Any topical medication used to treat fungal toenails does need to get beneath the toenail in sufficient amounts to treat your fungus. This is usually the reason that topical medications fail. The active antifungal can eliminate the fungus, but the "vehicle" doesn't succeed in moving the medicine through the toenail. Different vehicles for topical antifungal medication include cream, ointment, gel, lacquer, and oil. The topical that is recommended in our Houston podiatry office, Formula 3, does penetrate the toenail in sufficient amounts to treat the fungus appropriately, due to the oil that the medicine is dissolved in.
Topical medication is designed to penetrate the nail plate when applied. In fact the better the medication penetrates the nail plate, the more effective the medication is in resolving the nail fungus. A common error is to try to push the medicine under the nail manually. This causes trauma and can separate the nail from the nail bed. This is counterproductive, since trauma allows the fungal infection to spread or worsen. You should not poke anything under the toenail in any circumstance.
If you have used an over the counter topical antifungal medication to treat your fungal toenails and have found them not to be effective, call Tanglewood Foot Specialists for a comprehensive evaluation. Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider will recommend the best treatment to cure your fungal toenails.