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Nail-fungus Treatments

Fungal Nail Infection Treatments at Skin And Cancer Institute

What are fungal nail infections?

Fungal nail infections affect both fingers and toes, though they are more common in toenails than fingernails. The technical name for a fungal nail infection is onychomycosis.

What causes fungal nail infections?

Our nails require constant maintenance in order to be kept neat and clean. When not properly cared for, our nails can become brittle and dry, resulting in cracks that allow fungi to enter. The most common cause of fungal nail infections is a type of fungus called dermatophyte. Yeast and mold as well as athlete’s foot can also cause fungal nail infections, spreading from one nail to another if left untreated. Other factors such as reduced blood circulation to the hands and feet and a weakened immune system may also contribute to the formation of fungal nail infections.

Am I at risk for a fungal nail infection?

Factors that can increase your risk of developing a fungal nail infection include:

What are the signs and symptoms of fungal nail infections? What do fungal nail infections look like?

How can I avoid fungal nail infections?

What treatments are available for fungal nail infections?

Oral Medication

Oral medications help new nails grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected cells with healthy ones. Treatment with oral medication typically lasts for 6- 12 weeks, but final results will not be visible until new nail grows in completely.

Medicated Nail Polish

Available in both colored and clear formulas, antifungal nail polish is applied to infected nails and surrounding skin once a day. Every seven days, the nails must be thoroughly cleaned with alcohol. Depending on the extent of infection, it may be necessary to apply medicated nail polish daily for up to 18 months.

Topical Medication

After thoroughly cleaning and soaking the hands, antifungal cream is applied to each infected nail. Topical creams work best when the nail is thinned.


In more severe cases of infection, your doctor may suggest temporary removal of the nail so that an extra strength antifungal drug can be applied under the nail directly onto the infected area.

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