Maybe it doesn't hurt, and thick yellow nails don't bother you. But nail fungus does not go away on their own. And if you don't treat it, there's a chance it'll get worse. It could spread to other nails or through the body.
With treatment, many people can get rid of nail fungus. Even when the fungus goes away, the nails may look unhealthy until the infected nail grows. A toenail grows in 4 to 6 months and the toenail in 12 to 18 months. Oral terbinafine is considered the first-line treatment for confirmed onychomycosis; treatment is usually 6 weeks for fingernails and 12 weeks for toenails.
Toenail fungus occurs when fungus gets between the toenail and the toenail bed (tissue just below the toenail). This treatment can help prevent the need to remove your nails, which is often recommended for severe cases of toenail fungus. This is because toenails are made of several layers and the fungus can spread within and between those layers, as well as under the nail. Fortunately, the Easton Dermatology Associates team can address any nail fungus problem you may have with a diverse menu of treatment options.
Oral Medications Oral medications used to treat toenail fungus include terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox, Onmel). From polishing your toenails to the sports you play, there are many factors that can increase your risk of fungal toenail infections. If you want to try laser treatment for toenail fungus, talk to your doctor about what to expect from treatment and call your insurance company to find out if treatment will be covered. A third drug, Fluconazole (Diflucan), is sometimes used in an unauthorized way for toenail fungus caused by yeast.
If you prefer to follow the route of home remedies, such as applying tea tree oil or Vicks VapoRub to your nails, keep in mind that the effectiveness of these products to treat toenail fungus has not been well studied and podiatrists do not recommend them. With that in mind, I generally encourage healthy adult patients with mild toenail fungus not to treat it or to treat it only with topical measures. Discuss the pros and cons of toenail fungus treatment with your provider to determine what is best for you. Toenail fungus usually starts subtly, so you may not notice anything different on the nail immediately.
While you can't avoid contact with the microscopic organisms that cause toenail fungus, it's present anywhere warm, dark, or humid. Keeping your feet clean and dry and trimming your nails properly can help prevent infection.