However, removing your toenails completely is the absolute last resort option for treating toenail fungus, and it is only done in very rare cases. We would prefer to use non-surgical forms of treatment that eliminate the fungus and allow fresh, clear nail tissue to grow naturally and replace old and damaged nails. Therefore, at this point, the doctor may suggest surgery to remove the nail. It's not a common surgery, but it's an option when all else fails.
When your nail is removed, a new one usually grows back. Yours could take up to 18 months to grow back. Some research has shown that a menthol balm (such as Vicks VapoRub) can eliminate a fungal infection. Rub a small amount into the nail every day.
These drugs are often the first choice because they eliminate the infection more quickly than topical medications. Options include terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail grow without infection, slowly replacing the infected part. Oral antifungal medications can cause side effects ranging from skin rash to liver damage.
You may need occasional blood tests to see how you're doing with these types of medications. Doctors may not recommend them for people with liver disease or congestive heart failure or for those taking certain medications. Surgical nail removal can be performed for severe or recurrent fungal infections of the nails. You can remove the entire nail or only part of the nail.
You can remove the entire nail (avulsion) or only part of the nail (debridement). Fungal toenail infection, known as onychomycosis, is a common but challenging condition; toenail fungus treatments include a wide range of options with varying success rates. Laser treatment for toenail fungus may temporarily improve the nail, but it has a lower cure rate than oral medication. The nail can grow back deformed, thickened or even with fungi that re-infect the toenail, bringing it back to the starting point.
Letting the fungus continue to grow and thrive inside your toenails will only add to the challenge of fighting it.