Undecylenic acid has been FDA approved as an over-the-counter treatment for nail fungus. Some of the brand names you may recognize are Cruex, Desenex, and Pedi-Pro. It is also the active ingredient in medications to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and athlete’s foot, and can relieve irritation and itching that can come with a nail fungus.The main ingredient naturally has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the area around the nail if it is irritated or damaged slightly.
How it Works
Undecylenic acid is a natural fatty acid derived from castor oil. It is a natural antifungal and it is used in many different products besides a cure for nail fungus, such as perfume, cosmetics, acne medication, and anti-dandruff shampoos. The oil is extracted from the bean and cold-pressed, which renders it odorless and tasteless. The molecule size of Undecylenic acid is small enough to penetrate the skin instead of staying on the surface, which is one reason why it is effective as an antifungal treatment.
How to Use
Treatments you can purchase at a supermarket may either take the form of powder (Desenex) or topical liquid or cream. It is usually applied twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Powder can be used anytime, as it is extremely hard to overdose on it. Avoid inhaling the powder, and wash your hands after applying the medicine to prevent accidentally ingesting it. After using Undecylenic acid products consistently, you should see some improvement within four to six weeks, when your nail begins to grow in healthy.
Users of Undecylenic acid report that consistent use and patience is key to making this treatment work – more than a few months of daily treatment is necessary to see results, and the nail should start to grow back in healthy within a few weeks. Users also report having to cut the infected nail very short so the liquid can penetrate the infected area. Some also report that it is more effective on athlete’s foot than on a nail fungus, but it varies by individual.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Desenex is an affordable option and the easiest to consistently use. It is a powder, and so naturally absorbs moisture and is easy to sprinkle in your socks and shoes if you don’t have the luxury of going around barefoot for extended periods of time. Undecylenic acid treatments come in all the forms – liquid, cream, and powder, so there is some flexibility with fitting treatment into your lifestyle.