fungus
White Superficial Onychomycosis does not have to be a permanent infection for your toe and its health, but you will have to have it looked at by a professional or find a remedy that works for you.
If you are looking for home treatment approach, then natural undecylenic acid and essential oil topical application is going to help you out the most and will give you the best results.
Upon successful treatment, it’s important to prevent recurring white toenail fungus from coming back, as prevention is always better than to cure.
You’ll be able to give yourself a better chance of not getting toenail fungus in the first place by following these tips:
- Wear shoes that are made of breathable material, for better air circulation around feet.
- Treat your shoes with antifungal powders / spray or sterilize with UV shoe sanitizer.
- Rotate footwear daily, allow them to air out between wearing.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public facilities with moist environment where fungus thrives.
- Wash feet daily, keep your feet clean and dry.
- Clip your toenails regularly, keep them short and trimmed straight across.
- Visual inspect nails regularly. The earlier you spot fungal infection, the easier it is to treat.