Best Nail Fungus Treatment – Topical Creams, Side Effects, and More

Need to get rid of nail fungus? This article explores the different nail fungus treatments including topical creams and home care options. We also have tools and resources to help you get the treatment you need. Learn more about fungal toenail infection and find the best solution for you.

What Is Nail Fungus?

Any fungal infection of the nail is known as onychomycosis. It is a common condition that causes the nails to become thickened, brittle, and discolored. The most common type of fungus that leads to nail fungus is dermatophytes. However, yeasts and molds can also cause the condition.

This infection is more common in toenails than fingernails, but it can affect either one. It’s estimated that about 1 out of every 10 people will develop a fungal infection of the nails at some point during their lifetime.

The most common type of fungus that leads to nail fungus is dermatophytes. However, yeasts and molds can also cause the condition.

Treatment for nail fungus includes topical creams and oral medications. In some cases, the infection may be treated with laser or ultraviolet light treatments.

Nail fungus is caused by two pathogens: trichophyton rubrum and trichophyton mentagrophytes. Toenail fungus is an infection that affects the nail beneath the surface. The fungi that cause nail fungus can be found in 70% and 20% of all cases, respectively.

Nail fungus may be accompanied by a secondary bacterial or yeast infection. If left untreated, nail fungus may spread and make it difficult to walk.

Tinea Unguium

Tinea unguium is a type of fungal infection that affects the nails. It can be caused by any fungus, including those which are naturally present on human skin and nail beds or by external sources such as contaminated water, soil or other environmental pollutants.

The most common symptom of tinea unguium is a fungal infection of the nail plate, characterized by a yellow discoloration around the cuticle . This discoloration is usually accompanied by a thickening and brittleness of the nail. Additional symptoms may include pain, inflammation, dryness or scaling of the skin around the affected nails.

Tinea unguium is typically treated with topical antifungal creams. These creams are applied directly to the nail, where they work by penetrating into the affected skin and killing fungus .

Tinea unguium is a common condition that affects the nails of both hands and feet. It can be caused by a number of different types of fungus, including tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), tinea corporis (ringworm) and Candida albicans.

Fungal Infection Nail Cause

Nail fungal infections are common, and many people will get them at some point in their lives. The infection can be caused by a fungus that enters the body through an opening like a foot or hand wound, a skin tear from picking at nails, or by wearing tight shoes that don’t let the feet breathe.

The most common symptom is an overgrowth of nail fungus which makes the nails thicker and discolored. The nail may become brittle, crumbly or have a bad odor.

Do Dermatologists Treat Nail Fungus?

Yes, dermatologists are prescribing a new generation of topical medications for nail fungus.

These include OTC (over-the-counter) creams that are applied once or twice a day to the affected nail.

Dermatologists also prescribe oral medications as part of anti fungal treatment for toe nails, which are taken daily for six weeks.

What Is the Best Fungal Nail Treatment For Severe Cases?

Topical creams for nail fungus are a quick and easy way to clear up your infection. The creams contain ingredients that help to soften the nail so it can be removed, as well as an antifungal agent. The treatment is applied over 14 days, and usually leads to complete removal of the fungus. However, in some cases the cosmetic outcome may not be perfect.

  1. These creams contain ingredients that can help clear up your infection quickly and easily.
  2. One cream has urea in it, which softens the nail so it can be removed.
  3. The other cream contains bifonazole, which has an antifungal effect.
  4. After that, the urea-based cream is applied to the nail, and the nail is covered with an adhesive bandage. After 24 hours, the bandage is removed and the toe or finger is held in warm water again. The softened layer of the nail is then scraped off using a spatula, the cream is applied again and the nail is covered with a new bandage. This treatment is carried out over 14 days. Once infected part of nails have been scraped away completely skin beneath treated for another four weeks with bifonazole cream
  5. 3 So far studies looking into topical treatments for fungal nails with polish containing ciclopirox showed mixed results but they are generally effective at getting rid of fungus
  6. Out of 100 people, about 10 people did not have fungal nails infection after one year, while 32 people had fungus cleared up after using ciclopirox
  7. 5 Treatment with ciclopirox got rid of the fungal infection in about 22 out of 100 people who used it but even if fungus was gone the cosmetic outcome wasn’t always satisfying 7 of 100 people looked healthy after treatment

What Are the Side Effects of Nail Fungus Treatments?

Nail fungus treatments can have side effects, including not being able to take antifungal pills and taking a topical treatment that goes onto the nail. It can take up to a year for the nail to grow back to its original size and shape. The nail may not look “normal” after treatment.

How Can I Prevent Nail Fungus?

