To help to prevent toenail fungus:
- Wear comfortable shoes and hosiery that allow your feet some breathing space.
- Wear shoes, sandals or flip-flops in community showers or locker rooms.
- Wash your feet every day. Dry them thoroughly, and use a good-quality foot powder.
- Wear clean socks or stockings every day.
- Keep your toenails trimmed.
- Disinfect pedicure tools before you use them.
Treatment may begin with your doctor removing as much of the infected nail as possible. This can be done by:
- Trimming the nail with clippers
- Filing it down
- Dissolving it away with a paste that contains urea and bifonazole
If the infection is in a wider area of your nail, or several nails, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication. Examples include itraconazole (Sporanox) and terbinafine(Lamisil).
Both drugs occasionally cause troublesome side effects. Itraconazole can produce serious drug interactions.
In very severe cases, when toenail fungus is resistant to treatment, it may be necessary to remove the entire nail surgically.
When To Call a Professional
You don't need to call your doctor unless you have pain or difficulty walking. You can show your doctor your toenails at your next office visit or schedule an appointment if you want to discuss treatment with a prescription medication.
Most people treated with an oral antifungal medicine are cured after a few months of therapy. However, even after the fungus is dead, the nail may never become clear and normal-looking.
The fungus returns in some people even after successful treatment with an oral antifungal medication.
Learn more about Toenail Fungus (Onychomycosis)
Drugs associated with:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
National Insitutes of Health
1 AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA)
9312 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine
American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine
5272 River Road, Suite 630
Bethesda, MD 20816
American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
8725 West Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60031-2724
Disclaimer: This content should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a call or visit to a health professional.