Fungal nail treatment is used to clear up fungal infections affecting the nails. Treatment may involve using a topical medication, laser treatment, or taking an oral medication.. Topical medications can treat minor fungal infections of the nail where only part of the nail is infected. However, once the fungus covers the whole nail or spreads to other nails, it becomes more difficult to treat and topical medication alone may not suffice. Oral medications are often effective, but they are also expensive and can have serious side effects. Studies have shown that oral medications and topical medications are more effective when combined with laser treatment, as this can treat the infection more quickly thereby reducing side effects.
Reasons for fungal nail treatment
Fungal nail treatment is important in order to:
Get rid of the fungal infection.
Prevent more serious bacterial infections caused by deformed nails cutting into the skin.
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, laser treatments, or oral medications.
Over-the-counter and prescription topical medications usually need to be applied to the affected nails once or twice a day for at least six weeks. It is important to keep using the topical solution until the infection has cleared completely to keep it from coming back.
If topical medication isn’t effective, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication to be taken once a day for three months. However, the medication is expensive and can have serious side effects including liver damage, so it should not be taken longer than necessary.
Laser treatment is usually recommended in conjunction with topical and oral treatments. 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, laser treatment is the best and most effective treatment option.
Laser treatment is usually performed in the office. The patient experiences a sense of warmth in the toenails but there is no pain and there is no recovery period. At Gold Coast Podiatry, Dr. Siegel will administer this treatment twice in order to be sure that the fungus is completely eradicated. It is recommended that regardless of the treatment, patients take steps to disinfect shoes and treat any Athlete's Foot that may be present at the same time.