To prevent nail fungus, you should take some basic precautions:

  1. Wash your hands and feet regularly with soap and water.
  2. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  3. Keep your nails short and clean.
  4. Wear socks that breathe and use antifungal sprays or powders.
  5. Avoid picking or biting nails.
  6. Make sure your manicure or pedicure salon sterilizes tools properly.
  7. Wash your hands after touching infected nails.
  8. Avoid sharing shoes and socks

Fungal Toe Nail Infection Treatment Options

There are several ways to treat nail fungus. The most common way is to apply a topical cream or ointment directly onto the infected area of your nails.

Topical Nail Infections Treatment

These topicals are applied directly to the infected area of your nails. They may have some mild side effects, such as a skin rash or irritation.

Medicated Nail Polish

Medicated nail polish  is another way to treat nail fungus. This is applied directly onto the infected area of your nails as well.

Nail polish can be a good option if you’re looking for something that’s easy to apply and won’t require you to touch your infected nails.

You can find these at most drug stores. Some of them contain antifungal medication, while others are just designed to help keep your nails looking nice.

If you’re using a topical cream or ointment, use it once or twice a day for at least two weeks. If you’re using medicated nail polish, apply it once or twice a day for at least one week.

If you’re using an over-the-counter medication, be sure to follow the directions on the package carefully. You’ll want to apply it exactly as directed, and you’ll need to use it for the full amount of time that’s recommended.

Prescription Drugs Approach

Prescription drugs are also an option for nail fungus. These medications will often be taken orally and may have side effects like stomach upset, headaches or drowsiness. The most common prescription drug is terbinafine, which is taken once a day for six months.

Terbinafine is not a cure for nail fungus, but it will help to clear up the infection. The drug does have side effects, including headaches, stomach upset and drowsiness.

It is also not recommended for pregnant women, or people with liver or kidney disease.

If you have tried over-the-counter and prescription medications without success, your doctor may recommend laser treatment.

Light Therapy

Nail fungus is a very common infection, which is why there are so many treatments for it. One of the most popular treatment options would be light therapy, or LLLT. It is very easy to administer, and it is a non-invasive treatment option.

Light therapy can be administered in two ways:

  1. The patient will sit with their infected feet or hands in front of a light for about 30 minutes, 2) The patient will wear special nail fungus LED lights on their infected nails for about 30 minutes.

The first option is more commonly used because it is less expensive and more convenient. However, the second option has been shown to be much more effective at curing nail fungus in a shorter amount of time.

Light therapy can have many side effects , including pain,  swelling, irritation, and burning. The patient may also experience dry skin on their hands or feet after the treatment.

Light therapy is most effective when combined with oral medication. The patient should consult with a doctor before starting light therapy to ensure that it is the right treatment for them.

Effectiveness of Nail Fungus Prescription Medications

The effectiveness of the medications depends on how long you have had the infection. It can take up to six months for them to work, so it is important that you complete the treatment plan recommended by your doctor.

The most common nail fungus medications are:

  1. Itraconazole – This is the most effective oral medication for toenail fungus.
  2. Terbinafine – This is a powerful drug used to treat fungus infections. It can be taken by mouth for nail fungus, although it may take several months to work.
  3. Butenafine – This is the most effective topical medication for toenail fungus.
  4. Efinaconazole – This is a new topical medication for toenail fungus.
  5. Tolnaftate – This is a common over-the-counter medication used on the skin and nails.
  6. Undecylenic acid – This is a natural product that helps to eliminate fungus on the skin and nails.
  7. Diflucan – This medication is used to treat yeast infections. It can be taken by mouth to help eliminate fungus on the skin and nails.

Lifestyle Health Tips to Fight Fungal Nail Infection

Use the following tips to help prevent fungal infection on the nail.

  1. Keep your feet clean and dry. Wear socks when you exercise or play sports, and change them often in hot weather. Keep your shoes clean.
  2. Use an antifungal cream. Apply it to the affected nail(s) twice a day, and cover with gauze or cotton socks.
  3. Avoid using nail polish remover that contains acetone.
  4. Cut your toenails straight across instead of in a curve, and keep them short. This will prevent the buildup of dirt under your nails that can lead to fungus infections.
  5. Use a footbath with antifungal powder or soak your feet in Epsom salts.
  6. Avoid wearing open-toed shoes, especially if you have toenail fungus.
  7. Do not use home remedies. Some people believe that soaking their feet in vinegar or other liquids will cure toenail fungus, but there are no studies that show these treatments work.
  8. If you have diabetes, you’re at a higher risk of getting toenail fungus. Work with your doctor to keep your blood sugar levels under control.

Toenail Fungus Home Remedies

Toenail fungus is a common fungal infection of the toenail. The most common symptom is a white, brown, or yellow discoloration of one or more toenails. Toenail fungus is typically not a problem in the summer, but it can be a problem in the winter. Treatment for toenail fungus typically involves medication. Prevention of toenail fungus involves good hygiene and proper foot care.

