An appropriate treatment plan for fungal toenails is individualized depending upon the patient and their general health status. Determining the risk of treatment versus the benefit is an important consideration when choosing the best treatment plan.
- Debridement of the nails
- Topical medications applied on the nail surfaces
- Oral antifungal medications
- Laser therapy
- Surgical nail removal
Non-surgical Options for Treatment of Toenail Fungus
Debridement involves the routine removal of portions of the thickened diseased nail to de-bulk the nail and provide maintenance for the condition.
Topical antifungal agents may be applied directly to the affected nails but usually require up to 10-12 months of daily application. This treatment can be expensive and may have only marginal success.
Oral antifungal agents offer the best chance for resolution of the toenail fungus, but proper patient selection due to medication risks must be considered.
Laser treatments are rarely covered by insurance plans and their results are still not as promising as would be hoped for.
Surgical Options for Treatment of Toenail Fungus
Surgical options would involve either temporary or permanent nail removal. Temporary removal of the nail however does not treat the underlying fungus and subsequent regrowth will often lead to recurrence. Permanent nail removal is reserved as a treatment of last resort.