Two people laying on the floor with their feet facing the camera

Fungus under toenails, also known as onychomycosis, is a common condition that affects many people. It is caused by a type of fungi that thrives in warm and moist environments, such as inside shoes and socks. When these fungi infect the toenails, they can cause thickening, discoloration, and brittleness of the nail.

Toenail fungus can be unsightly and uncomfortable, and it can also lead to complications if left untreated. In severe cases, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious health problems. Fortunately, there are several effective treatment options for fungus under the toenails.

Over-the-Counter Treatments

If you have a mild case of toenail fungus, you may be able to treat it with over-the-counter (OTC) products.

Antifungal Creams

Antifungal creams are a common treatment for toenail fungus. These creams usually contain an active ingredient like clotrimazole or terbinafine, which can help kill the fungus. To use an antifungal cream, you'll need to apply it to the affected nail and the surrounding skin.

Medicated Nail Polishes

Medicated nail polishes are another OTC option for treating toenail fungus. These polishes usually contain an antifungal medication like ciclopirox. To use a medicated nail polish, you'll need to apply it to the affected nail and let it dry. You may need to apply the polish daily for several months to see results.

Prescription Medications

Prescription medications are often recommended for treating fungus under the toenails. There are two types of prescription medications that are commonly used: oral antifungal drugs and topical medications.

Oral Antifungal Drugs

Oral antifungal drugs are usually taken for several weeks or months to treat toenail fungus. These medications work by killing the fungus from the inside out. They are usually prescribed for people with severe or stubborn toenail fungus that hasn't responded to other treatments.

Topical Medications

Topical medications are applied directly to the toenail to treat fungus. They are usually prescribed for people with mild to moderate toenail fungus. Topical medications are often used in combination with other treatments, such as oral antifungal drugs.

Non-Pharmacological Treatments

If you prefer non-pharmacological treatments for fungus under toenails, there are a couple of options available. These treatments may not be as effective as prescription medications, but they can be a good alternative for those who cannot take medication or prefer natural remedies.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses a laser to kill the fungus under the toenail. The laser heats up the nail and kills the fungus without damaging the surrounding tissue. This treatment is painless and usually takes less than an hour to complete.

Nail Removal

In severe cases of toenail fungus, your doctor may recommend removing the infected nail. This is usually done under local anesthesia, and the nail will grow back over time. While this may seem extreme, it can be an effective way to get rid of the fungus once and for all.

What Is the Takeaway?

Although developing fungus under your toenail is no fun, it is a very treatable condition. If you’re dealing with a persistent case of toenail fungus or would like to have your toenails checked out by a professional, consider scheduling an appointment with our team at Certified Dermatology. Our expert dermatologists in the NJ area will help you determine the best possible treatment for your condition and assist you in eliminating the toenail fungus.

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