There are many home remedies which improve the appearance of the nail, but the fungus is not actually gone until the new, healthy nail has replaced the old, damaged one. Toenail fungus can be treated with a variety of home remedies. Weekly maintenance includes cleaning socks and shoes, applying hydrogen peroxide, and soaking feet in black tea. Vinegar, baking soda, Epsom salt, essential oils, and olive leaf extract can also be used to treat toenail fungus. Garlic, cornmeal, and snakeroot extract can be used to prevent toenail fungus.

Essential Oils

Tea Tree Oil

Essential oils are gaining popularity in homeopathic treatment to heal a variety of common ailments. They can be used in alternative treatments such as reducing toenail fungus.

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that can be used to treat fungal infections. It is also an effective treatment for nail fungus, which could make the nails brittle and yellowish in color.


Another essential oil that can be used to treat nail fungus is lavender. The antifungal properties of this essential oil are due to its ability to destroy fungi and bacteria causing the infection.

Sunflower Oil

Essential oils are typically extracted from plants to provide a therapeutic scent. Sunflower oil is one of the most popular types of essential oils, and it can be used for many purposes. It is a light, non-greasy oil that is rich in Vitamin E. It can be used to heal wounds and scars as well as to moisturize hair. It is also an excellent natural antibiotic

While essential oils are great for treating fungal infections, they should only be used in combination with other antifungal agents. Using them alone is not recommended as they can be very strong and could cause skin irritation.

Toenail Fungus Treatment Course Complications

Toenail fungus can be notoriously difficult to treat and can cause a number of complications if left untreated. These complications can include cellulitis, pain, pus, and thickening and yellowing of the toenails. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to seek treatment from a trusted healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Toenail Fungus Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way to prevent toenail fungus is to keep your feet clean and dry. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends using an antifungal drug product on your nails if you are at risk for developing toenail fungus. Danielle Zoellner, a seasoned health writer, agrees that these two measures are the best ways to prevent toenail fungus. She also recommends various products and treatments based on recommendations from doctors, published research, and customer reviews.

Recommended for You

The recommended toenail fungus prevention methods are based on the recommendations of doctors, published research, and real customer reviews. Every product in this piece was selected based on its ability to improve the health of the reader. We only recommend reliable sources for toenail fungus prevention.

We use high-quality sources to support our articles. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) are reliable sources for information about toenail fungus prevention. Topical antifungal drugs are the recommended toenail fungus prevention methods.

Living With Toenail Fungal Infection

Can I Wear Nail Polish if I Have Toenail Fungus?

If you have toenail fungus, you should skip the nail polish for a while. Nail polish can trap moisture, which can lead to fungal growth. If you’re using a topical antifungal, don’t wear nail polish. Wearing nail polish can make your toenail fungus worse.

What to Do About Repeat Infections?

If you have a toenail fungus infection and it doesn’t go away, it may be because of the way that your body reacts to an overgrowth of fungi. For some people, this overgrowth can be resolved with a prescription oral medication. However, for others it may require more aggressive treatment such as injections or surgery to fully resolve the infection.

If you have repeated infections of the toenail fungus, it may be due to the fact that your nails grow very slowly. This is especially true if you have diabetes or a thyroid condition. For people with slow growing nails, the fungus can grow out away from the nail bed and into the surrounding skin. This causes a more serious infection that may require oral medication, injections or surgery to resolve.

If you have tried over -the-counter treatments and they have not worked, you should see your doctor. Your doctor may be able to suggest other treatment options that can get rid of the infection altogether.

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort due to a fungal infection, you should see your doctor. You may need an oral medication, injections or surgery to get rid of the problem completely.

When Should I See My Healthcare Provider?

If you think you may have toenail fungus, it is important to see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis. Toenail fungus can be confirmed by looking at the toe. If toenail fungus is confirmed, your healthcare provider may order tests to confirm the infection. Foot injuries or infections can lead to complications in people with diabetes.

Health Conditions That Increase Risk for Skin Infection

Skin infections often occur in people who have weakened immune systems or other health conditions that make them more susceptible to infection.


Conditions such as diabetes can increase the risk for skin infections. When a person has diabetes, the body is unable to produce enough insulin or cells in the pancreas that make insulin and they can develop skin conditions such as bacterial skin infections which may lead to cellulitis.


HIV/AIDS can also cause skin infections because the body is unable to fight off infection as well as someone who does not have HIV/AIDS.


Cancer patients are often given chemotherapy which can weaken the immune system and increase their risk of developing skin infections.

Liver Disease

Liver disease has been linked to an increased risk for skin infections. One study found that people with liver cirrhosis had a 40% chance of contracting a hospital-acquired skin infection. This is in comparison to the 1% risk for healthy people.

The increased risk of skin infections could be due to decreased levels of an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which usually helps the skin fight off infections.

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