What Is the Right Anti Fungal Nail Treatment For You?

What Is the Right Anti Fungal Nail Treatment For You?

The proper treatment for a fungal nail infection (a common but often frustratingly tenacious nail health issue) is a topic worth exploring in detail as this definitely is not one of those one size fits all scenarios.  

Success (and clear toenails) hinges on understanding the nature of the infection and the efficacy of available treatments, whether they are home remedies, over-the-counter options, prescribed medications or Podiatrist services. 

The role of professional intervention by Podiatrists and the unique value we offer is also worth covering off.  

It is important that this conversation doesn’t just discuss finding the right anti fungal nail treatment for you but should also explore the importance of prevention, as reinfection is a common issue. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Understanding Fungal Nail Infections & Their Symptoms

To fully comprehend the nature and impact of fungal nail infections, it is crucial to note that these conditions can result in discoloration, thickening, and even separation of the nail from the nail bed, often causing discomfort and aesthetic concerns for the affected individuals.

Picture a manicure gone rogue, with nails resembling a Jackson Pollock painting. Not exactly what someone wants to see when they look down at their toes – but they shouldn’t despair, there are solutions available, they just need to do some investigation and decide on next steps (and hopefully this blog helps them along the way). 

These infections are commonly caused by various fungi, which, much like uninvited house guests, enter through small cracks in the nail or surrounding skin. It’s like your nail’s throwing a party, and the fungi weren’t even invited! Toenail infections are more prevalent than fingernail infections, making feet the life of this rather unsavory party.

Can you guess why? Think of the environment that our feet are typically in. Locked away most of the day in dark, warm and sweaty shoes. A fungal nail infection’s definition of paradise! 

Fungal nail infections are far more common than you think. The good news is that effective and lasting treatments do exist - but you need to ensure the right anti fungal nail treatment is prescribed.

It’s crucial to get a proper diagnosis from an experienced fungal nail Podiatrist, who play the role of party poopers, ensuring these fungal ‘gate-crashers‘ are shown the door. The professional and detailed fungal nail assessment that a Podiatrist can deliver forms the basis for the right effective treatment, which in turn leads to happier and healthier nails.

Over-The-Counter Treatments Explored

Having established the nature of fungal nail infections, we now turn our attention to over-the-counter treatments, a first line of defense that can be explored before seeking professional medical intervention. These treatments are easily accessible and can be effective in treating less severe infections or as a preventive measure to keep your toes from resembling a science experiment gone awry. 

Here are a few options to consider – but keep in mind these treatments work best on very early stage or preventative situations (anything more advanced and it’s best to seek professional help): 

Anti fungal creams

These are the tried-and-true soldiers in the battle against foot fungus, available at your local chemist.

Mentholated slave

This treatment option is as cool as it sounds, providing relief and fighting the infection.

Snake root extract

A natural remedy that proves Mother Nature has got your back…or rather, your feet.

Tea tree oil

An antiseptic that’s been in the fungal fighting business longer than we’ve been walking upright.

Antifungal Treatment Prescription Medications for Fungal Nail Infections

When over-the-counter remedies fail to address a persistent fungal nail infection, prescription medications, such as itraconazole and terbinafine, often serve as a more potent weapon against this stubborn adversary – but you must be aware of the side effects of these medications. These medical heavyweights enter the battlefield internally, targeting the infection at the base of operations: the nail bed. 

Their mission is clear: obliterate the infection from within. However, this is no quick skirmish. Treatment duration typically ranges from 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the severity and type of fungus they’re up against. The enemy may be microscopic, but it’s tenacious. 

While these prescription powerhouses are more effective than topical treatments, they are not without their challenges. As mentioned, potential side effects can include gastrointestinal disturbances – a fancy term for an upset tummy – skin rashes, or liver enzyme abnormalities. So, while they’re out there fighting the good fight, they may also stir up a little internal rebellion. 

Prescription medications should always be taken as directed by your Doctor and a clear conversation with them about the side effects should be had up front (and then monitored closely if you proceed with oral medication).

Anti fungal oral medications can be effective in getting rid of fungal nail infections - but you need to be aware of the potential side effects they can bring with them. Always speak to your Doctor to make a well-informed decision.

