Fungal nail treatment is used to clear up fungal
infections affecting the nails. Treatment may involve using a topical
medication, taking an oral medication, or undergoing surgery. Fungal
toenails are thick, and are crumbly at the tip, and are often yellow or
brown. Clear nails with a reddish-black discoloration is a sign of
bleeding under the toenails and usually does not need treatment.
Reasons for fungal nail treatment
Fungal nail treatment is important in order to:
Get rid of the fungal infection.
Prevent the infection from spreading to other nails.
Reclaim clear, healthy nails.
How fungal nail treatment is administered
Fungal nail treatment may involve topical medications, oral medications, surgery, or a combination of these.
Over-the-counter and prescription topical medications
usually need to be applied to the affected nails once or twice a day
for at least 1 year. It is important to keep using the topical solution
until the infection has cleared completely to keep it from coming back.
Don't expect more than mild results unless your condition is very
superficial and very slight.
As the mainstay of fungal toenail treatment, your
doctor may prescribe an oral medication to be taken once a day for three
months. This treatment is extremely effective but not 100%, and there
is a rare but serious side effects of liver damage, so we always order a
liver function test before beginning treatment to assure optimal liver
Surgery is usually only considered in severe cases
when topical and oral treatments haven’t been successful. However, it
may also be recommended for those who can benefit from oral medication
but are at a higher risk of suffering side effects such as liver damage.
For such individuals, surgery can help minimize the length of time one
needs to take medication and thereby limit the side effects.
Surgery is usually performed under local anesthetic
and involves removing the affected nail completely. This means that the
nail won’t grow back. Instead, the skin will harden and form a
protective layer where the nail once was. Following surgery, topical or
oral medication is usually prescribed for a few weeks to destroy any
remaining fungus and prevent the infection from recurring. Recovery
typically takes two to three weeks.