Fungal nail infections are not likely to disappear on their own, and the most effective treatment is usually a prescription antifungal pill taken orally. In extreme cases, a healthcare professional may need to remove the entire nail. It can take several months to a year for the infection to clear up, but toenail fungus will not go away without treatment. If left untreated, it can spread to other nails or even across the body, causing pain when walking.
The old infected toenail should start to grow back and can be cut gradually. Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, infiltrates toenails, discolors them and ultimately weakens them. A third medication, fluconazole (Diflucan), is sometimes used off-label to treat toenail fungus caused by toenail fungus. Oral medications used to treat this condition include terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox, Onmel).
If the treatment is successful, you should see a new, healthy nail start to grow from the base of the nail over the course of a few months. If you prefer home remedies such as applying tea tree oil or Vicks VapoRub to your nails, keep in mind that the effectiveness of these products for treating toenail fungus has not been well studied and are not recommended by podiatrists. One possibility among many is laser treatment, which has been proven safe and effective against most cases of toenail fungus. Both are treatable, but toenail fungus requires the most patience as you can only see good results at the base of the nail. You cannot avoid contact with the microscopic organisms that cause toenail fungus, but keeping your feet clean and dry and cutting your nails properly can help prevent infection. Maurice Aiken has discovered the root cause of toenail fungus and why you need a specialist to get rid of it.
If you want to try laser treatment for toenail fungus, talk to your doctor about what to expect from treatment and call your insurance company to find out if treatment is covered. In the most serious cases of fungal toenail infection, the nail may need to be surgically removed or dissolved with acid. Untreated toenail fungus often causes cracks in the nails and skin, which can lead to cellulitis, a dangerous bacterial skin infection characterized by redness, swelling, and pain in the lower leg. In cases of white superficial onychomycosis, for example, the white fungal patches that form on the nails can sometimes simply be cleaned and an over-the-counter antifungal topical medication applied to the nail in order to eliminate the fungus. This is because toenails are made up of several layers, and the fungus can spread within and between those layers as well as below the nail. If you suspect that you have a fungal toenail infection, it is important that you see your doctor first who will diagnose the type and severity of the infection and determine the best treatment plan including blood tests.