Nail fungal infections are unpleasant, no doubt, with the affected person having to contend with nail discoloration, discharge, awful odors and in severe cases, loss of nails. If you suffer from nail fungus, you should always keep in mind that it is a treatable condition and as long as you take good care of your toenails, their future health is assured. However, it is important to also remember that the process of ridding yourself of a fungal infection, despite being easy, is long and will require the involvement of a doctor. There are several nail fungus treatment options you should consider if you already have a fungal infection attacking your toenails. These are:

1. Oral Anti-fungal drugs
These drugs are taken with the intention of helping a new infection-free nail grow, so that it can replace the infected part. Usually, you will be required to take the drugs for six to 12 weeks but you will only get to see the end result of the treatment after the nail grows back completely. This may take about four months. Such drugs are effective but generally not recommended for people with liver disease or congestive heart failure. Always check with your doctor before getting started on any drugs.

2. Medicated nail cream
Anti-fungal creams are another option for anyone suffering from nail fungus. What happens is that your doctor prescribes a cream that you will apply onto the affected nails after soaking. Usually, your doctor will instruct you to thin your nails first in order to allow the cream to get through the hard nail surface and reach the fungus. Thinning may be done through application of over the counter lotions that contain urea. Alternatively, your doctor may thin the surface of your nail using a file.

3. Medicated nail polish
Anti-fungal lacquer is another method of nail fungus treatment. This is painted on the nails and the surrounding skin once a day. After a week, the piled on layers are wiped off using alcohol and a fresh application is made. If you do decide to use medicated nail polish as your preferred method of treatment, you may be required to use the polish every day for a year.

4. Nail removal
There are cases of nail fungal infection where the infection is severe or extremely painful. In such situations, your doctor may advise you to have your nail removed. Once this is done, the nail bed is treated using surgery and medicated nail polish. You will then have to allow a year for a new nail to grow.

It is important to remember that once you have gotten rid of the nail fungal infection, you need to take care so that the infection does not recur. There are several tips you can follow to ensure you keep your nails free of fungal infection in future.

Always dry your feet thoroughly after getting wet. This may be after swimming, a shower or any activity that may leave your feet sweaty or wet.

Avoid wearing tight shoes. Tight shoes will cause your toes to be pushed together, thereby creating the perfect moist, warm and closed environment that will enable the fungus to thrive.

Go barefooted whenever possible to give your feet ample time to breath. Avoid socks and opt for sandals instead of closed up shoes.

And that’s how you fight nail fungus!