The most common way to treat toenail fungus is with medication. An oral antifungal medication, such as Lamisil, or a topical antifungal treatment, such as Formula 3, is often recommended. Both of these medications are effective and safe, however there are ways to treat a fungal toenail without medication.
There are some patients who elect to have to infected toenails surgically removed and then treat the nail beds with antifungal cream. I generally do not recommend this method except when the toenail is so thick and deformed that it causes pain. Also, if multiple toenails are infected, removal can become very painful.
A newer treatment for fungal toenails involves laser therapy. This treatment entails one to three treatments, depending on the laser, and is generally not painful. Treatment with the laser is not uncomfortable and initial results show an improved appearance of the toenail. There are also natural antifungal therapies, such as tea tree oil and garlic, which are used in topical preparations with limited success.
If you are noticing your toenails are becoming thick and discolored, be sure to get them checked before they become worse. Contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive evaluation.