How to get rid of toenail fungus

Anyone who has had a case of toenail fungus knows all too well how hard it is to get rid of the problem. Fungus medications rarely accomplish anything, and usually carry side effects as bad as (or even worse than) the toenail fungus problems themselves.

Topical creams and lotions seem better than oral medications in some ways, but unfortunately rarely do anything significant enough to get rid of toenail fungus or even make a noticeable impact on it. And even if they do manage to accomplish a small reduction of the fungus, they are usually messy, smelly, and bothersome to apply.

Ultimately, the reason fungal creams and ointments so often fail is simply that they cannot penetrate below the surface of the nail to reach the fungus itself.

If you really want to get rid of your toenail fungus, you have to treat the problem beneath the nail where the fungus actually is. Only then will you begin to notice real results.

What Is Toenail Fungus And What Are Its Symptoms?

Toenail fungus (also known as Onychomycosis) is of course a type of fungal infection. But it is an especially tenacious one and can rot away at the toenails for decades. The symptoms of fungal nails include:

  • Discoloration of the nail, including white patches or yellowish streaks,
  • Thickening of the nails,
  • Brittle or flaking nails,
  • Darkening of the skin below the nails,
  • Separation of the nail from the nail bed, which typically only occurs in severe cases.

A toenail fungus infection will not usually go away on its own. The fungus will last for years, even decades, and will probably continue to get worse unless you decide to visit a professional and have the problem addressed properly.

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Onychomycosis (fungus of the nail) is a chronic, progressive, debilitating disease of the nail, nail bed and matrix (root). Over the years dermatophytes (fungal elements) enter the nail bed from the skin. The traditional treatments of topical creams, lotions, etc, although somewhat effective, are difficult to use in chronic and progressive cases. The most common treatment has been the use of oral medications. Lamisil (terbinafine) has been the most common, and probably also the most effective treatment recently in the eradication of onychomycosis, with an approximately 70% cure rate; however, blood tests need to be taken due to the fact that there are side effects, especially with the liver, and in the end, after you go through a long course of medication, you probably want a better chance of success than 70%.

Cost is also a consideration as well. Oral medications normally need to extend for at least three months, and recurrence rates are quite high. Often a second round of three months on oral medications is necessary. There are other medications out there, of course, including Diflucan, which patients tend to find much too expensive and which requires a full year of treatment. Sporonox, another fungal medication, has a much lower effective rate and also is expensive.

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