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Treatment options

Types of Treatment

There are several different treatments for onychomycosis. The different types of treatment include:

  • Mechanical
  • Topical
  • Systemic

Mechanical treatment typically involves filing and trimming of infected nails. However partial or even complete removal of the nail may also be used in more severe cases. Topical treatment involves solutions of antifungal agents that are applied directly onto the nails. Systemic treatment refers to capsules or tablets that are swallowed. These treatments also contain antifungal agents, but these agents are absorbed by the body and travel through the blood to the nails, where they become more concentrated. Each of these treatments has advantages and disadvantages for treating onychomycosis, depending on the type and the severity of your disease.

Keep in mind that therapy for onychomycosis typically takes a long time to have an effect. Topical treatments applied directly to infected nails are usually prescribed for several weeks to months. Systemic treatments may be prescribed even longer, often half a year to one year in total. Some people may be frustrated with the slow changes when starting therapy, but remember that this is normal for onychomycosis treatment, and that sticking with the prescribed treatment dramatically improves your chances of clearing the infection.

The Right Treatment for You

Your doctor will help you to decide which treatment is best for you. In addition, you may want to consider the following factors when selecting an onychomycosis treatment that is right for you:

  • First, the treatment should never be worse than the onychomycosis itself!
  • Consider your lifestyle, available time and the cost to help you decide among the options
  • The treatment may need to be used for prolonged periods of time or continuously in order to keep your onychomycosis under control and stop it from progressing or coming back
  • Keep in mind: treatment adherence strongly influences treatment effectiveness (If you don’t use it, it won’t work!)


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