Fungal Toenail Treatments
There are very few problems in life where ignoring them and hoping they go away works. Even in those rare instances when you can get away with it, it is still better to take the initiative and responsibility to address them. This is important in so many different contexts – including cases of fungal toenails.
Your body has a remarkable ability to heal itself and—unless there is a health or medical issue—fight off infections. But even when your body is doing the “heavy lifting,” there is often still a certain degree of action you need to take. (Although, sometimes the “action” is to take time and rest.)
For example, if you catch a cold, you need to take it easy and provide your body with proper nourishment while your immune system fights against the offensive virus. Another example is taking time away from your normal running program while your body mends an injured Achilles tendon or plantar fascia.
In the case of fungal toenails, however, you need to do more than trusting your body to handle the problem on its own!
Toenail fungus is a stubborn infection. Once fungal spores have made themselves at home in your nail tissue, they don’t want to leave. After all, why would they? Fungus needs a warm, damp environment. Feet encased in socks and shoes can provide exactly those conditions! (Although, you will see shortly that there are footwear options that do not contribute to any dampness down there.)
With regards to fungal toenail treatment, the gold standard is a one-two punch of oral and topical medications. The key for this treatment to be most effective is to stay vigilant and be committed to take the appropriate measures on a daily basis.
The reason for both oral and topical medication is that this method fights the stubborn infection from two different fronts. Topical medication eradicates fungal spores on the surface level, whereas the oral medication is delivered via the bloodstream and can hit spores sheltered under protective nail tissue.
The respective medications each play their part, but you have a role in this as well!
Sure, it is your responsibility to use your medication as prescribed. More than that, though, you will need to file down affected toenails on a weekly basis. This prevents buildup and better allows the topical medication to work.
In the event your infection is particularly severe, we might recommend having affected nails removed completely and then medication applied directly to the nail bed. If successful—no fungal nail cure should be guaranteed!—the new nail tissue that grows back in will be clear and healthy.
As mentioned, this can be a rather stubborn infection. Treatment may take some time. For example, patients who are healthy enough to take antifungal medications will need to take them for 12 weeks. On top of that, topical medication is to be used daily for a year.
Since toenail fungus is quite stubborn, the best path for restoring your nails to health is to treat the problem as early as possible. As soon as you become aware of this problem, come see us for professional help!
Contact with our team at McVay Foot and Ankle today for more information or to request an appointment for treatment by calling (719) 266-5000. If you’d prefer, you can also connect with our Colorado Springs office online.