Posted on by Catherine Omondi

Dealing with nail fungus can be stressful. It’s not just about how it looks, though that’s definitely part of it. It’s also about the discomfort, itchiness, and the worry that it might spread. Fortunately, there are solutions in the form of OTC nail fungus treatments

However, we know that some people may have reservations about using non-prescription medication for something as serious as nail fungus. It’s natural to have questions and concerns. In this article, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of OTC nail fungus treatments, addressing some common questions and concerns you might have. Keep reading to get the necessary answers to make informed decisions about nail fungus medications.

Question 1: What causes nail fungus?

Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a nail infection caused by a type of fungus called dermatophytes. These fungi love warm, moist places, so they make themselves at home in your nails. They are commonly found in warm and damp areas like locker rooms, swimming pools, and showers. There are also risk factors that make you more susceptible to nail fungus. They include wearing tight shoes, having sweaty feet, or even getting older.

Question 2: How do nail fungus treatments work?

OTC nail fungus treatments come in the form of creams, ointments, solutions, and nail polishes. They contain special ingredients that either kill the fungus or put the brakes on its growth, giving your nails a chance to bounce back. You apply the treatment to your nails, and it penetrates the nail’s layers to reach the fungus lurking beneath. 

Question 3: Are OTC treatments effective?

It’s understandable to be skeptical and hesitate to trust something not prescribed by a doctor. However, you don’t need to worry, as non-prescription treatments are the real deal when tackling nail fungus, especially for mild to moderate cases. Stick to the instructions and stay consistent with your treatment. You’ll start to see progress in just a few weeks. However, for severe cases of nail fungus, you may have to get medical intervention and a stronger prescription.

Question 4: What are the common ingredients in OTC nail fungus treatments?

Let’s peek under the hood and see what makes these OTC nail fungus treatments tick. Firstly, we’ve got clotrimazole, miconazole, terbinafine, tolnaftate, and Undecyclenic acid. These ingredients have antifungal properties that kick nail fungus to the curb. The Herbiar nail fungus treatment solution contains Undecylenic acid, which stops the fungus dead in its tracks. Our product also contains natural ingredients like tea tree oil and vitamins. These ingredients team up with Undecyclenic acid to create a powerhouse formula that’s tough on fungus but gentle on your toes. How do these ingredients work on nail fungus? By disrupting its growth and making it impossible for it to survive. 

Question 5: Are there any side effects?

Side effects depend on the ingredients in the treatment. But the good news is, any side effects you might experience are likely mild and temporary. This can include skin irritation, redness, itching, or burning at the application site. However, there are a few tricks and tips to minimize side effects. Firstly, ensure you apply the treatment as directed. If you’re using it on your feet, wash and dry them beforehand.

If you are experiencing severe or persistent side effects, stop using the treatment immediately and call your doctor for an alternative treatment option.

Question 6: How long does it take to see results?

Seeing results can vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the infection. Some people start noticing a difference in a few weeks. For others, it might take a few months.

However, please note that the only way to see results is to stick to the treatment plan. Follow the treatment instructions and be consistent. Patience is crucial here. Don’t get discouraged if the results aren’t instant. Keep at it, stay consistent, and before you know it, you’ll wave goodbye to fungus and say hello to healthier nails.

Question 7: Can OTC treatments prevent nail fungus?

While these treatments are great at tackling existing nail fungus, they don’t do double duty and prevent them from showing up. Fortunately, there are other things you can do to prevent nail fungus. Practice good foot hygiene, keep your nails clean and trimmed, and wear breathable footwear. Additionally, don’t walk barefoot in public places.

Question 8: Can you use non-prescription nail fungus treatments when pregnant or breastfeeding?

When it comes to certain ingredients, there can be some safety concerns, especially when pregnant or breastfeeding. This is why it’s crucial to chat with your doctor about any medications you take while pregnant or breastfeeding, even if they are topical treatments. Your doctor will help you choose nail fungus treatments that are safe for you and your child.

Question 9: When should I see a doctor?

If you’ve been dutifully applying OTC nail fungus for weeks or months but feel like your infection is worsening, it might be time to pick up the phone and call your doctor. The doctor can give you alternatives that might help. Additionally, if you are dealing with severe nail fungus that’s causing pain and discomfort, call your doctor. OTC treatments might not be enough in such cases, and your doctor will recommend heavy-duty solutions.

Question 10: Should I make any lifestyle changes while using non-prescription nail fungus treatments?

Firstly, ensure you keep your feet clean and dry at all times while using these nail fungus treatments. Secondly, don’t share nail care tools. Borrowing a nail file from a friend might seem innocent, but this can spread the fungus. Finally, wear shoes that let your feet breathe. These lifestyle changes can complement your OTC treatment and help you keep the nail fungus at bay.


Knowing the ins and outs of OTC toenail fungus treatments helps you make informed decisions about your treatment journey. Whether you’re wondering about ingredients, side effects, or when to call it quits and see a doctor, knowledge is power. So, next time you find yourself grappling with nail fungus, arm yourself with the answers you need to make the right choices. With a little know-how and a lot of determination, you’ll get rid of the nail fungus and enjoy healthier nails. If you feel stuck or unsure, don’t hesitate to call a healthcare professional to give you more information about nail fungus and its treatments.