When you keep your feet hidden away in closed-toed shoes, you might not pay attention to—or even notice—changes in your toenails. Then when sandal season rolls around you suddenly notice fungal nails. Having brittle, discolored nails can be embarrassing and frustrating. Eliminating fungal nail infections as soon as you notice them, no matter the season, is the key to restoring your toes so they look clean and healthy again. However, there are multiple types of fungal toenail treatments, and not everyone may need the same remedy. Learning about your options makes it easier to make the right choice for your own feet.
There are three main options for treating fungal nails: topical, oral, and laser. Each of these methods have pros and cons, and each have had varying levels of success with different people.
- Topical medication – These are medications you apply directly to your nails. It could be a special lacquer, a cream, or a lotion. The medicine kills all of the fungus on the surface of your feet and nails. The downside of this is that topical medications must be applied regularly for a year, and most can’t reach the fungus underneath the hard keratin very well.
- Oral medication – This is a prescription medication that you swallow. The medicine travels through your blood stream to your feet and kills the pathogen at the source. It does take several months for the medication to eliminate the infection. There are also a few risks associated with these remedies, including uncomfortable side effects. They may not work for everyone, either.
- Laser procedure – This is a minor procedure that uses intense laser light to destroy the fungus under your nail. The procedure kills the pathogen quickly and has no known side effects. It may take several treatments to completely eliminate the infection, however, and it is a more expensive option.
The option that is the best choice for you will depend largely on your unique feet and your individual lifestyle. Our team at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona will be happy to help you choose a remedy that meets your needs. Just use the online form to request more information or an appointment. You can also call or fax one of our offices: call (480) 963-9000 and fax (480) 963-0375 for our Chandler office; or, call (480) 981-1800 and fax (480) 981-0229 for our Gilbert location.
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