How is a fungal nail infection treated?


Quick Answer

A fungal nail infection is treated with topical antifungals, followed by oral pills and surgery for severe cases, as stated by WebMD. Depending on the condition of the nail and if there is no pain, a patient may even choose not to treat the infection.

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Full Answer

A fungal infection of the nail may cause peeling, discoloration, growth malformations and even pain. It is frequently a problem that takes time to heal, and frequently reoccurs without careful treatment of the nails. Treatment of a fungal nail infection comes in three stages based on the severity of the condition, according to WebMD.

  1. Topical medications
  2. Both over-the-counter and prescription strength ointments, serums and creams are available to treat a mild to moderate infection. Some of these may also be used regularly to help prevent the return of fungus.

  3. Oral medications
  4. Hard to treat or more severe infections are tackled with an oral medication that works from the inside out. These pills are sometimes combined with a topical cream.

  5. Nail removal
  6. Chronic or resistant fungal infections are sometimes treated with nail removal. This surgery involves removing part or all of the infected nail. The process is done with a surgical tool that slides between the nail and nail bed to loosen it. A non-surgical option is also available that involves soaking the nail in a urea solution for a little over a week to soften it.

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