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What are the Best Remedies to Cure Toenail and Fingernail

Nathan Gunn
November 10, 2022

Fungus thrives in damp, warm environments, making the nail bed the perfect home fungal infection. If the fungus establishes a stronghold under the nail, you may develop a serious infection, called onychomycosis. Toenail fungus can affect anyone, though it more frequently affects older adults, athletes, and people with diabetes. 

Other factors that can lead to toenail fungus include: athlete's foot, walking barefoot in wet public places such as swimming pools, gyms, and showers, and having minor skin or nail damage. So, which remedies can you look for to cure toenail and fingernail fungus? Let’s have a look. 

Remedies to Cure Toenail and Fingernail Fungus

There are numerous options available. Traditional prescription products are classified into two types: single-ingredient topicals and oral treatments. Single-ingredient prescription topicals are effective at treating fingernail and toenail fungus, but they are expensive and only available through a doctor. Although oral prescriptions have a higher cure rate, some have potential side effects such as liver monitoring, and lifestyle trade-offs such as no coffee or alcohol for several months.

Traditional prescription pathways

Traditional prescription products are classified into two types: single-ingredient topicals and oral treatments. 

  • Some single-ingredient, prescription topicals are only somewhat effective at treating fingernail and toenail fungus. The best of these is Jublia, with complete cure rates of about 15% after about a year of treatment (this is according to the manufacturers data listed on the package insert). As of November of 2022, Jublia was retailing at $700 on GoodRx. Another common medication is PenLAc (ciclopirox), which had a cure rate of about 9% after a year of treatment, per the drug insert.
  • Prescription oral medications have much better (but not perfect) cure rates, approaching  60–70%. They also require less treatment time - 6 weeks for fingers and 12 weeks for toenails. They do, however, necessitate lifestyle changes such abstaining from alcohol and caffeine.

Over-the-counter remedies

Over-the-counter topicals are practically countless, with pages of results on Amazon. The ones containing true fungal medications (which no longer require prescriptions) have some clinical data, which generally shows they are less effective than the prescriptions noted above. But, you won’t pay a lot.

Home, natural, and other remedies

This is the wild west of categories, with many claims and anecdotes. But, believe it or not, some may be mildly effective. That said, we make no formal recommendations on whether to try them or not…

  • Tea tree oil (TTO) does have some anti-fungal properties. In one study, it was found to be about as effective as clotrimazole 1% - which is not a lot, but more than zero.  The TTO resulted in irritation in about 8% of patients. In our experience at Caratin Rx, this is the only natural remedy that sometimes stops (but never cures) nail  fungus progression. 
  • Topical cough suppressant (e.g, many sites mention Vicks VapoRub) contains actives like camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol, and inactives such as cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil and turpentine oil. Both categories of ingredients suppress fungal growth in the lab test tube. 
  • You may also find NCR lacquer (natural coniferous resin), and AP extract (ageratina pichinchensis). Small observational studies suggest they may both have modest benefits.

Caratin Rx prescription

  • Caratin’s uses a combination of prescription antifungal medications, carefully chosen to cover all species of fungi that can infect the nail.  This is custom blended into a topical liquid that is applied nightly. You can read more about it in a separate blog, here.

Wrapping Up

If you find your nails to be discolored or thickening nails, make sure to get the right treatment at the initial stage to get rid of the fungus as soon as possible. Fungal nail infections are also contagious and have the potential to infect other nails. Whatever therapy you choose, it will take time for the nail to return to normal.

Remember, fungal nail treatment can take up to a year or more for a healthy  nail regrow. Nail fungus can be highly resistant to treatment and may also reappear after successful treatment to it is important to pick the correct treatment course..

Caratin Rx offers a prescription that is tailored to your specific situation, whether you have just noticed an irregularity in your toenail or have been dealing with fungus for a while. Read more as to why Caratin Rx’s The Topical is the best option when it comes to treating nail fungus at

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