Oral antifungal drugs, medicated nail polish and medicated nail cream effectively treat nail fungus, according to Mayo Clinic. Extremely painful or severe fungal infections sometimes require surgical removal of the affected nail.
Doctors prescribe oral antifungal drugs such as Sporanox and Lamisil to treat fungal infections of the toenail, notes Mayo Clinic. Patients take the drugs for a course of six to 12 weeks, although the full result of treatment may take up to four months to see. While treatment using these antifungal drugs is generally effective, the rate of successful treatment is lower in adults age 65 or older.
Penlac, which is a medicated nail polish, is also an effective treatment for toenail fungus, advises Mayo Clinic. Patients paint the medicated nail polish on the affected nails and surrounding skin once a day. After seven days of application, patients wipe off the layers of polish with alcohol and start the process anew. Doctors also prescribe medicated nail creams for the treatment of toenail fungus. Patients rub the antifungal cream onto their nails after soaking.
As a last resort, doctors sometimes advise removing the affected nail surgically, according to Mayo Clinic. A new fungus-free nail takes around a year to fully regrow after surgery.