Fungal nail infections are common, they are generally not serious but can be stubborn and take a long time to treat. Fungal nail infections usually affect the toenails but can sometimes also affect the fingers. The infection can be present on just one nail or multiple. The fungus causes the nails to thicken, discolour, become distorted, and become brittle and crumbly if left untreated.
Treating fungal nail infections can take time, the two main forms of treatment for Fungal Nail Infections are nail paints and tablets.
These treatments usually work by stopping the growth of the fungus, the infection will then clear as your nail grows out. Depending on the severity of the infection, a fingernail can take up to six months to completely clear with a toenail potentially requiring up to twelve months of treatment to completely clear.
If your nails have become thick, it can help to file them down before treatment. This will allow the medicine better access to the infection.
The first line of treatment will be the antifungal nail paint containing Amorolfine. The advantages of these types of treatment are the application need only be applied once a week and there is no risk of experiencing the side effects associated with the oral antifungal tablets.
Antifungal tablets are also used to treat fungal nail infections. The most commonly prescribed antifungal tablets are Terbinafine. These treatments are usually very effective. Depending on the severity of the nail infection, they may need to be taken for anything from six weeks to six months.
As with all medication there will always be a small risk that there may be side effects. The most common associated with antifungal tablets are; headache, nausea, diarrhoea, itching and a loss of the sense of taste.