Personalized Fungal Toenail Treatment Options
Fungal toenails rarely cause physical pain. But for many patients, the daily sight of thickened, discolored, misshapen nails can cause significant embarrassment and a lack of confidence when wearing open-toed shoes or participating in summer activities.
Compounding the problem: fungal toenails never go away on their own, no matter how long you wait. Your nails provide not only phenomenal natural protection but an endlessly replenishing source of keratin to fuel their growth.
But does that mean you should give up and accept your fate? Not at all!
Although fungal toenails can be a stubborn problem to deal with, the team at Family Foot Care & Surgery provides many effective fungal toenail treatment options—and we can custom tailor a solution to best fit your needs!
Our FDA-approved laser nail treatment system is the safest and most advanced procedure we offer for fungal toenails. It’s also extremely convenient for those who don’t want to worry about taking daily medications.
The laser is painless and non-invasive. There are no known side effects and it won’t harm your skin or healthy tissue in any way. This makes it an excellent choice for people with medical conditions that might be contraindicated for other treatments on this list—although it can also be combined with any other treatment option.
The energy from the laser passes easily through the nail itself, reaching the nail bed below. While completely safe for your skin, it is deadly for the fungi.
Most people only require three total monthly sessions to fully eradicate the fungus, although occasionally more are needed. Sessions themselves are brief, often lasting less than 30 minutes (although it depends on how many toes need treatment), and there is no downtime afterward.
ORAL ANTIFUNGAL MEDICATIONS
Oral antifungals have been the “gold standard” treatment for fungal toenails for decades—and while many of our patients have started gravitating more toward laser treatment, oral medications are still highly effective on average and have their place!
These prescription medications attack the fungi from the inside out, helping to eradicate the infection over a period of several weeks to a few months. You’ll take a pill daily for a period ranging from about 6 to 12 weeks, depending on what we feel would be best.
There are some contraindications to this treatment. You shouldn’t take oral antifungals if you have a history of liver problems, and we may ask you to take a few follow-up blood tests to make sure you are not experiencing any negative side effects.
TOPICAL ANTIFUNGAL MEDICATIONS
While topical medications are the first choice for many fungal skin infections, they’re a bit trickier to apply to the toenails. You’ll need to take a few extra steps to make sure the medication is reaching the nail bed underneath. However, success is achievable with discipline, and topicals may be a good choice if you are unable to take oral antifungals safely.
The antifungal must be applied daily to the nail and surrounding skin. Cure rates are higher if you also return to our office on a regular basis to have the nail debrided and thinned, as this makes it easier for the medications to penetrate the nail and reach the infection underneath.
MEDICATED NAIL POLISH
Regular nail polish is typically not recommended if you have fungal toenails. Not only do they contain ingredients that can further stain the nails, but they can also make it harder for nails to “breathe,” leading to more favorable conditions for the fungi.
Antifungal nail polish can help address this problem. The formula contains natural antifungal agents, and is free from the kinds of harmful chemicals that can make “regular” nail polish so damaging for toenails.
While medicated nail polish isn’t an extremely effective treatment on its own, when combined with other medical treatments it can have a positive effect on toenail clearing, while also allowing you to paint your nails and regain some confidence while you’re out and about!
Time to Restore that Healthy Shine to Your Toenails!
As you can see, there are multiple different approaches to fungal toenail treatment—each with its own pros and cons. What makes the best sense for one person may not be the right approach for someone else.
At Family Foot Care & Surgery, we understand that every set of toenails is unique! We’re happy to walk you through all your options and help you determine which procedure—or combination of therapies, in some circumstances—would be ideal for your circumstances.
One thing is for sure, though: if you do nothing, your fungal nails will only get worse. So if you’re ready to get your healthy nails back, please complete the form on this page so we can get in touch and get started!