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What is the treatment for fungal nails?

Keeping nails trimmed and filed can help to reduce the amount of fungus in the nails and is highly recommended. This also provides pain relief when thickened nails cause pressure-related pain.

Creams and other topical medications have traditionally been less effective against nail fungus than oral medications. This is because nails are too hard for external applications to penetrate. It is also cumbersome to adhere to topical medication regimens. Oftentimes, these medications require daily applications for a period of time up to one year to see results. One of the major advantages of topical treatment is the minimal risk for serious side effects and drug interactions compared to oral therapy.

Prescription topical medications for fungal nails include the following:

Ciclopirox (Penlac) topical solution 8% is a medical nail lacquer that has been approved to treat finger or toenail fungus that does not involve the white portion of the nail (lunula) in people with normal immune systems. It only works about 7% of the time. The medication is applied to affected nails once daily for up to one year. The lacquer must be wiped clean with alcohol once a week. There is some evidence that using an antifungal nail lacquer containing amorolfine can prevent reinfection after a cure, with a success rate of about 70%. However, this drug is currently unavailable in the United States.

Efinaconazole (Jublia) is a medication that was approved in 2014. It is a topical (applied to the skin) antifungal used for the local treatment of toenail fungus due to two most common fungal species affecting nails (Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes). Once-daily application is required for 48 weeks. The most common side effects of Jublia are ingrown toenails and application site dermatitis and pain.

Tavaborole (Kerydin) is another new medication that is indicated for onychomycosis of the toenails. This medicine has the same indication as efinaconazole. It also requires application once daily for 48 weeks. Common side effects of Kerydin are similar to those of Jublia.

Return to Fungal Nails

See what others are saying

Comment from: DJC, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 28

I tried tea tree oil, and everything in the drug store for toe nail fungus 6 nails. Nothing! A supplement store employee told me those wouldn't cure it, only oregano oil would. She was right! Six months later it is 80 percent gone! About USD 22.00 at health food stores, each bottle lasts 4 to 6 weeks. Get oregano oil!

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Comment from: dzzwt, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 19

No fungus can survive a strong acidic environment. So we can create a strong acidic environment using our kitchen vinegar. Use cotton ball and saturate with vinegar. Put the cotton ball over the infected nail. Use cut off vinyl glove finger portion covering the nail with cotton ball. Keep it overnight. Continue several days (try one week).

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Celia, Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I am fighting with this problem of fungal nails since I was 12 years old, it makes me sick. Every time I go to a public swimming pool or take a shower in my dance center I can be sure to get a new fungus! Now I found something that seems to support the cure. Well, of course I use the typical clotrimazole cream my doctor prescribes, but I am now also using shoe inserts of cedar wood to support the curing process and I am well surprised! I have dry feet using them and seems like they have a natural antibacterial effect (I read a bit about it) so it's a good thing I think! Hope I could help!

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