Since fungal nails are usually more resistant and more difficult to treat than athlete's foot, prescription topical or oral antifungal medications may be prescribed. Permanent nail removal is another possible form of treatment for fungal nails.
Left untreated, fungal nail infections can affect the entire nail and surrounding skin.
Conventional treatment of such infections may include the following:
• Anti-fungal pills
• Anti-fungal creams, lotions or gels
• Surgical removal of the infected nail
People with nail infections sometimes treat them using one of these methods or a combination of therapies.
If you have a nail that is discolored or damaged but not painful, you may opt for simple over-the-counter treatments. Early treatment can stop the infection from causing serious and often permanent damage to the nail.
A small percentage of fungal nail infections affect the surface of the nail, are within the nail itself, or occur in the skin at the base of the nail.
After a fungal nail infection has cleared up, you can take steps to prevent the infection from coming back.
Keeping the fungus under control will help prevent a fungal infection of the skin from reinfecting the nail. Before bed, thoroughly wash and dry your feet, and apply a non-prescription anti-fungal cream to the entire foot from the ankle down. Use the cream every night, then gradually apply it less often. Keep your feet dry. Dry feet are less likely to become infected. Apply powder to your dry feet after you take a shower or bath.
• Don't share nail clippers or nail files with others.
• Don't share shoes or socks with others.
• Try not to injure your nail, such as by cutting it too short (trauma to the nail may lead to infections).
• Wear dry shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet (tight, enclosed, moist shoes contribute to fungal toenail infections) and do not wear the same pair of shoes every day.
• Wear shower sandals or shower shoes when you are at a public pool or shower.
Follow basic foot care guidelines and you more than likely can head off most common foot fungus problems.