Now that it’s sandal season, you’re probably going to be showing off your toenails a little more, and yellowish nails can leave you feeling self-conscious about toenail fungus. While toenail fungus may not seem like an immediate concern, you’re going to want to take proactive treatment because it’s unlikely that the fungus will go away on its own. Today, we take a look at some of the ways you can treat lingering toenail fungus.
Treating Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is caused by an infection that develops after bacteria makes it’s way through cracks in the nail. It can cause yellowing or thickening of the nail bed, and left untreated it can lead to severe pain, permanent disfigurement and infections in other areas of your body, so you’ll want to actively treat the problem. But how can you best treat problematic toenail fungus? Here are a number of different ways you can try to treat your toenail fungus:
Anti-Fungal Creams – For mild cases, you may be able to find relief through an over-the-counter option like an anti-fungal cream, gel or nail polish. This is often the first step for people who notice nail discoloration.
Prescription Creams – For fungal infections that don’t resolve with OTC options, a more concentrated treatment may be your best bet. You can visit your doctor or a foot specialist and get a prescription for a more potent fungal cream or gel. A doctor can also conduct some tests on the nail bed to determine what type of infection you’re dealing with so they know how to best treat it.
Prescription Medications – There’s also the possibility that your doctor will recommend oral medications to treat your fungal infection. Be sure to let your doctor know about any other medications you are taking so they can ensure your prescription has a high likelihood of being effective.
Nail Removal – For more serious or extended cases of fungal infections, toenail removal is an option. Your foot surgeon can remove part or all of the nail bed, which will eventually grow back. You’ll also likely be given a topical cream or similar treatment to help keep the infection away while your nail bed is returning.
Laser Treatment – Finally, some facilities offer laser treatment to care for fungal infections. There is not a lot of research on the success of these options, and it probably won’t be covered by insurance, but if you’ve failed to find relief with a number of other options, this is another option to consider.