Anti Fungal Nail Infection Treatments Delivered by Podiatrists

What happens if you don’t want to risk the potentially harmful side effects of anti fungal nail medications? Fear not, for we have not yet exhausted our arsenal against this persistent foe. In such cases, Podiatrists can recommend several potent weapons:  

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is another more recent way to treat fungal nail infections that won’t go away.  High-intensity light energy is used in this method to get rid of the fungal nail infection. Early research suggests that laser treatment might be a good way to treat fungal nail infections however we believe there isn’t enough proof, though, to recommend it as a normal treatment as the results are too inconsistent (and the complete procedure can cost over $1000).

Due to the high cost and lack of solid evidence confirming the efficacy of fungal nail laser therapy, at Bellevue Podiatry we do not provide this serviceWe fully appreciate there are no guarantees with any fungal nail treatment, but would need to see more positive clinical studies and made available at a lower cost for us to consider it.

Clearanail

People who come to Bellevue Podiatry often are unhappy with standard treatments like oral medications, laser therapy, and over the counter treatments because they don’t work well enough to get rid of fungal nail infection.

The issue with most fungal nails isn’t killing the infection BUT being able to get at the infection under the nail.  Clearanail solves this problem by using micro-drilling in a cutting-edge technology that makes it possible for a clinically proven antifungal spray to safely and painlessly reach the infection under the nail plate and kill it once and for all.  

Clearnail delivers a simple concept (made possible with the latest technology) that works. It’s different from other treatments because Clearanail is a safe, one-time process that doesn’t require more expensive, repeated treatments.

This new way to treat fungal toes is the first of its kind in Melbourne, and it costs a lot less than other choices like laser therapy. 

Surgical Nail Removal

Despite sounding like a medieval torture method, is a highly effective solution for severe or recurrent infections. It may sound drastic, but sometimes you have to remove the nail completely so the fungal nail infection can go with it… and never come back (the fungal infection that is, the nail will grow back over time).

There are some cases of fungal nail infection that are just too progressed with too much nail damage – the best move is to remove the nail and take steps to ensure the fungal nail infection doesn’t come back. How do you do that? Glad you asked, please read on to learn more about preventing fungal nail infections. As they say, prevention is always better than cure!

Tips to Prevent Fungal Nails Reinfection

After exploring the advanced treatments for stubborn fungal nail infections, it is crucial to focus on the preventative measures that can be taken to avoid reinfection. 

Let’s take a closer look at what antifungal cleanliness is with a spring in our step and a twinkle in our toes:

  • Keeping nails dry and clean is the first line of defense. Imagine your nails are like a pair of expensive leather shoes, you wouldn’t want them to be soggy, would you? Regularly disinfecting shoes, socks, and shower floors is another step to kick fungal spores to the curb. Also, consider investing in breathable socks and well-fitted shoes. This is not only a fashion statement but also promotes healthy nail growth and prevents reinfections.

  • Sharing may be caring in many aspects of life, but when it comes to nail clippers, it’s a big no-no. Keep your nail tools to yourself to avoid the fungal version of ‘pass the parcel’.

  • Lastly, always listen to your Podiatrist’s advice. They’re the referees in this game of ‘keep away’ from reinfections, directing the best strategies to maintain healthy nails and keep the fungal blues at bay. Make sure you speak to a Podiatrist that is highly experienced in the world of fungal nail infections and what it means to get rid of them once and for all. 

Choosing The Right Antifungal Nail Treatment For You Summary

In conclusion, numerous treatment options for fungal nail infections exist, ranging from over-the-counter remedies to professional medical intervention. The choice of treatment depends on the infection’s severity and patient’s personal circumstances. There is no “one size fits all” solution here unfortunately. What matters most is getting the right professional advice for the right anti fungal nail treatment. 

The saying prevention is better than cure may have been coined from the frustration of dealing with fungal nail infections. Prevention of reinfection, through diligent hygiene practices and regular disinfection of personal surroundings, is crucial to ensure a successful recovery and prevent future occurrences. But don’t despair if you haven’t been able to prevent getting a fungal nail infection, professional help is readily available. 

Prepare for the next warm season by acting now so you can go barefoot with confidence!  

Take the first step by calling us today on  (03) 9000 0418  or book online for our fungal nail assessment & treatment plan appointment – includes on the spot test to confirm your fungal nail infection and professional advice on next steps to clear & healthy nails.  

Fungal Nails

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