How Do You Treat Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus can be treated with antifungal drugs that are taken orally or with medicated nail creams or nail polishes, according to Mayo Clinic. There are fungus remedies available both over the counter and by prescription. For more extreme cases of toenail fungus, removal of the toenail or laser or light-based therapies may be suggested.

Toenail fungus can be caused by dermatophytes, which is the same fungus that causes most instances of athlete's foot, according to WebMD. In fact, many people who get athlete's foot end up with a fungal infection of the toenails. Contact with clothing, nail clippers or nail files, shoes and locker room and shower floors can also result in this type of nail fungus.

Other instances of toenail fungus can be caused when normally present yeast spirals out of control and causes a toenail fungus infestation, according to WebMD. Molds in the soil can also cause toenail fungus. Neither of these fungal infection types are transmissible from one person to another.

Treatment with oral antifungal medication is generally considered to be the most effective, notes Mayo Clinic. Two treatments, Sporanox and Lamisil, are quite popular and work by helping new nails grow and replace the infected nails. The drugs are generally taken for a duration of up to 12 weeks and are available by prescription only.