Approximately 12 percent of Americans suffer from nail fungus, but fortunately, there is medicine for toenail fungus. Doctors will prescribe an oral or topical medication. Itraconazole and terbinafine are two of the most common medications prescribed by doctors for toenail fungus. Urea skin creams and ciclopirox are the topical medications that are typically prescribed to treat nail fungus.
How Do Medications Work?
Both topical and oral medications work in similar ways. In order for the fungus to reproduce and survive, the fungal cells need to produce certain chemicals. Antifungal medications work by preventing the fungus from producing these cells. As a result of this, the fungus will die. A new nail will eventually grow in the place of the infected one.
People typically take oral anti-fungal medications for 6 to 12 weeks. It may take up to a year for ciclopirox to work. It is important to note that a fungal infection can return after it has been successfully treated. To reduce the chances of re-infection, avoid walking bare foot especially in public places.
What Are Some of The Potential Side Effects?
Antifungal medications are very safe, but they have their risks just like all other medications. Skin rashes and liver damage are some of the possible side effects that come along with using oral medications. Changes in nail shape or texture, swelling and redness are some of the side effects that are associated with using Ciclopirox.
Alternative Treatment Options for Toenail Fungus
There are a number of alternative treatments available. One of the treatments that you should consider trying is laser treatment. Laser treatment has been shown to be very effective. The intense light from the laser helps destroy the fungal cells. Not only is this treatment safe, but it is also painless. It takes anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes to perform laser treatment. Some patients only need to get one treatment, which is one of the reasons that many people prefer laser treatment for toenail fungus over oral or topical medications.