If you notice a yellow or white spot under your toenail or fingernail, then you may have nail fungus infection. When fungi infect your nails, be prepared to see discoloration and thickening of the edges. This might be a potentially painful and unsightly problem for you.
Generally, these infections develop on nails due to continuous exposure to moist, warm environments. For example, having sweaty feet or hands all the time will most likely encourage the development of these fungi.
Nail fungus is very different from athlete’s foot, which affects only the skin of your feet. Sometimes however, these two may coexist at the same time.
Drugs and Treatments
Some people say that nail fungus infection is difficult to treat. But contrary to popular belief, there are various medications available to help you clear up your nail fungus.
Don’t be surprised to find a variety of anti-fungal ointments and creams available over-the-counter. However, these kinds of treatment might not be very effective and recurring infections may occur.
When you consult your doctor, he/she may prescribe a good oral anti-fungal medication. Examples are:
a. Terbinafine (Lamisil)
b. Fluconazole (Diflucan)
c. Itraconazole (Sporanox)
But even if you take these medications for 6-12 weeks, you won’t be able to see the result until your nails grow Fungus Clear back again. Taking these drugs will help your nails get rid of infections while replacing them completely.
Usually, it may take about four months or so to eliminate the infection of the entire nail. Moreover, avoid exposing your nails to moist and warm conditions again in order to prevent recurrent infections.
There are some doctors that do not recommend these drugs for people with congestive heart failure or liver disease. Also, it might not be advisable for those who are taking certain medication. This is because these anti-fungal drugs may cause side effects such as liver damage or skin rashes.
Other Possible Treatments
Additional options for nail fungus treatments may also be recommended by your doctor. These include the following;
1. Even if topical medications do not provide a cure, you may still use it in conjunction with your oral medications. Your doctor will usually advise you to take these topical treatments together with a lotion that have urea – this will help speed up your body’s absorption of the medication.
2. Mild to moderate nail fungus infection may be treated with a nail polish (anti-fungal) called ciclopirox (Penlac). When you paint it on your infected nails (as well as the surrounding skin) everyday, you will clear your fungal infections. Just continue to apply it once a day and after seven days, you can now wipe the layers with alcohol and begin again to pile on fresh applications. In one year, your infection will be cured. Be warned however, that only less than 10% of people have been successfully treated with this nail polish (according to researchers).
If you have extremely painful or severe nail infections, the last resort that your doctor will suggest is to remove your nail. Don’t worry, a new nail typically grows back in place, however, it will usually come slowly and takes an entire year to completely fill your nail bed.