Blog 4 – Why can fungal nail infection be so difficult to cure?

Blog 4 – Why can fungal nail infection be so difficult to cure?

Podiatrists around the world can agree that effectively treating fungal nail infection is not always an easy task.  Most over the counter treatments have a low success rate, especially for serious cases of fungal toenail infection, and the probability of the nail fungus returning is quite high.

When treated directly, most nail fungus can be successfully cured with an over the counter fungicide, similar to what you would use to treat a case of athlete’s foot.  Most people would agree that treating athlete’s foot isn’t difficult, so why does nail fungus, a similar fungus to athlete’s foot, create so many issues for successful treatment?

The difficulty in effective treatment is due to the nail itself and where the nail fungus infection is located – being able to get under the protective nail to treat the fungus is no easy task.  Our toe nails are there to act as a structural support for our toes and provide more grip.  They are designed to be strong and durable, but this unfortunately means our toe nails provide a safe and protected environment for the nail fungus infection to thrive.

And adding insult to injury, our toe nails are made out of keratin, which is exactly what the nail fungus loves to feed on!  It’s no wonder it’s not always easy to effectively treat.  It is estimated up to 12% of the population are effected by toe nail fungus.

With so many people being affected by this issue, coupled with how difficult it can be to treat, a number of treatment options have been developed to treat toe nail fungus infection with varying levels of success depending on the severity of the infection.  Read on to learn more about them:

  • Topical nail paints usually require daily application until the nail grows out – It can be difficult to reach the toe nail fungus infection in serious cases with topical paints.
  • Oral anti-fungal medication are not suitable for everyone and should be discussed with your local doctor as it can have harmful effects if not used in the right circumstances.
  • Clearanail a state-of-the-art micro-drill that creates almost-invisible holes in the nail plate to allow an anti-fungal agent to reach the fungus under the nail and kill it.  We have had great success in our clinic using this effective and painless method to kill toenail fungus.
  • Laser therapy is typically recommended for serious cases of toenail fungus infection and usually requires multiple sessions as part of the treatment plan.  Laser therapy can add up to be an expensive exercise.
  • Surgical removal of the affected toenail under a local anesthetic and then treating any fungus left behind is considered in extreme cases.  Before undertaking this procedure you should seek a second opinion from your local health practitioner.

As you can see there are a number of potential remedies for toenail fungus infections out there, so it is important that you speak to an experienced Podiatrist about which treatment will work best for your situation – and the sooner the better.  The longer you leave a toe nail fungus infection, the more difficult it will be to get rid of.