Toenail fungus. How to treat? How to avoid it?
Onychomycosis is a chronic fungal infection of the fingernail or toenail bed. This leads to brittle, discolored, unsightly, and thickened nails.
Untreated, onychomycosis can cause pain, discomfort and may negatively impact quality of life.
Your doctor can do a test on your nail to confirm that it is indeed a fungal infection so that the correct treatment is started.
What is effective treatment? Oral terbinafine is markedly more effective than topical therapy than topical therapy. Let your doctor know what other medications you are on as terbinafine can interfere with other medications. Topical medications include ciclopirox 8%, efinaconazole 10% and tavaborole 5% but all are less effective than oral agents. Topical agents can be used to treat mild to moderate onychomycosis and it has fewer drug-drug interactions than the oral treatment.
What else can you do to help? Trim nails and file the nail to keep the nail thickness less.
How to prevent recurrence? Avoiding walking barefoot in public places, wearing socks, and disinfecting shoes is thought to decrease relapse rate by 25%.