What Are Some Treatment Options for Onychomycosis?


Quick Answer

Treatment options for onychomycosis include medications such as oral antifungal drugs, medicated nail cream and medicated nail polish, and surgery to remove the infected nail, according to Mayo Clinic. Laser and light-based therapies are other treatment options for onychomycosis. Using more than one of these treatment options at a time may lead to better results.

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Full Answer

Oral antifungal medications that help in treating onychomycosis include itraconazole and terbinafine, notes Mayo Clinic. The drugs work by ensuring growth of a healthy, infection-free nail to replace the damaged nail. Although helpful, these medications may result in liver damage and skin rash. To prevent these effects, it is advisable to undergo follow-up tests while using these drugs.

Using antifungal cream requries thinning and soaking the infected nail to facilitate cream penetration before applying the cream, states Mayo Clinic. Thinning the nail involve applying urea-containing lotion to the nail, followed by filing the nail's surface. Ciclopirox is an antifungal nail polish that treats onychomycosis. To use this polish, the patient applies it directly to the nail and the skin near the nail every day for about one year, taking care to clean the nail with alcohol at one-week intervals.

Surgery to remove the nail is a suitable option in cases of severe infection or if the infection causes a lot of pain, reports Mayo Clinic. A fresh nail slowly grows in over an extended period of time, replacing the surgically removed nail.

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