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Are there alternative treatments for nail disorders?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If you have a nail disorder, it's best to see a dermatologist or other doctor.

One alternative treatment for nail disorders, particularly nail fungus, is tea tree oil, a natural substance with antifungal and antibacterial properties. Some small studies have shown it to be effective in treating nail fungus, but experts feel that more research is needed. Your doctor or dermatologist can tell you more about the properties, uses, and risks of tea tree oil.
Alternative treatments for nail disorders will vary upon the cause of the nail disorder. Nail disorders caused by constant rubbing of the nail, picking or biting may be alleviated by going to therapy and discovering why you bite, pick or rub at your nails.

Nail disorders caused by lack of nutrients in the body, such as low iron or vitamin D, may benefit from nutritional supplements to increase nutrients and aid healing of the disorder. Certain herbs, like tea tree oil for fungal infection or green tea for inflammation, can be applied topically or ingested in liquid form.

Acupuncture may improve the immune system and the affected nails and aid digestion. Massage may be used to increase circulation in the body, particularly to the nail. Hydrotherapy, where you alternately place your hand or foot in hot and cold baths, can increase circulation and help infection fighting blood cells reach the affected nail disorder quicker. Hydrotherapy should not be used without the supervision of your doctor. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any treatment of your nail disorder.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.