We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Choose the Best over-The-Counter Nail Fungus Treatment?

Nicole Madison
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Usually, the best over-the-counter nail fungus treatments contain antifungal ingredients and come in nail lacquer form. You may also get results from over-the-counter remedies that contain herbal treatments, such as tea tree oil. Some people also report that topical ointments that contain camphor may help. Unfortunately, however, many over-the-counter nail fungus treatments fail to get rid of nail fungus completely, so a person may get better results from prescription medication.

Among the best over-the-counter nail fungus treatments are antifungal nail lacquers that can be painted directly on the affected nail. Usually, you use this type of treatment by painting it on the affected nail every day until a new nail grows in that is free of the fungus. Most over-the-counter nail fungus treatments of this type also include instructions for painting a little of the lacquer on the skin immediately surrounding the affected nails. This may help prevent the spread of the fungus.

Many people also assert that they see results when they treat nail fungus with over-the-counter concoctions that contain tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is an herbal remedy that is said to have virus-, bacteria-, and fungus-fighting capabilities. It is derived from the tea tree plant and has long been used in alternative medicine. If you prefer a natural remedy to a drug treatment, you may buy tea tree oil and drip or paint it on the affected nails. Alternatively, you may use an over-the-counter nail fungus treatment that contains tea tree oil as one of its ingredient rather than using tea tree oil alone.

Though it is not intended for this purpose, some people find that topical ointments that contain camphor are helpful for treating nail infections. If you opt to try this, you may apply it liberally to clean, dry nails right before you go to bed at night. Then you may cover your hands with gloves that provide good airflow and absorb moisture, or if the fungus is on your toenails, you can cover your feet with white cotton socks. Some people also rub the ointment on their feet and hands for a softening effect.

While over-the-counter nail fungus treatments are usually safe, you cannot predict how your body will react to them. As such, you may do well to seek a medical professional’s advice before using over-the-counter treatments and home remedies. Additionally, you may protect your skin and overall health by discontinuing the use of these treatments if you develop irritation or side effects.

It is important to note that while there are over-the-counter nail fungus treatments, they often prove ineffective. Even those that seem to improve a case of nail fungus often fail to get rid of it completely. Instead, you may get better results by seeing your doctor for an evaluation of your nail condition and requesting a prescription treatment.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By Raynbow — On Aug 30, 2014

I like to use pure tea tree oil on mild nail fungus. I apply it at night before bedtime to give it time to work. It seems to help keep minor fungal infections from spreading, however a stronger medication is probably needed for more serious nail fungus issues.

By Spotiche5 — On Aug 29, 2014

@rundocuri- I have been through the same thing trying to treat my nail fungus, and I have found that if the issue hasn't resolved itself after 3 rounds of treatment, it's time to see the doctor.

Red, flaky, irritated areas around the nail, discoloration of the nail, and a nail that looks as if it is peeling or lifting off the finger or toe are all signs that the fungus is not going away. If over-the-counter treatments do not correct these problems after using them for a while, a prescription medication from your doctor should do the trick.

By Rundocuri — On Aug 28, 2014

Sometimes it is hard to tell if an over-the-counter nail fungus treatment is working. Often they seem to improve the symptoms of nail fungus, but they return when you stop using them. It makes it confusing to know when to stop using them, and when to see your doctor for treatment. Has anyone else had this experience when treating nail fungus?

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like...
Read more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.