Hydrogen Peroxide Treatment for Nail Fungus
Onychomycosis or fungal infections are common on both
fingernails and toenails. These infections are caused by a group of
fungus known as dermatophytes. These dermatophytes would enter the back of
the nail and would start destroying the keratin layer of the infected
nail. Because the nail serves as a barrier, it is hard to reach the fungi
for treatment. A nail that is infected with onychomycosis or nail fungus
would show symptoms such as dullness and yellowing of the nails. Although
not a serious disease, nail fungus infections should not be ignored since
it can be contagious. Treatment should be administered as soon as the
symptoms appear so that the spread of the infection can be prohibited.
Nail fungus can be treated by using oral anti-fungal drugs or by using
topical treatments. One topical treatment that is known to be effective in
removing nail fungus is hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a liquid
chemical compound having characteristics of a weak acid. It is more
viscous than water and has strong oxidizing properties. Besides being a
good disinfectant and oxidizing agent, hydrogen peroxide is also used as a
powerful bleaching agent. Like bleach, hydrogen peroxide is also effective
in eradicating the nails of the fungi that is infecting them. The
oxidative property of hydrogen peroxide breaks down the cells of the fungi
causing it to die.
The treatment of nail fungus with hydrogen peroxide
is called oxidative therapy. The commonly used topical treatment for nail
fungus is the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution which can easily be purchased
over the counter at local supermarkets or drug stores. A higher
concentration than 3% is known to cause skin irritation.
In treating nail fungus, it is important to cut the nail
short first so that it would be easier for the hydrogen peroxide to reach
the fungi hiding underneath the nail. It is best to saturate a cotton ball
with hydrogen peroxide and then applying it directly on the infected area
then letting it dry. To ensure best results, these steps should be
repeated daily for several weeks until nail is again healthy.
Like any other treatment, the use of hydrogen peroxide
would not be effective unless it is performed religiously. Once the nail
is restored to its healthy state, it is important to keep them dry always
in order to prevent further fungal infections.