Treating nail fungus from an artificial nail requires removing the acrylic nail, according to WebMD. The fungus often grows in the gap between the real and artificial nail. If the nail separates, dipping the finger in alcohol before reattaching the acrylic helps to reduce fungal infections.
Nail fungus comes from the same organism that causes athlete's foot, explains Laura Geggel for LiveScience. Infected nails take on an unsightly appearance and often become thick and crumbly. Confirming nail fungus requires laboratory testing. The infection primarily affects the nail bed and not the nail.
While oral and topical medications are available, oral medications have the advantage of penetrating the nail bed to attack the fungus under the nails. In 2014, two new topical medications won approval from the Food and Drug Administration. One of these shows a complete cure rate in 17 percent of users but requires a year of use, states Geggel.
Acrylic nail users who leave their nails in place for three months or longer are more likely to have problems with nail infections, notes WebMD. Before applying nails for the first time, have one test nail applied. Watch for signs of redness, itching or rash. If these symptoms develop, avoid acrylic nails.